A key part of the recently announced Alberta at Work initiative, the targeted enrolment expansion program invests in new seats in high-demand programs. This investment helps the post-secondary system support Alberta’s labour market now and in the future, and gives students more opportunities to gain the skills and training they need to enter the workforce.

“I want to thank the post-secondary institutions for working with our government to make Alberta at Work a success. Health-care professionals are essential workers, especially in rural parts of our province. Through this investment, we are supporting over 400 new and enthusiastic students as they pursue fulfilling careers in health care, animal health and more, to the benefit of their communities.”

Demetrios Nicolaides, Minister of Advanced Education

In northeastern Alberta, the targeted enrolment expansion program will invest in seven programs, supporting more than 400 new seats over three years at three post-secondary institutions:

  • Keyano College: $1.3 million
  • Lakeland College: $990,000
  • Portage College: $1.7 million

The programs include health care aide training, practical nursing and animal health technology.

When announced in April, the Alberta at Work initiative aimed to create 7,000 new seats in high-demand programs across the province. After collaborating with post-secondary institutions, the initiative will exceed this goal, creating almost 10,000 seats without going over the initial budget of $171 million.

“The faculty at Lakeland College have played an integral role in not only building up their community, but also enriching Alberta’s younger generations as they prepare to enter the workforce. It is essential we support leaders in education as they meet the needs of students, and this means providing educators with the tools they need to reach as many students as possible. This funding will help Lakeland College expand their operations, and enable them to continue to do what they do best.”

Garth Rowswell, MLA for Vermilion-Lloydminster-Wainwright

“As the chair of the Northern Alberta Development Council and as the representative for Bonnyville-Cold Lake-St. Paul, I am pleased to see this government prioritize post-secondary institutions in rural communities, especially in northeastern Alberta. The $1.7 million Portage College will receive as part of the targeted enrolment program is extremely important. Our rural communities need ways to retain our youth, especially in health-care positions, and increasing funding to health-care programs in Portage College is a good step in the right direction.”

David Hanson, MLA for Bonnyville-Cold Lake-St. Paul

“As a former instructor at Keyano College, I know how important these northeastern Alberta colleges are to their communities. An increased investment in health-care professionals training and then working in northeastern Alberta is one of the most important things our government can do for Alberta's future."

Brian Jean, MLA for Fort McMurray-Lac La Biche

“Lakeland College thanks the Government of Alberta for this funding to increase enrolment in our animal health technology and health care aide programs. This investment ensures more students will benefit from the hands-on, work-integrated learning experiences Lakeland excels at providing. More Lakeland graduates will be able to enter these sectors and help address the shortage of health care aides and registered veterinary technologists in Alberta.”

Alice Wainwright-Stewart, president and CEO, Lakeland College

“The events of the last two years have clearly indicated the need for more and more health care-related workers, positions and opportunities. This significant funding of $1.3 million to Keyano from the Alberta at Work program will allow our students of the health care aide and the primary care paramedicine certificate programs to have an opportunity to participate in a program designed to meet the needs of the current labour market.”

Jay Notay, president and CEO, Keyano College

“Portage College is grateful to receive support to expand programming for students across our region. Our community hospitals and clinics need practical nurses and these expansion dollars will allow students to start their training every year in Lac La Biche and St. Paul. In Cold Lake, we will now be able to start students each year in the community social worker program. In the past, students would have to wait for every second year to take this training.

“Lastly, the college is grateful to receive funding for a brand new program. Technology workers are very difficult to attract to rural Alberta. Having a computer technician program will not only provide rural Albertans with these services but also provide solid careers and support youth retention. It is intended that this program will be available in a blended format, allowing students from across our region to enrol in person or online. Portage College applauds the Government of Alberta for their foresight to budget for program expansion in 2022.”

Nancy Broadbent, president and CEO, Portage College

The programs are ready to start accepting more students this fall.

Alberta at Work is a more than $600-million investment over the next three years in new and existing initiatives to help Albertans gain in-demand skills that will support economic growth and attract investment now and in the future. It features investments that support Albertans from primary school to post-secondary skills training, as well as retraining for changing career paths and finding well-paying jobs.

Alberta's Recovery Plan