Image Credit: Saskatchewan Polytechnic
Image Credit: Saskatchewan Polytechnic

RBC Future Launch provides $450,000 to power essential skills training through Saskatchewan Polytechnic

The funding supports Saskatchewan Polytechnic’s essential skills enhancement programs – aimed at reducing barriers to skills and trades training

December 2, 2021 – The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) is providing $450,000 over three years through their Future Launch program to support skills enhancement training for Saskatchewan Polytechnic students. The investment enables Sask Polytech to address the gaps in the skilled trades through programming aimed to increase diversity and provide essential skills and trades training.

RBC’s funding directly supports Sask Polytech’s Skills Enhancement Training project aimed at reducing barriers to education and employment for vulnerable and at-risk student populations in Saskatchewan. The Skills Enhancement Training project focuses on females, Indigenous peoples, new Canadians, visible minorities, LGBTQ+ and those living with disabilities by providing essential skills training, work preparedness interventions, trade exploration and trade program participation.

“Sask Polytech is passionate about training a diverse and skilled workforce to empower a better Saskatchewan,” says Dr. Larry Rosia, Sask Polytech president and CEO. “Thank you to RBC for their investment in essential skills training for Sask Polytech students. This funding will help learners build their technical skills, soft skills and enhance their self-confidence to reach their educational goals or launch a new career path. RBC and Sask Polytech are empowering the youth of today for the jobs of tomorrow."

RBC’s Future Launch program’s goal is to close the gap between the unemployment rates of Canadian youth and those of prime-working age. The funding announcement was part of a special presentation and panel discussion with Cynthia Leach, RBC senior director, Economic Thought Leadership, on its recently published report Powering Up: Preparing Canada’s skilled trades for a post-pandemic economy.

“Behind this gift from RBC is the importance of creating spaces for diverse communities to actively participate in all aspects of the economy of which skilled trades are key,” shares RBC Regional President Kim Ulmer. “By creating access to training and skill development, Sask Polytech, in partnership with government and RBC, are removing barriers and helping create new opportunities towards a more inclusive Canada.”

Sask Polytech’s Skills Enhancement Training project prepares youth for employment in three phases. The first phase covers skill enhancement training for students who require additional training, such as soft skills, essential skills, career planning, employment skills and academic preparedness before pursuing additional training. Phase two shifts to multi-trade exploration that provides opportunities to explore several different trade programs, allows networking with industry and determines future employment options. In phase three students enrol in applied certificate programs with a blended classroom and shop experience. This also includes industry work placements and apprenticeship training credits.

“Many vulnerable and at-risk youth experience significant barriers to education and gainful employment,” says Paul Carter, dean, School of Continuing Education. “Barriers such as housing, transportation and mental health often result in a systemic obstruction to achieving economic independence. This investment from RBC will help in reducing these barriers and assist in balancing workforce representation in Saskatchewan.”

Through RBC’s investment Sask Polytech will offer client-centered essential skills and trades training to underrepresented students in four training sites across Saskatchewan. Those who are interested can learn more at Sask Polytech’s website at saskpolytech.ca/newstart. Program seats are subject to availability and student eligibility.

Email newstart@saskpolytech.ca for more information.