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Jane Arychuk, interim president of Aurora College, said programs are designed for adults who don’t have their Grade 12 education. (CBC)

The federal government is allocating $8.6 million to education programs in the Northwest Territories for adults who never graduated high school.

The money will go to adult literacy and basic education programming at Aurora College. Campuses in Yellowknife, Fort Smith and Inuvik will see more instructors, more skills training and trades programs.

Jane Arychuk, the interim president of the college, said the programs are designed to quickly prepare adults who don’t have their Grade 12 education to enter the workforce or other education programs.

"We are looking at short-term projects that will involve essential skills. It will take some type of hands-on skills, add in essential skills that the need to be able to read and write at a level to do a certain traditional skill."

Arychuk said the college hopes to develop peoples’ skills so they can enter college programs. There are 23 Aurora College learning centres across the territory. She said they are designed to meet the unique challenges facing students in the north.

"A lot of our programs really look at wellness and readiness... because of some of the history we know of in the Northwest Territories and education in the North," said Arychuk. "This will develop their academic skills up to a level that they can enter another program or the workforce."

The funding is coming from the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency.

It's part of a $27 million funding announcement the prime minister made back in February. The money will be distributed over four years.

Leona Aglukkaq, the minister for the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency, made the announcement Tuesday in Yellowknife.

"There must be a second chance for everyone who sincerely wants to go back to school and to build a better life for themselves and their families," she said.