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UNB, NBCC and Marshall Skills Academy create new innovative programs to support manufacturing industry

Author: UNB Newsroom

Posted on Mar 16, 2023

Category: UNB Saint John

Provincial government funding of $6.87 million is helping the University of New Brunswick (UNB), the New Brunswick Community College (NBCC) and Marshall Skills Academy deliver a work-integrated learning model aimed at New Brunswick’s workforce in the manufacturing sector.

The funding supports manufacturing, technology and engineering programs and their associated qualifications. It also provides an opportunity for participants to be connected to the job market and have increased access to post-secondary education.

“UNB is excited to offer these new programs alongside NBCC and Marshall Skills Academy to help support the current and future workforce of manufacturing,” said Dr. Petra Hauf, Vice-President Saint John at UNB. “The manufacturing sector is the backbone of our economic and social development, and we look forward to being part of this forward-thinking initiative.”

Through the partnership, UNB, NBCC and Marshall Skills Academy created four distinct programs:

  • Manufacturing essentials (micro-credential): An eight-week program giving a basic introduction to several trades and opportunities to build employability skills. (NBCC)
  • Advanced manufacturing diploma: An 18-month program leading to a certificate at the technician level. There is also a three-year option leading to a diploma at the technologist level. (NBCC)
  • Bachelor of Technology (Industrial): Participants complete a combination of face-to-face and virtual learning with UNB
  • Master in Systems Engineering (Industrial): This program is aimed at graduates who have completed an applicable bachelor’s degree. International graduates participate in a residential settling-in program for six weeks prior to the start of term. (UNB)

The bachelor of technology (industrial) and master in systems engineering (industrial) programs still need to go through the appropriate internal and external approval process. They will be offered exclusively on UNB’s Saint John campus.

“The manufacturing sector accounts for roughly 10 per cent of our annual gross domestic product and we know its workforce is aging quickly,” said post-secondary education, training and labour minister Trevor Holder. “This funding will have a direct impact on this critical sector and this innovative partnership will help us solidify the workforce of today and of the future.”

The programs target high school students, underrepresented groups in the industry and career changers. It will also attract people from other provinces and internationally.

Tuition costs will be fully sponsored, and students will be able to work and study throughout the program to help fill gaps in the industry. The schools expect student enrollment over the five-year pilot to reach 454 across the four programs.

Funding for the initiative is provided through the Canada-New Brunswick Labour Market Agreements.