Students on Vancouver Island will have more opportunities to train for careers in health care or upgrade their skills, thanks to additional funding for post-secondary education and training for health professionals.
North Island College is benefiting from almost $775,000 for programs that will train health-care assistants, licensed practical nurses and community mental health workers.
In Victoria, Camosun College has received $310,000 for activities related to starting up a health-care assistant program and an educational assistant program on the Westshore.
“For years, British Columbians have been calling for more trained health professionals in their communities,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training. “We heard that call to action and we’re investing in valuable, in-demand training in every corner of the province so that students preparing for careers in health care, or health professionals upgrading their skills, are able to provide quality health care when and where it is needed. It is because of the work of these unsung heroes in health care that we are at a place to safely build back the best B.C.”
Government is investing in programs throughout B.C., including training for health-care assistants, anesthesia assistants, mental health and community support workers and programs for nurses. The funding also enables advanced training for specialty nurses and clinical refreshers and fast-track training for respiratory therapists who care for critically ill patients.
“We are committed to training, recruiting and hiring a new generation of health-care professionals at all levels, including respiratory therapists and critical care nurses, who are vital members of the health-care team,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “Respiratory therapists and nurses working with patients during the COVID-19 pandemic have a high-risk role because of their hands-on work treating patients with breathing difficulties and I thank them for all they do.”
Camosun College and North Island College are among nine post-secondary institutions throughout B.C. that received more than $4.4 million for a variety of health profession-related education and training this year.
Other B.C. post-secondary institutions that also received extra funding to support health-related programs include:
- British Columbia Institute of Technology
- Camosun College
- Coast Mountain College
- College of New Caledonia
- Nicola Valley Institute of Technology
- North Island College
- Vancouver Community College
Ronna-Rae Leonard, MLA for Courtenay-Comox –
“Our government recognizes the growing need for health professionals across B.C., and certainly here on the Island. Government’s ongoing commitment to improve the lives of British Columbians, coupled with these targeted investments in health education programs, will help people get the skills they need to secure good jobs in this growing sector.”
Sherri Bell, president, Camosun College –
“Front-line health-care and educational professionals are in high demand throughout Vancouver Island. This targeted investment in more advanced educational opportunities in the Westshore for students who want to pursue rewarding careers as health-care assistants and educational assistants will allow Camosun College to deliver programs locally to help build healthy, thriving communities.”
John Bowman, president, North Island College (NIC) –
“Over the last few months we’ve seen the tremendous work of front-line workers throughout our region, many of whom are NIC alumni, and we’ve seen an increase in students wanting to enter the health-care field. We’re delighted to receive these funds to further expand health-care programming throughout the north Island to support the educational goals of our residents and the health-care needs of our communities.”
A backgrounder follows.