Last week’s federal budget promises to reinforce the work Red River College is doing to provide more opportunities for future students and faculty, says RRC President Stephanie Forsyth.
Overall, RRC welcomes the collaborative approach outlined in the budget, which envisions two levels of government, post-secondary education institutions, labour and industry working together to help address the Canadian skills shortage. Both the Association of Community Colleges of Canada (ACCC) and Polytechnics Canada have also welcomed these announcements, particularly because they’ve been advocating for this type of investment and focus in skills development.
One of the highlights of the budget was a proposed Canada Job Grant, a $500-million investment in 2014-15 to connect employers with prospective employees and invest in their education. Early information suggests a potential student could be eligible for a $15,000 grant paid for with equal contributions from employers and the federal and provincial governments.
As Forsyth points out, many programs at RRC have a waiting list ratio of up to four students for every one currently attending. At first glimpse, the Canada Jobs Grant would help train more students, though collaboration from all parties would be required.
“This proposed grant is dependent upon all three parties bringing money to the table, so it is far from certainty,” she said last week. “Working closely with industry, the private sector and community organizations is a particular strength of RRC. If this collaborative model comes to pass, it will hopefully help us leverage this strength to engage more students and meet the needs of industry.” Continue reading