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The Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops was one among several universities chosen to receive $1.5 million in government funding to create additional health education spaces. The grant was announced Tuesday morning at Thompson Rivers University and the initiative is in support of B.C.'s health sector.
Caption: Thompson Rivers University Campus (Credit: TRU Facebook)
The one-time funding will create an additional 188 student spaces in short-term health education programs, including mental health and addictions and health-care assistant training, at public colleges and universities throughout B.C.
Demand for adequate health care professionals throughout B.C. is ever pressing. In response to this need, the government is allocating funds to several community educational institutions in order to address the immediate need for space expansion required to host the growing number of students.
“As B.C.’s population ages, the demand for a wide variety of health-care services will continue to grow. This targeted funding will help us deliver education that aligns with sector demands and also meets the health-care needs of British Columbians,” said Advanced Education Minister Amrik Virk.
Photo Credit: TRU Facebook
The government has been funding short-term health education programs annually since 2008. Total funding is over $13 million, creating 1,647 additional educational spaces.
“B.C.’s job market is expanding, so it makes sense to prepare workers with the skills they need for the jobs of today and tomorrow. Labour market forecasts show there is a growing need for workers in the health sector – this funding will help our region’s students train for those in-demand jobs,” said Todd Stone, Kamloops-South Thompson MLA.
Thompson Rivers University received $356,000 out of the $1.5 million allocated to B.C. institutions, which will fund 43 seats in its health-care assistant program. In addition, Thompson University also received $100,000 to support its respiratory therapy program from the Provincial Health Services Authority.
“We appreciate the B.C. government's support for more student spaces. At TRU it will go directly to create more seats in our Health Care Assistant Program, one tangible way for TRU to not only help create employment opportunities but to provide the much needed influx of health-care workers our healthcare system needs,” said Alan Shaver, Thompson Rivers University and Vice-Chancellor.
The other educational institutions receiving funding are as follows:
College of New Caledonia
Location: Quesnel and Vanderhoof
Program: Health-care assistant (34 spaces)
Nicola Valley Institute of Technology
Program: Health-care assistant (15 spaces)
North Island College
Location: Mount Waddington and Comox
Program: Health-care assistant (20 spaces)
Vancouver Island University
Program: Community mental health worker (12 spaces)
Program: Part-time health-care assistant (32 spaces)
Kwantlen Polytechnic University
Program: Health-care assistant (32 spaces)