Funding for an additional 16 full-time equivalent seats at the College of New Caledonia (CNC) in Vanderhoof will benefit British Columbians training to support the health-care needs of their communities.
The announcement was made by MLA for Nechako Lakes John Rustad on behalf of Advanced Education Minister Andrew Wilkinson, during a visit to the campus.
The Ministry of Advanced Education is providing $140,000 in one-time targeted funding for the health care assistant program at CNC. The program is scheduled to begin in September 2017 and will prepare students to assess, communicate with and assist those living with disabilities.
“This investment is a great example of how government is targeting funding to best support the health and well-being of British Columbians,” said Rustad. “Programs like the health care assistant certificate at CNC make a difference in our communities and to students who are training for a rewarding career in the health-care sector.”
Health-care assistant graduates are in high demand throughout the province and play an important role as front-line caregivers who can work in both community and facility settings. Health-care assistants provide personal care that promotes and maintains the physical, psychological and social well-being of clients with a particular focus on the elderly and persons with disabilities.
“We are very pleased to receive this funding. It will help ensure that CNC students have the skills and training necessary to provide members of our communities with quality health care and assistance,” said CNC president Henry Reiser. “CNC is committed to training health-care workers in the North who will stay in the North.”
The health sector is one of the fastest growing fields in British Columbia and is part of a diverse, strong and growing economy. According to the 2025 B.C. Labour Market Outlook, the health sector employed 227,000 workers in 2015 and employment has grown at an average rate of 3.2% each year over the past decade.
“Offering this program in Vanderhoof is a great example to demonstrate how an educational institution can meet the needs of an entire community,” said school of health sciences dean Glenda Vardy Dell. “As our population continues to age, we need more care aides to help support people to remain in their homes longer and to help support those individuals in a long-term care facility or group home in order to receive the required support for daily living. We continue to support our smaller communities to educate their own health-care aides so that younger community members will be able to remain at home, become employed at home and care for others.”
Government is providing over $1 million this year in one-time funding to support an additional 133 FTE seats at 11 post-secondary institutions throughout B.C.
Since 2008, the Province has provided annual one-time funding for additional education seats in health programs. Funding to date totals more than $16 million and has created almost 2,000 student seats.
Funding for health-care training is one of the key ways the B.C. government is taking action to strengthen, grow and diversify rural communities. Targeted health-care funding builds on the immediate investments and long-term action plan outlined in B.C.’s Rural Economic Development Strategy that are expected to create over 26,000 jobs and add $2.8 billion to provincial GDP.
B.C. Rural Economic Development Strategy: https://bcjobsplan.gov.bc.ca/b-c-s-rural-economic-development-strategy/
2025 B.C. Labour Market Outlook: https://www.workbc.ca/getmedia/00de3b15-0551-4f70-9e6b-23ffb6c9cb86/LabourMarketOutlook.aspx
College of New Caledonia: http://www.cnc.bc.ca/