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New grants support training aligned with labour market

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VICTORIA – A new, flexible student aid grant program will support students enrolled in selected training programs that align with British Columbia’s labour market priorities.

The Labour Market StudentAid BC Grant is a provincial program that provides up to $2 million in grant funding to be awarded each year to qualified applicants who demonstrate financial need and are enrolled in training programs that align with identified labour market priorities.

A total of up to $6,500 will be issued to individuals over the course of their training. The grants are available for applicants enrolled in eligible training programs based on the financial need determined on the applicant’s approved StudentAid BC loan application, and will be awarded in two payments over the course of their schooling.

The grant program will support up to 300 eligible students enrolled in programs that were identified through consultations with the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and the Industry Training Authority, and on a review of institutional priorities and recommendations based on Regional Workforce Tables. The training programs prepare students to enter high-demand occupations in key sectors identified in the BC Jobs Plan, including mining, oil and gas, and transportation. The training, and subsequent labour market needs, are located in northern and central British Columbia.

Those planning to enrol in the following selected programs at the following institutions in 2013-14 may be eligible for the new grant:

College of New Caledonia:
– heavy-duty mechanics/commercial transport mechanical repair foundation
– industrial mechanic(millwright)/machinist foundation
– mining industry certificate

Northern Lights College:
– heavy-duty/commercial transport (mechanic) technician foundation
– millwright foundation
– power engineering and gas processing
– oil and gas field operations

Northwest Community College:
– heavy-duty equipment technician/commercial transport mechanic foundation
– millwright/industrial mechanic foundation
– driller and blaster for miningmining and mineral processing operator

Thompson Rivers University:
– commercial transport vehicle mechanic

As part of the Skills and Training Plan, and to support the ideas government heard last fall in its engagement with British Columbians, the Labour Market StudentAid BC Grant will help students access training for high-demand occupations in key sectors of the BC Jobs Plan that may otherwise go unfilled.
The new program will be flexible and adaptable because it will have the ability to shift funding to target students in various training programs in different regions of the province, depending on the changing priorities of the provincial labour market.


John Yap, Minister of Advanced Education, Innovation and Technology –
“Our new Labour Market Student Aid Grant program is another step to ensure that our post-secondary training opportunities align with our province’s job market. It will help meet our Skills and Training Plan goal of ensuring that we are matching skills to jobs and jobs to skills, so we have the right mix of workers, in the right regions, at the right time.”

Pat Bell, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour –
“The northern region of B.C. is facing significant economic opportunities across a range of sectors. It is critical that people living in the region have access to the skills and training needed to meet the labour market demand created by these opportunities. The BC Jobs Plan committed to the creation of RegionalWorkforce Tables to foster local collaboration on workforce and training issues and inform initiatives like the student aid grant program.”

Brent Deinstadt, vice president corporate services, Northern Lights College –
“The announcement of this funding is important for northeast British Columbia and Northern Lights College (NLC). Future NLC students in these four programs have one less potential obstacle to obtaining training and education to prepare them to enter the workforce. For the individuals who volunteered on the Northeast Regional Workforce Table over the past year, this funding is an important step in responding to their recommendations on labour market needs in the region.”

Alan Shaver, president and vice-chancellor Thompson Rivers University –
“Well-trained students will ensure that British Columbia is well-positioned to thrive in tomorrow’s economy. It’s important that government invest in our province’s best asset – our people.”
Russel C. Robertson, CEO, Transportation Career Development Association –
“As we face an evolving labour market, all stakeholders must jointly embrace flexible solutions to ensure our training system is responsive to the needs of the economy.”

Learn More:
To learn more about the Labour Market Student Aid Grant program, visit:
BC Skills and Training Plan: