Canadian Manufacturing

Humber College creates new program to support advanced manufacturing jobs and talent shortage

by Bridget Yard   

Financing Human Resources Manufacturing Infrastructure Public Sector advanced manufacturing education financing Government human resources labour shortage Manufacturing Research talent shortage Technology

The first cohort of the Advanced Manufacturing Micro-Credentials program starts in February.

On Jan. 11, Humber College released the details of its new, provincially funded micro-credentials course to support workers with the advanced manufacturing skills necessary to get hired and progress in the industry.

The RapidSkills, Advanced Manufacturing Micro-credentials program is for people who are unemployed, underemployed or those who have prior credentials and need their skills officially recognized, like new Canadians.

Many upskilling programs require hours of in-class learning and a structured schedule, but learners in the program have the flexibility to study on their own time. As a result, they can continue working, caring for their families and fulfilling their responsibilities while improving their employability.

The stackable micro-credentials include:

  • Technical skills
  • Mechatronics Control Systems
  • Electro Pneumatics and Hydraulics
  • Electric Motors, Actuators, and Drives
  • Program Logic Controllers (PLCs)
  • Lean Manufacturing & Quality Control Systems
  • Advanced Manufacturing Project
  • Essential Skills (i.e., resilience, communication and critical thinking)

Learners have about two weeks to work through the theoretical portion of each micro-credential on their own. Then, after they’ve completed the required online learning, they attend a lab at Humber’s North campus for a practical exercise where they demonstrate the skills they’ve learned in a hands-on environment.

“If you’re super keen to get all the theory done fast in a week, then that following Saturday and Sunday you can go and do the lab component. If it takes you two weeks, you can do it the next weekend,” said Dave Smiderle, associate dean of Continuous Professional Learning & Project Management Ontario Graduate Certificate and the Supply Chain Management cluster.

The entire program is intended to last 19 weeks, and by the end of it, learners will complete a project as a group, using industry-standard simulation software to present an advanced manufacturing-based solution.

Some employers have even asked Humber College to train new employees once they’re hired because it is so difficult to find workers with the appropriate skills.

Others look forward to hiring learners right out of the program.

“Humber College produces many high-quality graduates, and Mother Parkers has had great success with the Humber graduates that we’ve hired to work in our plants. With the continued growth of skilled roles in manufacturing, we believe that those completing this Advanced Manufacturing Rapid Skills program will be in high demand,” said Janet Nagy, senior human resources business partner at Mother Parkers.

“As Mother Parkers continues to grow and expand, we will be following the program’s development and turning to Humber to recruit graduates for our manufacturing facilities if opportunities come available.”

The in-person labs will be held at Humber’s North Campus, allowing learners to use state-of-the-art advanced manufacturing equipment.

The first cohort of the Advanced Manufacturing Micro-Credentials program starts in February.


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