More opportunities to develop job-ready skills
Alberta’s government is funding additional micro-credential programs to help Albertans develop the skills they need to build new careers and secure the province’s future.
Rapid growth has created various skilled labour shortages and Albertans need access to skills training to meet the needs of an ever-changing economy. Micro-credentials are short-term, documented learning experiences that recognize specific skills and competencies and create new opportunities for unemployed and underemployed Albertans to quickly re-skill or upskill to better meet industry needs, re-enter the workforce and quickly pivot in their careers.
Earlier this fall, Alberta’s government invested $8 million over two years to create 69 new micro-credentials programs through the Alberta at Work initiative. Additional funding of more than $270,000 will help create five new programs that support key sectors, including energy, technology, software development and finance.
“I’m pleased we were able to deliver funding for five additional micro-credential programs before the end of the fiscal year. These unique opportunities allow Albertans to develop the job-ready skills they need to be successful and build new careers while building up the workforce in high-demand sectors.”
Demetrios Nicolaides, Minister of Advanced Education
The new programs include:
Burman University – Finance and Entrepreneurship: $98,000
Keyano College – Digital Literacies: $10,000
Lethbridge College – Game Play Programmer: $58,500
Lethbridge College – Game Engine Sound Artist: $58,500
Southern Alberta Institute of Technology – Liquefied Natural Gas in the Energy Sector Program: $45,000
“Burman University is pleased to participate in advancing the Alberta 2030: Building Skills for Jobs strategy by providing micro-credentials in the areas of finance and entrepreneurship. Individuals with an interest in these short-term learning programs will be able to benefit from them in central Alberta and, in turn, be able to contribute with the needed skills for our economy.”
Loren Agrey, president, Burman University
“We are pleased to be part of this important initiative. Whether people are changing careers, re-entering the workforce or simply looking for career advancement opportunities, the new micro-credentialing programs allow flexible learning options and the opportunity for people to upskill quickly.”
Jay Notay, president and CEO, Keyano College
“Our two new micro-credential programs will provide learners with the skills they need to contribute to Alberta’s emerging game development industry. We appreciate the Government of Alberta’s recognition of our strengths in this area and commitment to ensuring our learners have access to these flexible and responsive learning options.”
Brad Donaldson, president and CEO, Lethbridge College
“We appreciate the continued investment by the Government of Alberta in supporting skills development through post-secondary education. By further bolstering the industry-focused micro-credential programs available at SAIT, we are providing the tools Albertans need to remain relevant and competitive in the workforce.”
David Ross, president and CEO, SAIT
Micro-credential programs support the Alberta 2030: Building Skills for Jobs strategy by providing students with flexible and innovative learning opportunities to help them develop skills for jobs. This new investment in micro-credentialing builds on the $5.6 million used to launch a micro-credential pilot program in 2021.
The Alberta 2030: Building Skills for Jobs strategy is a transformational vision and direction for Alberta’s higher education system, which will develop a highly skilled and competitive workforce, strengthen innovation and commercialization of research, and forge stronger relationships between employers and post-secondary institutions.
David Eggen, NDP Critic for Advanced Education, made the following statement on micro-credential funding for post-secondary:
“The UCP are making it more difficult for Albertans to advance their education or seek career training. They have instituted devastating cuts, resulting in Alberta having the highest tuition increases in the country.
“The Alberta NDP supports micro-credential programs, but the program is a tiny fraction of the $690 million worth of cuts they have imposed on post-secondary schools.
“This government’s policies leave Albertans behind. Students could have been developing job-ready skills now, with options available to them sooner, graduating from programs and building their communities.
“During the largest affordability crisis we have seen in 40 years, the UCP has made it increasingly difficult for Albertans to advance their education or seek career-training. The misguided over the past three years is stifling economic potential in Alberta today.
“An NDP government will put post-secondary education back within reach of all Albertans, make post-secondary accessible, and invest in Albertans.”