SUDBURY – Ontario’s colleges are urging the provincial government to work with educators and businesses to help tackle youth unemployment by addressing the shortage of information about career trends in the labour market.
“Beginning in high school, young people are looking for resources regarding which careers to explore and what skills they’ll need to get a job once they graduate,” said Cambrian College President Bill Best. Cambrian maintains close relationships with educators, employers and agencies so that we can not only provide potential students with information and choices, but we can ensure that as graduates, they are job-ready for the careers that will exist in the years ahead.”
“Collège Boréal works diligently with many community partners to ensure that it remains responsive to the needs of the local labour market, including the need for bilingual workers in different fields and regions of the province, ” noted Pierre Riopel, President of Collège Boréal, “The more information we have, the better our graduates will be prepared to meet these needs.”
Business leaders and other experts continue to stress that young people, as well as their parents and supporters, need more information about the labour market and the careers that are in demand. There is also a need for more information about the education and qualifications required to pursue those careers.
Addressing the shortfall in labour-market information is one of the college sector’s priorities highlighted in Fuelling Prosperity, the newly released strategic plan for Colleges Ontario. Colleges Ontario is the advocacy organization for the province’s 24 colleges. Along with the need for better labour-market data, Fuelling Prosperity describes a number of policy goals to promote economic growth and stronger communities.
Working in partnership with students, governments, businesses and others, the colleges’ goals for the years ahead include:
- Reforming Ontario’s apprenticeship system to help more people get skills training.
- Expanding post-secondary credentials in Ontario to encourage more students to enrol in career-focused programs. This includes continuing to pursue provincial reforms to expand the range of four-year degree programs at colleges and to allow colleges to offer career-specific three-year degrees.
- Strengthening Ontario’s credit-transfer system to allow more students to pursue combinations of university and college education.
“Ontario’s colleges play a pivotal role in producing highly-qualified graduates for the new innovation economy,” said Linda Franklin, the president and CEO of Colleges Ontario. “Ontario must build on the strength of its colleges to help more people acquire the professional and technical skills to find rewarding careers.”
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