The provincial government announced roughly $13-million in funding for Saskatchewan Polytechinic and the Saskatchewan Apprenticeship and Trade Certification Commission (SATCC) on Tuesday.
The funds will allow both institutions to engage under-represented groups, create jobs in long-term care, and increase the number of apprentices in Saskatchewan.
Immigration and Career Training Minister Jeremy Harrison touted the funding as a way to improve the province’s workforce.
“Saskatchewan’s greatest resource has always been its people,” Harrison said in a media release. “This funding supports the provincial Growth Plan priority to develop a skilled workforce in our province through education and training.”
Saskatchewan Polytechnic will receive $11.3-million to developed and deliver three training initiatives in 2021-22. The programs include: Disability Services Programming – for adult learners with disabilities; Newcomer Services Programming – to provide in-demand skills training and language training for newcomers to Canada; and Supportive Care Assistant Program – for adult learners with an interest in exploring an entry-level career in healthcare. The government said the funding will help their pledge to hire an additional 300 continuing care assistants.
“This funding will target training for economic opportunities, promote recruitment and retention of young people, support participation of those currently under-represented in the workforce, and continue growing an engaged and inclusive workforce for the future,” Harrison said.
Sask. Polytechnic President and CEO Larry Rosia welcomed the government’s announcement. Rosia said the funds would help provide students with the necessary skills needed to enter a new career path, and reach their career goals.
“Supporting an inclusive, diverse and skilled workforce to promote Saskatchewan’s growth priorities is important to Sask Polytech,” Saskatchewan Polytechnic President and CEO Dr. Larry Rosia said.
“We’re pleased to take this opportunity to thank the Government of Saskatchewan for its belief in and investment in training for learners with disabilities, newcomers and the recently launched Supportive Care Assistant program.”
The SATCC received roughly $1.68-million to coordinate and deliver three initiatives by the end of the 2021-22 fiscal year. The initiatives will increase the number of apprentices in Saskatchewan and include Teaching Kits, for elementary and high school educators to broaden students’ awareness of apprenticeships and careers in the trades, and Virtual Reality Kits – for career exploration of apprenticeship trades programs with youth throughout the province.
It will also include the Tiny House Project for Indigenous apprentices to gain work experience while progressing toward journey person certification. The project involves building tiny (modular) houses in local communities.
SATCC CEO Jeff Ritter said they were excited about the investment, and how it allowed them to build on current programs like the Indigenous Apprenticeship Initiative (IAI) and the Saskatchewan Youth Apprencticship (SYA).
“This funding will enable us to reach out in new, innovative ways,” Ritter said. “Ultimately, it will help facilitate a diverse, inclusive apprenticeship and trade certification system, one that is representative of our province’s population.”
Funding for these projects has been secured through the Labour Market Transfer Agreement negotiated with the Government of Canada.
“Together with the Government of Saskatchewan, the Government of Canada’s investment will strengthen workers’ futures and help them thrive in the workplace,” Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough said. “The funding provided through the Canada-Saskatchewan Workforce Development Agreement will help workers in Saskatchewan acquire the tools and skills they need to get good jobs as our economy continues to recover from the pandemic.”