Archived - Success Story: Improving Access to the Labour Market in Yukon

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Project Location: Whitehorse, Yukon
Program: Northern Adult Basic Education Program
Sector: Skills Development

Delivered by the three northern colleges, the Northern Adult Basic Education Program (NABEP) is improving access to basic skills such as literacy and numeracy so working age adults are better positioned to participate in the northern labour market. Starting in fiscal year 2011-12, NABEP provided $27 million over five years to the three territorial colleges: Yukon College, Aurora College, and Nunavut Arctic College. NABEP was renewed for $3.9 million for one year in Budget 2016 with the aim to maintain momentum for curriculum development. The renewal will also allow time for developing next steps for adult basic education, skills, and training in the North. Over the first five years of the Program, Yukon College received just under $4.6 million for basic adult education programs and services in Yukon. 

In Yukon, the Program achieved great success over the first five years. In 2014-15 alone, 215 adult learners were served by the Program, of which 93% were Indigenous. Of the 179 students who successfully completed the Program in Yukon in 2014-15, 122 working age adults found jobs and another 57 advanced to further post-secondary training.

Throughout 2014-15, a total of 22 ‘Skills for Employment and Essential Skills' programs were offered, many of which were located in communities across the territory – such as Beaver Creek, Faro, and Old Crow – ensuring access to learning activities outside of Whitehorse.  These programs were created, modified and piloted in different communities with the aims of enhancing student life skills, workplace skills and portfolio development, as well as providing the basic skills required by a trade. For example, nine students enrolled in a Heavy Equipment Technician (HET) Skills for Employment Program in Pelly Crossing in the fall of 2014. As part of this trades training program, students focused on the nine essential skills by using heavy equipment as a vehicle for program delivery.  Students reviewed safe worksite practices in a classroom environment and then applied that knowledge in a real industrial setting.  An overview of the basic tools, supplies and lubricants commonly used by Pelly Construction/ Minto mines was also provided. The students were also introduced to a general overview of heavy equipment mechanical systems and inspection and maintenance processes.

The Northern Adult Basic Education Program complements other programs offered by the federal government and the territories, by helping Yukon College expand their services in adult basic education. Through this program, businesses in Yukon will have access to more local workers with basic skills. It also helps Northerners get the training they need to get and keep jobs in high-demand sectors such as mining, construction, and tourism.

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