MONTREAL - The New Frontiers School Board has been granted the right to offer training programs for nursing assistants.

The board, which oversees bilingual primary, secondary and vocational schools in the Chateauguay Valley area, was granted the authorization in order to address the need for bilingual nursing assistants in Indigenous communities and others in the region, according to the Quebec Education Ministry.

The Health, Assistance and Nursing program will train 20 nursing assistants a year over the next three years, the duration of the provisional authorization New Frontiers has received from the government.

"We studied the needs and statistics with respect to the vocational training offered by the New Frontiers School Board and everything pointed to the importance of offering (this) program," said Claire IsaBelle, MNA for Huntingdon. "This training will enable the next generation to step up and to support the dedicated people who work in health services in (the) region."

Christopher Skeete, parliamentary assistant to Premier Francois Legault, said the announcement was concrete proof that the Coalition Avenir Quebec is paying attention to the needs of English-speakers.

"Today's announcement ... shows that we are doing exactly that," Skeete said. "I am glad, not only for the English-speaking students who will be able to enrol in the program, but also for the region, which will benefit from a qualified bilingual workforce in health services."