University College of the North (UCN) is reorienting its approach to the delivery of trades training. Beginning in April 2017, the current Faculty of Trades and Technology will be renamed the “College of Trades and Technology” (CTT). Mirroring the successful model used with the Northern Manitoba Mining Academy, UCN will appoint a strategic council for CTT composed of industry and community members to help guide programming to be offered through the new college.
“The best people to help UCN meet labour force needs in the north are those who work in industries and live in communities in the north,” said Rob Penner, the UCN executive who will be responsible for CTT. “The new college model will help to ensure that industry and communities are directly involved in aligning UCN’s trades training activities with social and economic needs in the north,” Penner said.
The college will incorporate programming currently offered by UCN’s Faculty of Trades and Technology, and will also work closely with UCN’s Community Based Services division and other faculties and departments to help ensure that a flexible array of base funded and cost-recovery course and program opportunities will be offered to address the diverse labour market needs in the north.
The appointment of a strategic council will help to improve connections between UCN and the northern economy, and with elimination of one dean’s position, the new administrative structure will allow for greater efficiency in the use of resources at UCN. “The CTT structure allows us to consolidate our management organization supporting trades training at UCN,” Vice-President Academic and Research Dan Smith said, “helping to ensure that training resources are focused on the delivery of programming to students, and not on administration.”
Konrad Jonasson, President and Vice-Chancellor of UCN noted that “the college will serve as the organizational centerpiece to UCN’s new vision for trades training. Through working directly with industry and community representatives, UCN will effectively and efficiently support the northern economy by providing skilled tradespeople to contribute to economic and social development in the north through working side-by-side with industry and community partners to guide program delivery.”
With a mandate to serve northern and Aboriginal Manitobans, UCN has main campuses in The Pas and Thompson, and operates 12 regional centres in communities throughout the north. UCN enrolls approximately 2,400 students per year in a range of adult learning, certificate, diploma and undergraduate degree programs.