More people are now able to acquire new or upgraded post-secondary skills or knowledge in English, math and science to meet their career goals through Adult Basic Education and English Language Learning Pathways at public post-secondary institutions.
“Too often, people wanting to improve their work opportunities experience barriers that restrict their ability to prepare for the meaningful career and life they want in B.C.,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Post-Secondary Education and Future Skills. “This government is increasing access to learning and upgrading supports, in addition to initiatives in our Future Ready Action Plan, helping British Columbians reach their fullest potential and meet the labour force demands of today and tomorrow.”
For the second year in a row, the B.C. government is funding the Adult Basic Education and English Language Learning Pathways, with $3.8 million to provide students the pre-requisites for the post-secondary programs they need to meet their career goals.
The Pathways programming is intended to support people in getting the pre-requisites they need to access high-priority programs, including in the areas of health care, early childhood education, skilled trades and technology. This is in addition to the variety of tuition-free Adult Basic Education and English language learning programming available throughout the province.
“There are misconceptions around upgrading,” said Travis Holmes, an Okanagan College graduate. “People think that upgrading just means you didn’t pass a class, but in my experience, upgrading is training that opens doors and it gave me the opportunity to build the skills I needed to be admitted into the business program.”
Each institution offers unique approaches that reflect the region and customize their pathways to the needs of Indigenous students, students living in rural areas or students who are new to Canada. Pathways are also tailored to in-demand careers, such as health care, early childhood education, skilled trades and technology.
Adult Basic Education and English Language Learning Pathways support the StrongerBC: Future Ready Action Plan, which is focused on making post-secondary education and training more accessible, affordable and relevant to help people prepare for meaningful employment.
Andrew Mercier, Minister of State for Workforce Development –
“These Pathway programs provide support and opportunities for people to access the post-secondary programs they need to prepare for meaningful careers right across B.C. Our ongoing commitment to adult basic education and English language learning is focused on making post-secondary education and training more accessible and affordable for everyone.”
Paula Burns, president and CEO, Langara College –
“snəw̓eyəɬ leləm̓ Langara College is proud to offer affordable and accessible education and opportunities to students from diverse backgrounds. This critical funding enables a pathway for adult learners to transition into part- and full-time continuing studies. Our programs provide students the knowledge and skills they need to build exciting new careers and contribute to British Columbia’s economy and community.”
Dennis Johnson, president and CEO, College of New Caledonia –
“Access is a significant reason why learners choose community colleges to reach their potential. By continuously improving pathways, we can be better prepared to meet the changing needs of learners. We can provide them the tools they need for success, first in their learning and ultimately in their career choices.”
Deborah Saucier, president and vice-chancellor, Vancouver Island University –
“VIU’s Pathways program includes learning pods where students build relationships with each other and receive individual education plans and curriculum that is developed in conjunction with faculty that is relevant to their career goals. For newcomers to Canada, Pathways also embeds language supports and cultural competencies. This funding will help VIU ensure students build the connections and sense of belonging they need to be successful and help build healthy communities across B.C.”
For more about StrongerBC: Future Ready Action Plan, visit: https://strongerbc.gov.bc.ca/jobs-and-training
To read B.C.’s most recent Labour Market Outlook, visit: https://www.workbc.ca/sites/default/files/2023-02/LMO-2022-Report.pdf
A backgrounder follows.