Students on Vancouver Island who face barriers to education and training, such as physical or learning disabilities, will benefit from a range of programs focused on helping them succeed at their studies and get the skills they need to find fulfilling and in-demand jobs.
Three public post-secondary institutions – Camosun College, North Island College and Vancouver Island University – will each receive $75,000 to continue developing programs and supports that assist students with disabilities to access and succeed in training and education.
“Public post-secondary institutions on Vancouver Island play an important role in keeping our region’s employers supplied with trained workers,” said Social Development and Social Innovation Minister and MLA for Parksville-Qualicum Michelle Stilwell on behalf of Advanced Education Minister Andrew Wilkinson. “This funding helps our institutions develop and deliver programs and supports that help students get skills for jobs, live independently and contribute to their community’s economy.”
At Vancouver Island University, the funding prepares students for jobs as construction labourers, and also provides training for employers and trades instructors in supporting people with disabilities.
“Vancouver Island University is pleased to receive funding again this year for the Introduction to Construction Essentials program,” said Vancouver Island University president, Dr. Ralph Nilson. “This type of funding supports one of VIU’s core values – creating access to educational opportunities for students who might otherwise not consider their post-secondary options. It also helps the university support our partners in the construction industries in their need for more workers.”
North Island College is continuing the Employment Transition / Construction Access program, that provides a learning environment for students to develop skills that will help them find and maintain employment as labourers in the construction industry.
“Our plan under B.C.’s Blueprint and Accessibility 2024 is to make sure all British Columbians can get access to relevant post-secondary education and training programs,” said MLA for Comox Valley Don McRae. “Today’s investment builds on funding for programs at our post-secondary institutions and helps people with disabilities develop job skills that are relevant in B.C.’s labour market.”
Camosun College will continue to collaborate with Selkirk College and the Justice Institute of British Columbia on a project to develop planning and evaluation materials based on the Universal Design Principles that ensure students can access services and training.
The Province is providing more than $1.9 million in 2016-17 in one-time, targeted investments for 20 public post-secondary institutions in B.C. The funding builds on investments made in 2014-15 and 2015-16 for a total of more than $4 million.
Supporting learners with disabilities is a priority of B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint and Accessibility 2024.
Programs are breaking down barriers to post-secondary education: https://news.gov.bc.ca/11350
B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint: www.workbc.ca/Training-Education/B-C-s-Skills-for-Jobs-Blueprint.aspx
Accessibility 2024: www.gov.bc.ca/accessibility
A backgrounder follows.