B.C. provides $600,000 for NIC aquaculture technician training on Vancouver Island

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By Milthon Lujan

The British Columbia government and North Island College (NIC) have partnered on a new $600,000 labour-market project that will boost aquaculture in B.C. and help residents become aquaculture technicians in the future.

Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour Shirley Bond announced the government funding for a new aquaculture Sector Labour Market Partnership (LMP) project to business leaders at the Campbell River Chamber of Commerce’s Economic Outlook breakfast today.

This innovative, three-year project is led by NIC in collaboration with B.C.’s key seafood industry partners, and it includes:

– the development of advanced levels of aquaculture technician training;
– different training delivery models;
– prior learning and skills assessment/recognition model; and
– a marketing strategy to promote aquaculture careers to First Nations, high school students and local job seekers.

This project started in February this year, and is expected to finish in spring 2020. The project committee will develop curriculum as well as materials for aquaculture technician training levels 3 and 4, with the goal to pilot the new courses in 2018 and 2019 to 40 students at its Campbell River campus.

In addition to in-person instruction, NIC is also working to create materials to deliver the training online to students, as well as implementing prior learning assessment and recognition processes for the individuals already working in the aquaculture industry to support career development. 

Through the BC Jobs Plan, British Columbia is growing its agrifood sector by providing stable jobs and revenue to support strong and diversified communities. The aquaculture Sector LMP project announced today supports the government’s goals of promoting the sector’s interests and supporting labour market projects and programs with the seafood industry.

The aquaculture Sector LMP project is funded through the Sector Labour Market Partnerships program under the Canada-British Columbia Labour Market Development Agreement. The program helps employers understand and respond to changing labour-market demands, ensuring that training and education programs in B.C. are aligned with industry’s labour-market needs and priorities.

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