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Colleges, universities urged to build more specialized short courses

Province announces $5 million through Micro-Credentials Challenge Fund
Northern College 1
Northern College in Timmins is one of many postsecondary institutes across the province to offer microcredential programs.

Ontario is ponying up $5 million for microcredential programming focused on health care, automotive, advanced manufacturing, and more.

Microcredential courses are shorter training courses that focus on specific skills, and take less time to complete than traditional postsecondary programs.

The funding, which was announced by the Ministry of Colleges and Universities on Nov. 23, is available for postsecondary institutions to develop programs that get students trained faster in sectors experiencing labour shortages.

"Our government is bridging the gap between postsecondary education and the labour market to equip learners with the specific skills employers are looking for," said Jill Dunlop, minister of colleges and universities, said in a news release.

"This investment will help institutions create more flexible, industry-relevant microcredentials that provide learners with a competitive edge in the workforce."

This marks the second round of the Micro-Credentials Challenge Fund. Eligible schools can receive up to $50,000 to develop or expand rapid training programs.

Consideration will be given to institutions that collaborate with other institutions; Indigenous institutes; and applicants that partner with Indigenous institutes or focus on training for Indigenous learners.

The deadline to apply is Jan. 5, 2024.