Canadian Manufacturing

Alberta college nets funding for mobile skills training units

Province providing $3 million to Northern Lakes College to build mobile skills training units

SLAVE LAKE, Alta.—The Alberta government is providing more than $3 million in funding to a post-secondary school to build mobile units to deliver skilled trades training to remote communities in the province.

Northern Lakes College, which has its main campuses in Slave Lake and Grouard, Alta., and remote campuses in about 20 other communities in northern Alberta, announced it received $3.05 million from Alberta Innovation and Advanced Education to build mobile trades training units, which will be used to train welders, millwrights and carpenters in communities that may not have access to skills training.

“These cost effective mobile training facilities are a necessary component that will allow Northern Lakes College to provide training to better meet training and labour market demands across our vast service region,” college president and CEO Ann Everatt said in a release.

The institution didn’t reveal how many mobile units it would build with the funding.

Northern Lakes said it would also receive $523,000 annually from the provincial ministry for an undisclosed number of years to support the operations costs associated with the mobile training programs.

The funding was awarded to Northern Lakes after it submitted the project in response to the ministry’s July 2013 request for proposals seeking solutions to boost access to training for in-demand trades in the province.

“Albertans need access to the highest quality learning opportunities regardless of where they live and our funding for this innovative program will do just that,” deputy Premier Dave Hancock said. “Northern Lakes College can now meet the needs of students in communities where these opportunities haven’t traditionally been available and better respond to local labour market demands for more skilled tradespeople.”

Hancock is also the minister in charge of Alberta Innovation and Advanced Education.

Northern Lakes said it hopes to roll out its first training programs using the mobile units during the 2014-15 school year.

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