An ongoing Saskatchewan initiative has provided $1.1 million towards Lakeland College’s Skills Training Program.

The education funding has been going to eight regional colleges across the province for around twenty years, including Lakeland. This money gets dispursed into programs like Adult Basic Education and Essential Skills for The Workplace Training. This programs also provide education for people living on or off-reserve in areas Saskatchewan.

Lakeland College President Dr Alice Wainwright-Stewart says many courses have benefited greatly from this funding, ranging from hairstyling or estheticians to business, to trades like power engineering, and some could not go on without it.

“I know that many of the students that I’ve talked to, it’s the difference between whether [they’re] getting a job or not. I was talking with some of the students just this past week about how just being able to come and further their career, it changes their life.”

Also included is Skills Training Allocation, which gets students into accredited training that meet the needs of employers in the labour market. This could mean language training as well. Wainwright-Stewart says by having this money targeting these programs, it can have a direct impact on the community and economy, especially as recovery is the focus currently.

“Most of them will go back into the workforce, so it impacts the community by providing more taxpayers, it impacts the community by providing other opportunities for more workers within the system. In the past, we’ve used lots of new start-ups for oil, so there’s lots of students that will start their own business.”

In total, $24.2 million has been given out to the eight schools this year.