Operating grants to public post-secondary education institutions continue to be aligned with education and training for in-demand occupations, with an additional $90 million targeted in 2015-16.
Targeted operating grants for public post-secondary institutions in British Columbia now account for approximately 17 per cent of total funding.
The goal is to target 25 per cent of operating grants by 2017-18 to education and training that supports in-demand occupations as part of the commitment made in B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint.
“Colleges, such as Okanagan College, are constantly responding and updating programming to respond to student, employer and industry demand,” said Okanagan College president Jim Hamilton. “Aligned seats at Okanagan College range from business and management through to early childhood education.”
“Our government has a comprehensive strategy that is shifting how post-secondary education and training is funded in British Columbia,” said Advanced Education Minister Andrew Wilkinson. “Aligning funding to targeted programming will help meet the need for in-demand jobs in a diverse range of sectors including technology that support our provincial economy.”
The targeted funding will include more tech-related programming as outlined in the #BCTECH Strategy. This helps ensure students can continue to access tech-related education and training required for tech-sector related occupations.
“The combination of BC Skills for Jobs Blueprint and the BC Tech Strategy will result in training and experience for in-demand technology occupations – many of which are in engineering, software and computer development – to ensure our workforce has the skills needed to succeed in the marketplace,” said Technology, Innovation and Citizens’ Services Minister Amrik Virk.
Prior to 2014-15, $190 million was targeted every year toward mainly health-related programs such as medicine, nursing and midwifery. This represented approximately 10 per cent of provincial operating grants to universities, colleges and institutes.
Funding for programs that support high-demand occupations from professional occupations to social services through to technology will increase to 25 per cent of annual operating grants by 2017-18.
Programming is being aligned with the top 100 occupations listed in the B.C. 2024 Labour Market Outlook as well as priority health occupations and regional labour priorities, and programs for Aboriginal people and people with disabilities.
“Post-secondary students are seeking the knowledge, skills and experience that will allow them to fulfil their potential in whatever field they choose to pursue and equip them to respond to a labour market trends,” said University of Victoria president Jamie Cassels. “An example of aligning to market demand is the civil engineering program at UVic that is now available for the first time ever on Vancouver Island.”
Examples of how post-secondary education institutions have aligned education and training in 2015-16 to market labour market demand include: