In a building where face-to-face debates between political opponents are normal activities, the British Columbia legislature will be a much different place when it returns Monday for a summer sitting. The B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C. is shown on Wednesday, June 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

British Columbia is launching a post-secondary training program that aims to put students on the fast track to high-demand jobs.

Advanced Education Minister Anne Kang says the program focuses on short-term courses designed for students looking to update their current skills or acquire new ones for employment opportunities.

She says program participants will receive “micro-credentials” through courses for in-demand opportunities, including emerging technologies, health services and climate action.

Kang says the $4-million program, funded by the B.C. and federal governments, allows 15 post-secondary institutions to provide 24 micro-credential options, such as green technology training at the B.C. Institute of Technology.

The program offers opportunities to upgrade skills or change career paths without committing to a long-term post-secondary program.

Kang says over the next decade, about 80 per cent of job openings in B.C. will require some form of post-secondary education.

“Micro-credentials are a new way to learn in B.C.”' Kang said during a news conference Monday at the B.C. Institute of Technology campus in Burnaby. “They are focused on in-demand jobs so that British Columbians can access opportunities that put their new skills to work.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 8, 2021.