YORKTON - The Saskatchewan government has announced $2.2 million in funding to help individuals train and re-enter the labour force with new marketable skills.
The funding will be provided through the Training Voucher Program and will make re-training accessible and affordable to workers impacted by recent economic challenges.
“We’ve been working with the Voucher Program for a couple of years,” explained Kami DePape, Vice-President of Academics with Parkland College, adding it was initially a short-term program but “it worked well, so it keeps getting funding.”
The reason it has proven so effective it its versatility, said DePape, noting it can help with the tuition for a short course such as one to become a security guard, to longer programs such as the one for LPNs.
The program also covers varied costs from tuitions, to books, said DePape.
“It covers tuitions as well as fees,” she said, adding it can even help with costs for equipment needed for trades training. “It’s very adaptable.”
“So it’s been a very positive program . . . It’s really inclusive . . . What does the student need?”
The adaptability is also good in terms of filling workforce needs. While some funding sources are quite specific in what they will cover, this one is more flexible to needs across a range of programs, offered DePape.
“It’s one more way students can access funding, and it really does address the labour market,” she said. “. . . It’s really what clients need to get back into the workforce.”
In making the new funding announcement Immigration and Career Training Minister Jeremy Harrison said the dollars are about helping people gain new skills.
"As we emerge from the pandemic, we recognize economic challenges caused by COVID-19 have impacted some Saskatchewan workers who might want to develop new skills as they re-enter the labour force,” he said in a release. “The Training Voucher Program will help us achieve the important goal of training and retaining a skilled workforce to match employer needs and help drive Saskatchewan's economic growth.”
The program is funded through the Canada-Saskatchewan Labour Market Transfer Agreements and covers agreements with public and private training institutions while targeting various sectors such as in information technology, health care and hospitality. The program helps to make re-training more accessible and affordable by covering tuition and other eligible costs.
The public training institutions include Saskatchewan Polytechnic, Carlton Trail College, Cumberland College, Great Plains College, Lakeland College, Northlands College, North West College, Parkland College, Southeast College, Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies, and Gabriel Dumont Institute. The program was also recently expanded to include the following private training institutions:18-Wheels Training Services, Lifemark Health Group, Northern Resource Trucking, Academy of Learning and the Saskatoon Business College.
For more information on the program and eligibility, visit the program website or contact SaskJobs Career Services directly at 1-833-613-0485 or firstname.lastname@example.org