Employees and students representing VCC at the StrongerBC: Future Ready Action Plan announcement (from left): Adrian Lipsett, VCC Dean, Continuing Studies, Katarina Jovanovic, ECCE Program Coordinator, Eddy Gooch, VCC Nursing student, Sarah McCarthy, Instructor, ECCE, Jennifer Hill, VCC Communications Manager.
Vancouver Community College (VCC) was among a handful of post-secondary institutions who participated in an announcement today on the Province’s new StrongerBC: Future Ready Action Plan. The plan will help thousands of people get the skills they need to succeed in the changing economy and help close the skills gap many businesses are facing.
Recognizing the need for skilled workers to fill the one million job openings expected in the province over the next decade, Premier David Eby made the announcement during an event in front of media and guests. He was joined by Selena Robinson, Minister of Post-Secondary Education and Future Skills, Brenda Bailey, Minister of Jobs, Economic Development and Innovation, and other key speakers.
VCC was represented at the event by showcasing the work of its Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) program and its role in filling the demand for childcare workers.
“Every action in Future Ready is designed to take on the challenges of today, to build a better future for people and a stronger economy,” says Selina Robinson, Minister of Post-Secondary Education and Future Skills. “Together, we are building a future in B.C. where people are able to acquire the skills and find the opportunities they need to thrive, and employers are able to find the people they need to sustain and grow their businesses.”
Top image: Lipsett, Jovanovic, McCarthy and Hill alongside Ajay Patel, VCC President. Bottom images (L-R): BC Premier David Eby; VCC's Jovanovic standing beside Bobbi Plecas, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Post-Secondary Education and Future Skills; Selena Robinson, Minister of Post-Secondary Education and Future Skills
VCC President, Ajay Patel also attended the event.
“On behalf of Vancouver Community College, we are pleased with the steps the BC government is taking to ensure British Columbians have access to the education and skills training needed to contribute to a vibrant economy in this province,” says Ajay.
“VCC provides skills training in several in-demand fields such as healthcare, automotive and clean technology, early childhood education, hairstyling, culinary, and hospitality. This funding will greatly enhance our ability to continue providing practical, innovative, and hands-on education.”
Ministers Selena Robinson and Brenda Bailey posing with representatives from post-secondary institutions at the announcement.
VCC Bachelor of Science in Nursing student, Eddy Tzinquaw Gooch, who is a from the Quw’utsun (Cowichan) First Nation spoke at the event highlighting his experience as a mature learner embarking on a new career.
“I entered Nursing at Vancouver Community College as an adult student, after careers in construction and hospitality,” shares Eddy. “Deciding to return to school after so many years was hard, but it was also one of the best decisions I have ever made. My hope is that this funding from Government gives more people the encouragement and support they need to pursue their career goals and find their purpose and community like I have.”
The announcement also marked the launch of the new future skills grant, an initiative from the Province aimed at helping British Columbians quickly get the skills they need to succeed in the jobs of today and the future. The grant waives tuition and program fees for short-term training and provides up to $3,500 per learner.
In support of this initiative, VCC has launched a new web page outlining details about which VCC programs qualify for the grant and how students can access the programs.
Adds Ajay, “We are ready to welcome learners from across the province and beyond to help them achieve their career goals and make a positive contribution to their community.”