Alberta launches work-integrated learning pilot program

Employers can apply for grant up to $5,000 per placement

Alberta launches work-integrated learning pilot program
Alberta’s pilot program will help fund paid work-integrated learning placements for students with employers in priority sectors.

Alberta is helping students be more job-ready with a new learning program.

The government is investing $3.6 million through a Work-Integrated Learning Industry Voucher pilot program to provide learning opportunities for locals.

“Learning directly from mentors and seasoned professionals – while getting real-life work experience – is one of the best ways to set students up for success in their future careers,” says Demetrios Nicolaides, minister of advanced education. “In addition to providing valuable opportunities for our students, these work placements help build relationships between industry and educators to ensure programs are responsive to the needs of both students and employers.”

This pilot program will help fund paid work-integrated learning placements for students with employers in Alberta’s priority sectors.

Over the next three years, this pilot initiative will provide about 650 students with a paid work placement to learn hands-on from professionals in their field, in partnership with Technology Alberta, Alberta Construction Association and BioAlberta.

It will also provide employers a grant of up to $5,000 per student placement, which is matched by the employer.

Nearly a third of young people globally feel their current education is not preparing them with the skills they need to get jobs, according to UNICEF.

“Work-integrated learning opportunities will bridge the gap between advanced education and industry, increasing value for students,” says Liam Hunter, director, Alberta Students’ Executive Council. “The ability to complete formal education while earning on-the-job work experience relevant to a student’s learning path will provide Alberta students key first pieces needed to have a meaningful and rewarding career.”

Alberta 2030

The pilot is part of the Alberta 2030: Building Skills for Jobs initiative, which will transform the adult learning system to focus on providing the high quality education, skills and training needed for the future, according to the government.

“Alberta 2030 is about moving us forward with a world-class post-secondary system that draws and nurtures talent, creates opportunities for business and industry to thrive, and ensures current and future generations have the skills and knowledge they need to succeed,” it says.

The initiative will also develop a highly skilled and competitive workforce, strengthen innovation and commercialization of research, and forge stronger relationships between employers and post-secondary institutions.

For miners working in remote regions of the country, just-in-time micro-learning might be the best way to upgrade their skills, one module at a time, according to a previous report.

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