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Province Provides $24.1 Million to Support Essential Skills Programs

Post-Secondary Institutions To Provide Foundational Academic And Vocational Programs For Adult Learners

The Government of Saskatchewan is reaffirming its commitment to the development of a skilled workforce with over $24 million allocated to Essential Skills programs for residents across the province. 

“Saskatchewan’s most valuable resource is its people, and our government is proud to invest in and develop a quality and well-rounded workforce. Regardless of where people are in their career journey, it is important they have access to the training they need,” Immigration and Career Training Minister Jeremy Harrison said. “Investments in Essential Skills foster not only the development of a robust workforce, but it gives people the resources, tools and skills they need to succeed, grow and thrive here in Saskatchewan.” 

Essential Skills programming, formerly known as Adult Basic Education, plays a vital role in improving education and employment potential for all learners, enhancing quality of life. This programming supports learners in three key areas:

  • Developing skills, such as literacy, numeracy and social sciences, essential for employment;
  • Increasing education and/or certification levels; and
  • Assisting adults to obtain educational prerequisites for further training or employment. 

Funding is allocated to seven regional colleges, Saskatchewan Polytechnic, the Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies, Gabriel Dumont Institute and Lakeland College. Since 2007-08, funding for Essential Skills has increased 51 per cent, an overall increase of $8.1 million. 

“The Adult Basic Education/Essential Skills programs are a vital stepping stone for Métis students,” Gabriel Dumont Institute Executive Director Lisa Bird-Wilson said. “GDI’s community-based delivery of these programs are meaningful in supporting Métis transitions into the post-secondary education system and workforce.” 

In 2021-22, nearly 6,000 learners participated in Essential Skills funded programs. Sixty-three per cent of which completed their program, and within 60 days, 87 per cent either found employment or continued on to further education.

The Government of Saskatchewan will continue to provide programs, services and innovations for job seekers and employers, advancing progress toward Saskatchewan’s Growth Plan goals of 1.4 million people and 100,000 new jobs by 2030. The province is focused on working with employers and job seekers to ensure the province can recruit, train and retain the labour force Saskatchewan needs to support its growing economy.

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