VANCOUVER – Advanced Education Minister Melanie Mark announced Thursday that Northern Lights College is one of twenty post-secondary institutions across the province that will be getting funding to support students with disabilities.

Each institution will receive $75,000 in one-time funding to develop or build upon programs that support students with cognitive, mental-health or physical disabilities. The funding allows them to train for high-demand jobs, including those in the technology and trades sectors.

Mark announced the $1.5 million in funding at Vancouver Community College, where a pilot program will train students on the autism spectrum for careers in baking and cooking.

“All students deserve access to the education and training they need to follow their dreams,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills, and Training. “We are committed to making education and employment training accessible, and ensuring everyone can contribute to their communities and a strong B.C. economy.”

“Our government wants British Columbia to be the most accessible and inclusive province in Canada,” said Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. “This funding is one more step to help get us there. Connecting students with disabilities to training supports that will further their education will help to remove barriers, and open new opportunities in the future.”

Some of the post-secondary institutions will deliver programs that provide job-specific training in careers like trades, technology, culinary arts and horticulture. Others will build on mental-health assistance for students, or provide instructors with tools to better support all students.

B.C.’s Labour Market Outlook predicts that over the next 10 years, 917,000 jobs will need to be filled, ranging from trades, technology and tourism, through to health care, management and business. Some level of post-secondary education or training will be required for about 80% of those job openings.

The 20 institutions that will each receive $75,000 in 2018 are:

  • British Columbia Institute of Technology
  • Camosun College
  • Capilano University
  • College of New Caledonia
  • College of the Rockies
  • Douglas College
  • Emily Carr University of Art and Design
  • Justice Institute of British Columbia
  • Kwantlen Polytechnic University
  • Langara College
  • Nicola Valley Institute of Technology
  • North Island College
  • Northern Lights College
  • Northwest Community College
  • Okanagan College
  • Selkirk College
  • Thompson Rivers University
  • University of the Fraser Valley
  • Vancouver Community College
  • Vancouver Island University