Accessible skills training for students with disabilities

DAWSON CREEK – Students with disabilities who face barriers to education and training in B.C. will continue to benefit from funding for accessible training and resources to help them gain skills and education for in-demand jobs.

 Northern Lights College will receive $75,000 to support its Online Emotional Support Services, Retention Alert Pilot Project and Students in Distress initiative and Intervention Training program.

 Online emotional support services will develop options for online and text based emotional support for students. The Retention Alert Pilot Project will work with faculty to identify students with disabilities who help to prevent academic failure. The Students in Distress initiative will be a web based set of resources for students as well as staff to better support those facing mental health concerns. Intervention training will prepare trades faculty and staff to recognize and intervene with students in distress who maybe considering suicide.

 More than $1.9 million will support ongoing training and resources for students with disabilities at 20 public post-secondary institutions. Each institution will receive one-time funding of $75,000 in 2016-17.

 This year’s funding builds on investments made in 2014-15 and 2015-16 for a total of more than $4 million to assist students with disabilities to overcome barriers to education and training.

 Government launched B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint in 2014 to align funding and programs with in-demand occupations. The Blueprint includes goals to provide better access to technical and trades-related training for learners with disabilities.

 The funding also supports Accessibility 2024, government’s 10-year action plan that includes goals, actions and long-term measures to make B.C. the most progressive place in Canada for people with disabilities.

Labour market forecasts show that B.C. anticipates almost one million job openings by 2024. Approximately 78% will require post-secondary training: 42% will require college education or apprenticeship training and 36% will require university and/or significant work experience.

Peace River South MLA Mike Bernier

“Some students face a number of challenges as they make the transition into post-secondary life. We want to work with them and help them through these times with supports that address their issues and let them know they have the support of the staff and students around them. ”