Northern Adult Basic Education Program (NABEP)

What is NABEP?

The Northern Adult Basic Education Program (NABEP) is an education support program designed to help Northerners get targeted training so they can participate more fully in the labour market. The program is delivered through the three territorial colleges in Canada's North: Aurora College, Yukon College, and Nunavut Arctic College.

Through NABEP, the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor) provided $27 million in funding to the territorial colleges between April 2011 and March 2016. This funding was dedicated to improve their adult basic education services.

NABEP was renewed for $3.9 million in Budget 2016 for one year. This renewal is intended to maintain momentum for curriculum development and allow time for developing next steps for adult basic education and skills and training in the North.

What is the purpose of NABEP?

The goal of the NABEP is to improve access to adult basic education, such as literacy and numeracy, so working-age Northerners are better positioned to participate in the labour market.

By improving access to basic education and skills training, NABEP helps encourage economic development in the following ways:

How was funding allocated?

NABEP funding is allocated to the three Northern colleges and their networks of Community Learning Centres (or community campuses). Funding is dedicated to improving the colleges programs and course offerings in adult basic education to better service working-age Indigenous people and Northerners.

What is NABEP funding accomplishing?

NABEP funds support the northern colleges' efforts to improve their adult basic education programs and services so Northerners can participate more fully in the labour market.
NABEP is helping northern colleges do the following:

The program has been widely successful. By the fourth year, NABEP increased the programs and services offered from 60 programs at the start of the program to a current total of 180, with over 290 educators. The program has reached over 3,200 adult learners. Approximately 2,400 of these learners were Indigenous. Table 1.1 describes the progress of NABEP-funded programs and services.

Table 1.1: NABEP program delivery progress (2012 - 2015)
NABEP Fiscal Year Total Programs and Services Total # educators Total # Aboriginal educators Total # Adult Learners Total Aboriginal Learners
(2012-2013) 82 205 125 853 263
(2013-2014) 203 241 126 1,176 1,059
(2014-2015) 180 290 101 1,251 1,077

For more information on NABEP accomplishments, view NABEP - Success stories.

Where can I find more information on NABEP?

Contact your regional CanNor office for more information about NABEP. CanNor staff will be happy to answer any questions about the program, or to connect you with relevant program delivery partners.

For more general information about the program, visit the NABEP - Frequently asked questions.

NABEP - Frequently asked questions

1. What exactly is adult basic education?

For the purposes of NABEP, adult basic education includes educational activities that assist adults to achieve sufficient levels of literacy, numeracy, and other essential skills to obtain a job or qualify for vocational training.

2. Why was the Northern Adult Basic Education program (NABEP) targeting only the population of the three territories and not the entire Canadian Indigenous population?

The Government of Canada is committed to ensuring that Northerners, including Indigenous people, enjoy the same education opportunities and ability to participate in the labour market as other Canadians.

The labour skills gap is more pronounced in the territories than in the rest of the country and there are also fewer educational opportunities. Across the territories 17,000 working-age Northerners have not completed Grade 12.

NABEP was developed to address these unique northern challenges. By helping ensure that Northerners have improved access to training, NABEP will help close the labour skills gap that creates a barrier to a strong and prosperous North and perpetuates inequality between Canada’s North and South.

The Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor), the federal agency responsible for the delivery of NABEP, is working with partners to share successful approaches, so that they can be applied in other regions.

3. How does NABEP contribute to economic development in the North?

NABEP supports northern economic development by improving opportunities for working-age Northerners and local residents to raise their basic skill levels. Increasing adult basic education has helped to ensure that more Northerners could apply for local jobs or take further vocational training. This, in turn, helped public and private employers hire locally.

4. Was funding distributed evenly across the territories?

The funding allocations over the five-year program term (April 2011 - March 2016) are as follows:

  • Nunavut Arctic College: $11,105,559
  • Aurora College (NWT): $9,258,793
  • Yukon College: $4,590,878
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