Yukon News

Yukon to bolster procurement training

Ashley Joannou Friday January 23, 2015

Yukon College has signed an agreement to offer a diploma program in supply management training.

That’s the technical term for people who buy and sell stuff in the territory.

In the deal, signed Wednesday, the college will be working with the Supply Chain Management Association (SCMA) of the Northwest Territories to offer a 10-course diploma.

It will cover topics like negotiation skills, competitive bidding, contract preparation, accounting, marketing and business planning.

“Having this information provides a standard common area of knowledge. If we understand each other, perhaps our business and our work together will improve,” said Bonita Lowell, vice president of education for the N.W.T.‘s SCMA.

These courses are based on national best practices, she said. The training is a recognized credential across Canada.

Yukon is the last jurisdiction in the country to offer SCMA training.

Right now there is one Yukoner who is in the middle of getting her SCMA training. She had to take the courses Outside.

All the classes to get the diploma will be offered at the college. Students can also take the courses individually.

Anyone who completes the diploma can go on to the supply chain management professional designation program, a master’s level in the profession. That course is offered online.

The diploma program is expected to start at the college in the fall or sooner.

Before this diploma, the college used to offer individual courses, similar to SCMA, that were always well attended, said Dan Anton, the college’s chair of continuing education.

The process of supply chain management is not just for government, said Rick Karp, president of theWhitehorse Chamber of Commerce, it is something individual companies can use.

“It will make us more competitive in the bidding process as well, because we’ll understand, we’ll be able to streamline a lot of operations, save a lot of money and really benefit economically in the North, in Yukon.”

In the N.W.T. there are about 50 members of SCMA, Lowell said. The split is about 50/50 between the public and private sectors.

For now, the Yukon government says it has no plans to require its employees to get the training.

Highways and Public Works spokesperson Doris Wurfbaum said there are about 2,000 Yukon government employees whose jobs involve procurement.

In 2013 the government opened the procurement support centre. It has eight staff who answer questions about the process and provide training. Wurfbaum said the centre has issued 1,940 certificates over two years.

She said she couldn’t compare the courses. She said her department only found out about the college’s plans after they were announced.

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