Holland College offering 12 new micro-credential programs for green economy jobs

There are programs on agriculture, watersheds and more. (Shane Hennessey/CBC - image credit)
There are programs on agriculture, watersheds and more. (Shane Hennessey/CBC - image credit)

New micro-credential programs at Holland College are looking to help students get ready for the clean energy transition.

The school announced Monday it's developing 12 new programs that will support industry-specific needs as the province moves toward a low-carbon economy.

Micro-credentials are rapid-training programs that can help students quickly master new skills. They're designed to help employers find and train the workers they need.

Holland College president Sandy MacDonald said the programs will be entirely free for their first year.

"Our first few forays into the field have been very promising. — Sandy MacDonald

"They're like a burst of training. It could be 15 hours, it could be five weeks," he told CBC News: Compass host Louise Martin.

"It's aimed at two groups: those people who are working and need to reskill or upskill, and those people who may not be into the labour market yet and need a way in."

The school is getting more than $2.2 million in funding for the programs from the Canadian Colleges for Resilient Recovery — a coalition of colleges, cégeps (publicly funded colleges in Quebec), institutes and polytechnics across the country focused on developing workforce training for a net-zero economy.

The micro-credentials are formal certifications and are complementary to traditional qualifications like diplomas, degrees or post-graduate certificates.

'We've got a variety of programs'

Some of the new programs include "Food Manufacturing Fundamentals" and "Building Envelope Science." More information on these can be found on the college's website. There's also programs on watersheds and agriculture as well.

The college is also collaborating with Abegweit First Nation to develop a program on Indigenous leadership for renewable energy, which it said will support Indigenous communities across the country by providing them with knowledge and skills focused on a greener economy.


"We've got a variety of programs in a variety of sectors," MacDonald said.

"We wanted to make our offerings more accessible, more flexible to employers … Our part is to organize the content and deliver the content to meet the needs of industries."

MacDonald said he's hopeful the courses will help fill a growing need in the labour force.

"Our first few forays into the field have been very promising," he said, adding that roughly 144 people are enrolled in or completed the Building Envelope Science course.

"It's clear we're meeting a need there … The first few indicators are extremely positive."