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Provincial Budget Recognizes Importance of Continued Investment in BC Colleges Highly skilled, job-ready workforce will play a key role in economic recovery.

(Courtesy BC Colleges) BC Colleges recognize the difficult economic circumstances facing the province and the significant challenges government has faced in producing a restated budget for 2009. Government has had to make some difficult budget decisions and BC Colleges appreciate the commitment government continues to demonstrate to post-secondary education in BC. The speed and timing of the economic recovery of the province will depend upon all regions having a well educated and highly skilled workforce. Colleges are working closely with industry, communities and regions in addressing labour market requirements throughout British Columbia. While there have been some funding reductions in certain discretionary areas, the overall base funding level has been preserved. Government clearly recognizes the importance of continuing to provide stable investment in the base operations of colleges in 2009. Additional investment in 2010/11 and beyond will be critical for the province to have the highly skilled workforce to meet future budget targets. BC Colleges will look to collaborate and partner with other institutions to ensure the same high quality education and training is available throughout British Columbia. As a new school year begins, BC Colleges recognize the financial challenges faced by students after a particularly difficult summer job market and higher levels of general unemployment. Over the next several months, BC Colleges will work closely with government to ensure that its important education and training role in the province is maintained and the necessary programs and services are available to all British Columbians. BC Colleges is a consortium representing 11 institutions with campuses in more than 50 communities throughout British Columbia. BC Colleges offer a comprehensive range of programs designed to be flexible and responsive to the evolving needs of BC communities and industry.

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