Canada’s colleges, institutes, cégeps and polytechnics play a pivotal role in ensuring that Canada is “innovation ready,” providing students with the knowledge, advanced skills and work experience needed to maximize employment and entrepreneurship opportunities. They reach over 3,000 communities in urban, rural and remote areas from coast to coast to coast, serving young people, adults requiring skills upgrading, Indigenous peoples, post-secondary graduates seeking specialized skills and work-integrated learning, newcomers to Canada and many more. These institutions serve 1.5 million learners with an extended reach that directly impacts the lives of one in eight Canadians. In 2014/15 alone, those who attended colleges and institutes generated $130.3 billion in added income through their higher earnings and increased productivity of their employers.
Colleges and institutes occupy a significant niche in Canada’s innovation eco-system that is ripe for expansion. Now is the time to build on the remarkable strengths and achievements of these institutions to accelerate inclusive, broad-based growth and diminish economic and social disparities. Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) offers eight recommendations to support the government in strengthening economic growth and enhancing quality of life for Canadians. These fall under two areas:
- Partnered innovation for business and industry success and community well-being;
- Enhanced employability to ensure all Canadians have the skills to participate fully in the economy.
Last Updated: October 20, 2016