RICHMOND – Students in School District 38 will now have more opportunity to take advantage of skills, technical and trades training thanks to a $5,000 Skills Training Access Grant.

The program is expanding this year to include the Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) sector, such as coding, and to make all school districts and independent schools– not just rural districts– eligible to apply.

Thanks to B.C.’s fiscal discipline and balanced budget, the Ministry of Education is providing 30 public school districts with a $5,000 grant each to help them develop opportunities to support students who want to pursue skills and trades training, and career development. The ministry is also providing nine independent schools with grants worth $20,000 in total.

The grants can be used for the 2015-16 school year to help pay for:

  • Relocating students to communities with greater training opportunities;
  • Student’s room and board, tools, books or work clothes;
  • Bringing a mobile training unit to a school;
  • Operating small skills training classes; and,
  • Transportation to work experience or apprenticeship placements.

“To date, nearly 560 students have benefited from these grants,” says Linda Reid, MLA for Richmond East. “These funds are helping students get the best learning experience possible as they train for the good, family-supporting jobs of tomorrow.”

“Fiscal prudence and a balanced budget are helping us make investments that matter to British Columbians,” says Teresa Wat, MLA for Richmond Centre. “By helping our young people access skills training, we’re setting them up for a very bright future in B.C.’s diverse economy.”

“This program is bringing numerous benefits to all involved,” says John Yap, MLA for Richmond-Steveston. “School districts have reported improvements to skills training, stronger relationships with post-secondary and training providers, and strengthened relationships with employers as students are more work-ready.”

The Skills Training Access Grant supports B.C. Skills for Jobs Blueprint, a plan to re-engineer the province’s education and training systems— from kindergarten through to post-secondary training and beyond— to ensure students have a full range of training options and are first in line for the careers of tomorrow.