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Provincial funding helps VIU prepare students in their career paths

Tuition-free adult basic education and English language pathway programs will be available this coming year
Vancouver Island University is getting $400,000 in provincial funding for its pathways programs.

Vancouver Island University has secured provincial funding for its free 'pathways' programs to help prospective students access the kind of training they need to pursue in-demand careers.

The university is receiving $400,000 from the province to go into tuition-free adult basic education and English language pathways, which at VIU means the continuation of trade pathways for newcomers program and health-care pathways program for another academic year. 

"The province is in dire need of health-care employees and trades people," said Jean Maltesen, VIU's dean for academic and career preparation. "There are a lot of jobs out there for people who train in these large areas, and that's what students want – they want jobs at the end of their training."

The trade pathways for newcomers program at VIU is a 15-week course that offers workplace skills and hands-on experience to help newcomers prepare for work in Canada’s trades sector. It also offers up to 16 transferable credits that the student can transfer to any trade program that VIU offers, should they wish to continue their education after the program ends.

"It's giving them credits for the skills that they're learning into that degree. We work one-on-one with them to find what skills they have and what they want to take when they get into that degree."

VIU is one of 13 institutions in B.C. receiving the funding as part of a $3.5-million provincial investment. According to a release from the province, the goal is to provide tailored support in students' career paths.

"People are ready and eager to train for the jobs B.C. needs, but many often experience barriers to accessing this training and building the life they want," said Lisa Beare, minister of post-secondary education and future skills. "By improving access to adult upgrading opportunities and supporting the transition to post-secondary education, we're preparing British Columbians for employment in areas with high labour market demand."

This will be VIU's third year for the health pathways program, and second year for the trades.

Those who are interested in learning more about the program can e-mail VIU at


Jessica Durling

About the Author: Jessica Durling

Nanaimo News Bulletin journalist covering health, wildlife and Lantzville council.
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