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CICan issues its budget recommendations

Ottawa, August 15, 2016 – With national consultations underway on several key topics, Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) has issued its recommendations to the federal government ahead of Budget 2017.

Following consultation with its members, the association focused on two issues deemed critical by colleges and institutes across the country: innovation and employability.

Canada’s colleges, institutes, cégeps and polytechnics are major drivers of inclusive economic growth.  They serve more than 1.5 million learners from 3,000 communities in urban, rural and remote areas and offer more than 8,000 education and training programs tailored to the specific needs of young people, adults seeking skills upgrading, Indigenous peoples and newcomers, and more. They play a pivotal role in ensuring that all Canadians are “innovation ready” with the skills necessary to maximize employment, self-employment and entrepreneurship opportunities via entrepreneurship training and involvement in applied research.

CICan offered eight recommendations to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance on behalf of its members in support of the government’s efforts to strengthen economic growth, and enhance quality of life for all Canadians.

“Canada’s colleges, institutes, cégeps and polytechnics play a pivotal role in ensuring that Canada is “innovation ready,” providing students with the knowledge, research and advanced skills they need to maximize employment and entrepreneurship opportunities,” said CICan President and CEO, Denise Amyot. “Now is the time to build on the remarkable strengths and achievements of these institutions to accelerate inclusive and broad-based growth, and to reduce or eliminate economic and social disparities.”

Recommendations:

  • Ramp up federal investments in college and institute applied research over five years from $75 million to $300 million per year as part of the Science Review and the development of an Innovation Action Plan.
  • Increase post-secondary education opportunities and student success for indigenous communities through financial assistance and investment in reconciliation programming.
  • Build on the success of the Northern Adult Basic Education program delivered by the three territorial colleges, to provide innovative adult basic education that supports the economic development of Indigenous and northern communities, and expand this program model to colleges and institutes serving other northern, rural and remote communities across Canada.
  • Invest in funding for essential skills training partnerships between colleges and institutes and employers, to improve the skill levels of working-age Canadians.
  • Introduce financial incentives to help employers reduce and offset the costs of hiring co-op students and interns by allowing them to recoup a portion of the students’ wages.
  • Support an applied research internship program that includes in-Canada mobility opportunities for young Canadians.
  • Fund an international academic and applied research mobility program for college and institute students to grow a skilled, innovative, globally connected and competitive workforce.
  • Improve Statistics Canada data collection on all public colleges and institutes to ensure availability of enrolment and graduation data for the full range of education programs, as well as data on tuition rates and faculty and staff at colleges and institutes.

CICan’s recommendations will ensure that Canada’s colleges and institutes continue to provide students with the skills needed to succeed in the career of their choice, while contributing to Canada’s position as a global innovator.

The full submission can be viewed here.

Colleges and Institutes Canada is the national and international voice of Canada’s publicly supported colleges, institutes and polytechnics. Its members work with industry and social sectors to train 1.5 million learners of all ages and backgrounds at campuses serving over 3,000 urban, rural and remote communities in Canada. The association operates in 29 countries via 12 offices around the world.

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For more information:

Julien Abord-Babin
Senior Strategic Communications Officer
Colleges and Institutes Canada
jabord-babin@collegesinstitutes.ca
Tel. : 613-746-2222 ext. 3131
Twitter : @CollegeCan