HALIFAX, NS – A re-elected Liberal government will invest $69 million over the next four years in the Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) to ensure Nova Scotia can meet the demand for more skilled workers and enroll more students from communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.
This transformational investment builds on the government’s strategy for innovation, training, and job creation across the province through investments in the NSCC, and previous investments in digital skills training through computer science programs at Nova Scotia’s universities.
The plan will also increase access and affordability for part-time students and people facing systemic barriers by adopting a part-time, per course, modernized tuition model.
Nova Scotia Premier and Liberal leader Iain Rankin made the announcement today at a multi-unit housing construction site at Cowie Hill in Halifax.
“The economic impacts of COVID-19 hit youth, women, and visible minorities in a significant way. As we chart our recovery there is no better time to invest in the NSCC as people with a college education have lower rates of unemployment,” said Rankin. “This investment will help ensure that our workers have the skills for the jobs of tomorrow and contribute to a more prosperous Nova Scotia.”
To meet demand at NSCC, the Liberal Party will:
- Increase base enrolment by adding 800 new seats to meet evolving labour market needs. This will include 400 seats in health-related disciplines and 400 in residential construction trades, information technology, and green energy programs. The health-related expansion will include 270 new seats for licensed practical nurses.
- Create 6,000 new seats, bringing the total to 10,000, in career-enhancing short courses, micro-credential programs, and certifications in disciplines like smart homes, entrepreneurship, and green design.
- Double the Pathways program from 500 to 1,000 to create opportunities for upgrading for diverse and equity-seeking communities.
- NSCC’s registration system will be modernized to move to the course-based structure.
“The lack of an adequate supply of housing to meet demand is an issue impacting housing affordability. This initiative will lead to more construction trades graduates who are in high demand by developers wanting to build more housing of all types,” said Rankin.
In its report a few weeks ago, the Premier’s Economic Growth Council identified that housing should be a strategic sector of the economy.
“This inclusive skills agenda will allow more Nova Scotians to participate in the opportunities of the future, whether in health care or the green economy. As we emerge from this economic crisis it’s important that government ensures there is a labour force ready for the opportunities of a world facing rapid technological change,” Rankin said.