Micro-credentials a gateway to support B.C. workers: Province

AS the needs of B.C.’s workforce continue to change and grow, more British Columbians will have access to micro-credential learning opportunities in a range of industries, preparing workers for high-demand, good-paying jobs, the Province said on Wednesday.

“Micro-credentials support lifelong learning by enhancing access to post-secondary education through shorter, competency-based training opportunities,” said Anne Kang, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Training. “Our government recognizes the need for opportunities to up-skill and re-skill, and these micro-credentials will assist workers who want to transition to in-demand jobs. I’m proud of our post-secondary institutions for stepping up to the challenge and delivering these courses to help meet the needs of a rapidly changing workforce.”

A total investment of $5 million will support the development and implementation of additional micro-credentials at public post-secondary institutions for British Columbians who want to take advantage of employment opportunities in growing sectors throughout the province. This funding will support the development and implementation of an additional 35 micro-credentials aligned with government and labour market priorities to be delivered to 7,500 learners over a three-year period.

“As our economy continues to recover from the pandemic and adapt to our new world, we need to provide more up-skill opportunities to better support the needs of our workforce,” said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation. “Micro-credentials are a bridge for workers to enhance their skills and take advantage of job openings in high-demand fields.”

Micro-credentials recognize stand-alone, short-duration learning experiences that are competency-based, align with industry, employer and community and Indigenous community needs, and can be assessed and recognized for employment or learning purposes. They are more readily accessible to non-traditional and marginalized learners, thanks to their shorter time frame, flexible delivery and more focused content.

A new micro-credential framework established through ongoing consultation with key industry and educational partners has been developed to provide guidance and clarity about how micro-credentials fit within the current post-secondary system. The framework promotes communication between industry and post-secondary institutions, re-skilling and up-skilling for the future economy and workforce and encourages consistent and co-ordinated development of micro-credentials across the public post-secondary system.

This investment in micro-credentials will help thousands of people up-skill or re-skill and find their place in a rapidly changing post-COVID-19 economy and workforce. It supports steps government is taking to help people, businesses and communities recover stronger and better prepared to meet the challenges ahead.

Quick Facts

* Over the next decade, approximately 80% of job openings in B.C. will require some form of post-secondary education.

* The effects of COVID-19 and a changing workforce mean many people will benefit by transitioning toward more in-demand and high-opportunity jobs to succeed in British Columbia’s future economy.

* People who complete a micro-credential receive in-demand skills for employment, which may also lead to additional learning pathways to further improve their qualifications and expand their career opportunities.