Alberta’s economy has momentum and the government is focused on even more job creation and diversification, however the province – and especially northern Alberta – face a skilled labour shortage. Through Budget 2023, Alberta’s government is increasing support for northern Alberta students preparing for high-demand skilled professions.

“Ask any proud northern Albertan and we’ll confirm that there is vast potential for success in our beautiful communities.  Encouraging students to start their careers in the north helps support our skilled workforce needs while giving them a head start towards fully enjoying the Renewed Alberta Advantage.”

Brian Jean, Minister of Jobs, Economy and Northern Development

Future nurses, veterinarians, pharmacists, and those preparing for roles in business and engineering from the NADC regions will now qualify for up to $14,000 per year in student bursaries.

These bursaries include an additional $1,000 to $2,000 per year to help with increased costs of living. This will encourage graduates to remain in the areas they studied, to support health care and skilled jobs requirements, and to help grow and diversify northern Alberta’s economy.

“This investment is exactly what is needed to support students: it makes higher learning more accessible. Students will have more opportunity to gain job-ready skills in high-demand industries while contributing to Alberta’s northern communities.”

Demetrios Nicolaides, Minister of Advanced Education

Alberta’s government will continue to work with NADC to attract teachers to the places that need them most, through the Northern Student Teacher Bursary. This bursary currently provides teaching students in northern Alberta with more than $16,000 over two years. This is expected to increase to more than $18,000 in the 2023-2024 school year.

“Every student in Alberta, no matter where they learn, deserves barrier-free access to education. The Northern Student Teacher Bursary is continuing their important work filling positions in northern schools while preparing our students to succeed in and out of the classroom.”

Adriana LaGrange, Minister of Education

In 2022-23, Alberta’s government provided bursaries to 239 Albertans totalling almost $1.52 million. Almost one-third of these grants went to Indigenous learners.

“The NADC Bursary program was an opportunity for me to access further education in the counselling and mental health field where I would not have otherwise had the chance. Not only did this allow me to complete a master’s degree, it also allowed me the ability to become a mental health service provider in my area, something we need more of in northern and rural communities.”

Penny Vasseur, NADC bursary recipient

The NADC continues to champion actions that are helping build strong and resilient communities in Alberta’s north. The council’s role is to promote the interests of Alberta’s northern communities to the benefit of all Albertans.

“Northern Alberta has a unique and vibrant economy, and it is our job to help ensure the region’s businesses and communities have the skills and talent to reach their full potential. As the chair of the NADC, I am excited to see how this additional funding can attract more skilled professionals to Alberta’s north to make the region an even greater place to live, work and raise a family.”

David Hanson, chair, Northern Alberta Development Council and MLA for Bonnyville-Cold Lake-St. Paul

Budget 2023 secures Alberta’s future by transforming the health-care system to meet people’s needs, supporting Albertans with the high cost of living, keeping our communities safe and driving the economy with more jobs, quality education and continued diversification.

Quick facts

  • Established in 1963, the NADC is a public agency accountable to the minister of Jobs, Economy and Northern Development.
  • The NADC region covers 60 per cent of the province’s land mass and is home to more than 350,000 Albertans living in 150 communities located in 52 municipal authorities.
    • 32 First Nations from Treaties 6, 8 and 10 are located within the region.
    • All eight Metis Settlements in the province are located within the region.
  • In 2023-24, almost $1.9 million is being invested by the ministries of Advanced Education, Education, and Jobs, Economy, and Northern Development.
  • The NADC Bursary program includes several streams with different application timelines:
    • NADC Bursary and specialty streams (including veterinary, medical and dentistry, nurse practitioner and pharmacy)
    • First Nations, Métis and Inuit Bursary
    • Bursary Partnership Program
    • Northern Student Teacher Bursary