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Alberta injects $5.6 M into micro-credential learning opportunities


August 31, 2021
By Government of Alberta

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Minister Nicolaides announces new micro-credential programs for Albertans at Lethbridge College on August 30, 2021. He is joined by Dr. Paula Burns, president and CEO, Lethbridge College; Dr. Mike Mahon, president and vice-chancellor, University of Lethbridge; Nathan Neudorf, MLA for Lethbridge-East; educators; students and industry representatives. (Photo credit: Government of Alberta)

In partnership with industry, employers and post-secondary institutions, Alberta is investing more than $5.6 million in a pilot program to create dozens of new micro-credential learning opportunities in priority sectors and high-demand or emerging industries.

“From artificial intelligence to animation to specialized agriculture and more, micro-credential programs empower Albertans to quickly advance or pivot in their careers. They also ensure employers have access to the specialized skills and talent they need to grow their business and compete in a rapidly changing economy,” says Demetrios Nicolaides, Minister of Advanced Education.

Many of these specialized programs will be available to Albertans this fall, helping those affected by the economic downturn quickly re-skill or upskill and access new employment opportunities, as part of Alberta’s Recovery Plan.

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“Alberta’s micro-credential approach will create a suite of intensive and meaningful experiences, allowing Albertans to upskill quickly and get back to work. Alberta’s post-secondary institutions are collaborating directly with industry to create programs that are relevant to and recognized by businesses within expanding sectors, getting them access to the talent they need to continue growing,” says Mike Mahon, president and vice-chancellor, University of Lethbridge.

By aligning micro-credential learning opportunities with Alberta’s priority industry sectors, the government is aiming to help industry develop the talent they need, connecting Albertans to jobs and helping to build key partnerships between post-secondary institutions, industry and employers.

Post-secondary institutions and industry worked together to identify opportunities for new micro-credential programs that respond to labour market needs in key priority sectors, helping unemployed and under-employed Albertans advance their careers and meet regional economic needs.

This pilot program will provide students from across the province with access to 56 different micro-credential programs, in partnership with 19 post-secondary institutions.

Minister Nicolaides receives a tour and demonstration of new aquaponics micro-credential programs at Lethbridge College, from Nick Savidov, senior research scientist.

“Micro-credentials represent an opportunity for Alberta students to re-skill and get back into the workforce quickly. While this has never been more important for Alberta, we have to ensure micro-credentials are developed with the needs of students in mind. Providing opportunities for holistic learning through micro-credentials supported by a strong students’ association will lead to student success and economic recovery,” says Veronica Yeoman, president, Students’ Association of Medicine Hat College

Examples of micro-credential programs include:

    • machine learning and artificial intelligence
    • intelligent supply chain
    • leadership in future technology
    • animation
    • permaculture design
    • solar energy
    • strategic sustainability and sustainable energy technology
    • creative industry talent accelerator
    • health technology
    • software engineering
    • tourism and hospitality management
    • agri-business
    • data privacy and security
    • blockchain fundamentals

Albertans will be able to access programs beginning this fall, and are encouraged to reach out to their local post-secondary institution(s) for more information.


Images courtesy of the Government of Alberta.