Rural Indigenous students benefit from new mobile training units

Post-secondary students in rural and remote Indigenous communities throughout B.C. will soon have better access to health-care and technology training close to home.

The B.C. government is providing Nicola Valley Institute of Technology (NVIT) $3.4 million for the purchase of three modern, innovative and fully equipped mobile training units that offer the latest in health-care and information technology, including simulators, beds, computer workstations and multi-media equipment.

“As B.C.’s only Indigenous-led public post-secondary institution, founded by the five First Nations of the Nicola Valley and fully governed by a First Nations board of governors, NVIT has a mandate to provide post-secondary education and support services to Indigenous students across British Columbia,” said Ken Tourand, president, NVIT. “These three new mobile training units allow NVIT to expand our ability to service rural and Indigenous communities throughout B.C. with computer and health-care training.”

NVIT has seen increased demand for delivery of information technology (IT) and health-related programming in Indigenous communities. The new mobile training units will deliver programs that lead to careers as health-care assistants and licensed practical nurses, and careers in information technology.  

“The new mobile training units will provide much-needed simulated patient-care training close to home,” said Jeremy Halldorson, NVIT student. “This opportunity will not only build the students’ capacity, it will build the communities’ capacity by adding new qualified health-care and IT professionals.”

NVIT faced challenges delivering health-care and technology training programs to rural and remote communities, largely due to difficulty securing facilities and resources. The new mobile training units will open the door for Indigenous people to access post-secondary training close to home and to receive training in culturally aware, in-demand sectors such as health care and technology.

“Our government continues to remove barriers to education and to increase post-secondary accessibility for people in rural and remote communities,” said Anne Kang, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Training. “These new mobile training units will mean Indigenous people will be able to learn and live closer to home, while completing culturally aware post-secondary education and training. This aligns with our Future Ready goal of making education and training more accessible, affordable and relevant to prepare British Columbians for the jobs of tomorrow.”

The Province is committed to working with Indigenous partners to ensure post-secondary education and training is culturally responsive and relevant for Indigenous people in B.C. and, through joint efforts, meets the objectives set out in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action, and the UN Declaration.

Investing in programs such as NVIT’s health-care assistant, practical nursing and innovation and technology programs is part of StrongerBC’s Future Ready Plan. Future Ready is making education and training more accessible, affordable and relevant to help businesses grow and to prepare British Columbians for the jobs of tomorrow.

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Learn more about the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada Calls to Action: