Lethbridge College, located in southern Alberta, has been awarded a $300,000 grant for Settlement, Integration and Language Projects (SILP) from Alberta’s Ministry of Trade, Immigration, and Multiculturalism, as reported by Lethbridge College News Centre. This makes Lethbridge College the first post-secondary institution in southern Alberta to receive SILP funding.
The college’s proposal, titled “Opening New Employment Pathways to Trades and Associated Professions in Alberta,” was a collaborative effort between the Centre for Business, Arts, and Sciences, including the English Language Centre, and the Centre for Trades, along with potential employers and businesses in the Lethbridge area. The program aims to assist newcomers to the region in developing professional, technical, communication, and occupation-specific skills through a 15-week program.
With many newcomers residing in Lethbridge, the $300,000 SILP grant awarded to Lethbridge College presents valuable opportunities for them. Kevin Smith, Dean of the Centre for Business, Arts, and Sciences at Lethbridge College, acknowledges the significance of the training offered through the SILP-funded program for newcomers seeking employment in the trades and manufacturing industries in southern Alberta.
The SILP grant will enable Lethbridge College to fund up to 72 individuals divided into three groups over two years. The program includes the Introduction to Trades course, which combines online learning with hands-on training to develop foundational skills in trades such as welding, plumbing, carpentry, and more. Participants will also receive industry-specific English terminology and language education-related explicitly to southern Alberta’s trades and manufacturing sectors.
Upon completion of the program, graduates will have the necessary skills and knowledge to pass Alberta’s Apprenticeship and Industry Training entrance exam, enabling them to further their education in a recognized trade. They will also be equipped to secure and retain employment in the general trades and manufacturing sectors and other crucial areas of Alberta’s economy.
The trades have been a central component of Lethbridge College’s educational program since the institution was founded in 1957. The Centre for Business, Arts, and Sciences at Lethbridge College focuses on providing students with critical thinking and problem-solving skills essential for success in the fast-paced and exciting trades environment, which serves as the economic engine of communities, provinces, and the country. In response to Alberta’s skilled labour shortage, Lethbridge College takes pride in being part of the solution by offering comprehensive training and education to students.