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New report: $7.6 B in shovel-ready projects needed to fuel skills and innovation

Ottawa, February 16, 2016 – Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) released the results of a national study on infrastructure and equipment needs at colleges and institutes across the country. The findings point to the need for the federal government to dedicate a portion of its infrastructure spending to addressing urgent requirements in the post-secondary sector. Failure to make investments now will have a negative impact on the ability of colleges and institutes to deliver skills training in high demand professions, support the innovation efforts of small business and community organizations and reduce the sector’s environmental footprint.

A recent survey of CICan members shows that, in 2015, the average age of buildings was between 41 and 50 years old. Almost two thirds (63%) of respondents indicate that their institutions’ physical infrastructure had passed its useful service life which is generally estimated at 40 years for education buildings. Older buildings quickly become inefficient, driving up operational costs and negatively impacting the environment.

With very limited funding currently available, ongoing maintenance is also a challenge. CICan members reported over 800 ready-to-go maintenance projects that require approximately $1.6 billion in new funding. As much as 75% of these projects would help institutions be more energy-efficient and reduce their environmental footprint. An additional 200 new building projects, worth $6 Billion, are also considered to be shovel-ready, but are on hold until funding becomes available.

Colleges and institutes require state-of-the-art equipment in order for graduates to meet employers’ standards. Many colleges and institutes report that they are at or near enrolment capacity because of limited space and access to equipment, resulting in thousands of students on waitlists for programs in high-demand fields such as nursing, engineering technologies, carpentry, plumbing and welding.

“Aging facilities are an urgent concern for colleges and institutes across the country. The situation cannot be addressed without additional support”, says Denise Amyot, President and CEO of Colleges and Institutes Canada. “This is not only about investing in new, more efficient buildings, but about helping colleges and institutes train Canadians with the skills they need to succeed in challenging economic times.”

For more information, download the full report at https://www.collegesinstitutes.ca/file/2015-survey-of-institutional-capacity-facilities-and-equipment-needs-report/

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