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ACCC response to the Maclean’s article “The New Underclass”

College Grads Get Jobs

January 17, 2013  The Association of Canadian Community Colleges (ACCC) disagrees with Maclean’s case that an entire generation of talented young Canadians have no employment future.

By working with industry, Canada’s public colleges, institutes and polytechnics are innovating, engaging in applied research and bridging skills gaps so that students gain employment in well-paying careers. College graduates find positions in everything from health care to engineering, from information and communications technology to business and entrepreneurship, and from construction to green technologies. Virtually every employment opportunity is supported by a college program.

College graduates find jobs. Depending on the region, 83 to 95 percent of Canadian college grads can look forward to working in their field within six months of graduation.

Canada is facing a demographic deficit. The Canadian Chamber of Commerce says Canada’s human capital crisis is the top constraint to business and employers report new recruitment challenges. ACCC has been engaging with Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, as well as other federal and industry partners to support a balanced approach to education that maximizes the talent and skills of Canadians.

Twenty percent of college learners are university graduates seeking to broaden their career paths or an edge when applying for a job. Canada’s colleges and institutes offer post-graduate programs for positions with high-demand specializations. We have called on the Government of Canada to support jobs and growth by launching a campaign promoting technology and trades professions.

Our members serve 1.5 million learners in full-time, part-time and continuing education at campuses in one thousand urban, rural and remote communities. Canada must do all it can to equip its citizens with the skills needed to participate in the economy. This is where colleges excel.

James Knight
President & Chief Executive Officer
Association of Canadian Community Colleges