Local NDP MLAs welcome new courses to boost career opportunities and economic recovery in the north and mid-Island

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VICTORIA – New Democrat MLAs Ronna-Rae Leonard, Josie Osborne, and Michele Babchuk say people in the north and mid-Island will be able to re-skill or upskill to prepare for high-demand jobs, thanks to new micro-credential programs being offered through North Island College (NIC). The courses are part of B.C.’s economic recovery efforts to help more people find their place in the post-COVID-19 economy. 


Micro-credentials are short courses that help people gain specific skills for high-demand careers. The short duration makes it easier for people to fit in learning around their work and family commitments.  


Micro-credential courses being offered at NIC include “Skills for Film and Television”, and “Medical Terminology Skills for Office Administration”. The new courses are some of 24 new micro-credential programs being offered at 15 of B.C.’s public post-secondary institutions, supported by a total investment of $4 million ($2 million from the Province and $2 million from the Canada-BC Workforce Development Agreement). 


The MLAs say people whose employment has been impacted by COVID-19 will particularly benefit from these opportunities, designed to help them upskill in their current field or reskill to embark on a new career path.  


This announcement is in addition to new Short-term Skills Training courses to be offered through NIC, including in subjects from warehousing skills, to carpentry foundations, to basic digital skills. These courses are designed to meet the needs of people who lost their jobs due to COVID-19, particularly youth, women, and low-skilled individuals. 


These investments are part of B.C.’s Economic Recovery Plan, to help people, businesses and communities recover and come out of COVID-19 stronger and better prepared. B.C.’s total provincial response to the COVID-19 pandemic exceeds $8.25 billion. 




“These new programs at North Island College are really good news for our communities,” said Leonard, MLA for Courtenay-Comox. “As the film industry grows in the north and mid-Island, and with demand for workers in the health care sector higher than ever, these programs will help people in our region be ready to take advantage of these opportunities.” 


“With the impacts that COVID has had on jobs and livelihoods, many people are looking for ways to re-train or boost their skillset,” said Osborne, MLA for Mid Island-Pacific Rim. “For those who are interested in finding a new career but don’t have the time or the resources to go back to school full-time, micro-credential programs like these will be a big help.” 


“We know that the single biggest thing we need to do to recover from the economic hit of COVID-19 is to invest in people,” said Babchuk, MLA for North Island. “Creating opportunities for practical job training and accessible skills training like these helps people get back on their feet and helps re-build our economy.” 


Learn more about micro-credentials: https://news.gov.bc.ca/23745


Learn more about Short-term Skills Training: https://news.gov.bc.ca/23731