BC ends fees for Adult Basic Education and English Language Learning

As you can see, I’m catching up on budget announcements that happened while I was lying on a beach getting away from winter.

British Columbia announced in its February 20, 2018 budget an additional $19 million annually to end fees for Adult Basic Education and English Language Learning. This confirms the elimination of a key barrier that will lead to greater participation in post-secondary education and in the economy. Many literacy advocates had protested against the introduction of fees by the previous government.

The budget also provided permanent funding to the Indigenous Skills Training Development Fund of $30 million over 3 years. The fund is used for projects led by First Nations communities who identify labour market opportunities and work with accredited training providers to deliver the appropriate training.

BC’s version of the renewed Canada Job Grant/Labour Market Agreement for Persons with Disabilities is called the Workforce Development Agreement (WDA). BC will invest $95 million annually on training and employment services, primarily for those not eligible for Employment Insurance. According to Budget 2018,

“much of the programming will be repurposed to focus more on the Indigenous population, persons with disabilities, youth, and vulnerable groups. Two separate additional allocations within the WDA will be devoted to communities requiring access to skills training to respond to sudden labour market shifts such as natural disasters, closure of a major employer, or new economic development opportunities, and to employers who are upskilling workers or providing training for newly hired vulnerable workers to be job-ready.”

No mention is made of literacy and essential skills in the context of the WDA in the budget. Hopefully, the WDA will set aside funds for those with weaker skills.

About Brigid Hayes

Brigid Hayes has developed an expertise in learning that spans over 30 years as a senior government policy advisor and program manager and partnership developer; director of labour for a national business/labour skills centre and as an independent consultant. Her knowledge of and experience in workplace literacy and learning has contributed to her recognition as an expert in this field, and she has undertaken significant activities to both help promote and enhance literacy and lifelong learning. Brigid works as an independent consultant and expert advisor on learning, literacy, and work. She has successfully developed a strategic planning and policy development practice involving workplace literacy, essential skills, partnership development, research, and evaluation.
This entry was posted in Adult Literacy and Basic Skills Policy, Canada Job Fund, Canada Job Grant, Provincial/Territorial Budgets, Provincial/Territorial Governments and Literacy and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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