The BC Government & Service Employees' Union (BCGEU) welcomes today's announcement by the provincial government to remove tuition fees for Adult Basic Education (ABE) and English Language Learning (ELL) programs in the province.
ABE is the gateway to many other advanced education programs and good jobs, and ELL programs are essential to new Canadians' ability to access employment and education. Eliminating tuition fees will provide access, as well as readiness in apprenticeships and skills training.
"Eliminating these fees will enable thousands of people to succeed academically and in the workforce, especially considering the needs of young and transitioning workers who require language training or upgrades, as well as the high volume of new immigrants to B.C." says BCGEU president Stephanie Smith.
After tuition fees were reinstated in 2014/15 by the previous Liberal government, enrolment for adult basic education fell to its lowest level since 2005/06. The BCGEU called for tuition-free access to these programs in its submission last year to the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services 2016/17 and in the union's last three provincial budget analyses for 2015, 2016 and 2017.
The BCGEU is one of the largest and most diverse unions in British Columbia with over 73,000 members and represents 4,700 instructors and support staff at colleges and institutes throughout the province.
For more information contact: Bronwen Barnett, BCGEU Communications | e: firstname.lastname@example.org | c: 604-719-4713
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