FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE January 17, 2023
WHITEHORSE – The Yukon Party Official Opposition has heard from many Yukoners about the ever-growing shortages of teachers in our education system and of healthcare professionals. To help address this, the Yukon Party has a plan to expand locally available training and certification at Yukon University.
This plan will help Yukoners seeking education in these essential fields and speed up certification of foreign-trained professionals, including establishing bridging programs to help those in need of additional training to meet Canadian standards.
By expanding the existing nursing and teaching programs offered at the university, we could better meet our own needs. The Yukon government should identify funding for the university to develop and deliver these expanded programs.
“I have heard from many Filipinos and other new Yukoners who were trained as teachers or nurses, but want to work in Canada, so they took a job in another field,” said Porter Creek Centre MLA Yvonne Clarke. “They can see the Yukon is experiencing a shortage in their specialized field but feel helpless. Yukon-based certification programs would allow them to remain close to their families while certifying them to help fill the gaps in our education and health care systems.”
Yukon University’s Licensed Practical Nurse program began under a previous Yukon Party government. The Yukon Party Official Opposition believes it is time for the government to build on this by working with the Yukon Registered Nurses Association and Yukon University to start offering a Registered Nurse program locally, as well as to establish appropriate bridging programs for foreign-trained nurses and speed up the assessment and licensing of internationally trained nurses.
“The Yukon is experiencing serious problems due to a shortage of health professionals, including nursing vacancies which have been as high as 40 percent in rural communities,” noted Health and Social Services Critic Brad Cathers. “While more resources should be put into attracting new Canadian graduates to the Yukon, there is also a need to increase locally available training for health care professionals and teachers and speed up the process of licensing foreign-trained professionals to practice.”