From the Minister
Advanced Education minister Demetrios Nicolaides provides an update on Alberta’s post-secondary system review.
Alberta 2030: Building Skills for Jobs
- Alberta 2030 is a bold new initiative to transform Alberta’s post-secondary system and get Albertans back to work.
- This long-term plan for the future will ensure our students succeed and society prospers. We are looking for innovative solutions to develop globally competitive graduates, reduce duplication, strengthen commercialization of research, and ensure Alberta can compete in the 21st century global economy.
- Alberta 2030: Building Skills for Jobs is central to Alberta’s Recovery Plan. By working together we can build a stronger system and give Albertans the skills, knowledge and competencies they need in a modern and diverse economy.
Enhancing apprenticeship and skilled jobs training
- Over the next five years, nearly 20,000 skilled workers are expected to retire, with that number reaching more than 45,000 in 10 years. Industry is forecasting a shortage of skilled workers as the retirement trend continues. Alberta’s recovery depends on a skilled and well-educated workforce to meet the demands of the labour market.
- That’s why Alberta has committed more than $20 million as part of the Skills for Jobs plan. We are supporting apprentices through the High School Apprenticeship Scholarship and the Apprenticeship Training Award, increasing support for CAREERS: The Next Generation, investing in Women Building Futures, and providing additional funding to Skills Canada Alberta.
- In addition, the Skills for Jobs Task Force is focused on ways to expand and strengthen apprenticeship education and skilled trades opportunities. They are also working to increase recognition that becoming a skilled trades professional can lead to meaningful and good-paying careers, right here in Alberta.
Alberta student aid
- Through Alberta Student Aid, Advanced Education provides a variety of funding to support Albertans as they pursue their educational and career goals. In 2020-21, Alberta will provide an estimated $701 million in student loans and invest more than $150 million in scholarships, awards and grants, helping more than 100,000 students access post-secondary education.
- Student loans reduce financial barriers help post-secondary students meet basic learning and living costs.
- Grants are available to improve affordability for low-income Alberta student loan borrowers.
- Scholarships reward students for their academic achievements, while awards incent participation in post-secondary learning, and acknowledge non-academic achievements such as leadership and community engagement.
Reducing red tape
- Reducing unnecessary red tape means post-secondary institutions can save time and money, so they can focus on what’s most important: their students.
- Advanced Education is committed to reducing red tape by one-third through the ongoing review of programs and services, ensuring the best possible outcomes for Albertans.
- To date, we have reduced unnecessary regulatory burdens by more than 7%, by consolidating processes, reducing approval time, eliminating duplication and reducing reporting requirements.
- Reducing red tape is an ongoing commitment and it’s important for the entire post-secondary community to participate. Our institutions are looking for ways to maximize efficiency and reduce red tape on campuses. We continue to work with students and post-secondary leaders to improve processes and remove barriers to learning.
The increased Apprenticeship Training Award supports unemployed apprentices, so they can continue their training and build their careers.
Universities, colleges and polytechnics received an extra $98 million to restore learning spaces and create more than 533 jobs.
A new barber certification path enables apprentices to cut their training time in half, so they can build their careers sooner.
A new fully electronic student loan process makes it easier for students to apply, speeds up approval and saves tax dollars.
Minister Nicolaides was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Alberta on April 16, 2019, as the MLA for Calgary-Bow.
Nicolaides is a born and raised Calgarian and long-time resident of Calgary-Bow. He lives in Cougar Ridge with his wife and two daughters, and volunteers extensively in his community.
An expert in conflict resolution, he has extensive training in arbitration, is an accredited mediator and has a PhD in the field. Nicolaides was active in peacebuilding and reconciliation activities in Cyprus and has consulted in high-stakes arbitrations and regulatory hearings in Alberta, B.C. & Manitoba. Prior to his election, he served as the head of the Calgary office for a national communication-consulting firm. In this role, he worked with senior business leaders across Canada, and Alberta, working closely with key players in our energy sector.
Demetrios Nicolaides was appointed as Alberta’s Minister of Advanced Education on April 30, 2019. He will bring his experience as an author, university lecturer, mediator and communications expert to his ministry, and work hard to keep Alberta’s universities world-class, while expanding trades colleges and new innovative methods for continuing learning.