'Good news' budget for SIAST

Justin Crann
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Apprenticeship, applied research funding seen as highlights

The budget has some "good news items" for SIAST, according to the institution's president.

Larry Rosia, president and CEO of SIAST, speaks at an event held last April.

The highlights, according to Dr. Larry Rosia, are new spending to support apprentices and bolster applied research.

"On the apprenticeship side … I applaud the federal government's response," he told the Times-Herald Wednesday. "The measures in there are positive developments for both our students and for employers … including the new Canadian apprenticeship loan.

"SIAST has increasing numbers in apprenticeship training," he added. "We handle approximately 90 per cent of (training) in the province, and we've seen our numbers growing every year. There was a seven per cent increase in enrolment last year."

According to Rosia, the potential in apprenticeships is "quite significant," with an expectation that SIAST will be training up to 6,000 apprentices this year alone.

An influx in funding for applied research will "help (SIAST) connect the talent, facilities and capabilities of our organization … with the research needs of local community organizations," Rosia added.

"We feel we have a major role to play in the applied research area, really helping small- to medium-sized businesses with their everyday problems," he said.

SIAST is already working with several companies on research projects, according to Rosia. 

These include testing compounds to reduce infection risk, applied research on gas station remediation, and work on a contamination prevention process for breweries, he said.

"Those are a couple of examples of how we feel we can add value to industry in Saskatchewan," said Rosia. 

"The announcements made yesterday — providing an opportunity to get more involved in applied research — is a real good news story for us."

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Organizations: Times-Herald

Geographic location: Saskatchewan

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