The Alberta government has announced it will be covering course fees for students enrolling in the province’s Green Certificate apprenticeship-style agricultural training program.
Education Minister David Eggen and Agriculture Minister Oneil Carlier were at the Whitemud Equine Learning Centre in Edmonton on Wednesday where they committed up to $400,000 annually to cover course fees.
Around 750 students participate in the program each year, with 10 program options:
- beekeeper production technician
- cow-calf beef production technician
- dairy production technician
- equine technician
- feedlot beef production technician
- field crop production technician
- greenhouse technician
- irrigated field crop production technician
- sheep production technician
- swine production technician
The province says schools identified course fees as the single largest barrier to participation in the program.
“The Green Certificate Program provides more choices for students to develop the confidence, skills and knowledge they need for the real world. Through the program, we are able to attract more students to the agriculture industry and foster employability skills that support the development of a skilled and educated workforce,” noted Martin Zuidoff,chair of the Alberta Cattle Feeders’ Association.
The Green Certificate Program dates back to 1975 when it was established by the provincial agriculture department as a way to address agricultural labour market needs.