Canada’s Colleges and Institutes Say Investments in Advanced Skills and Innovation Will Boost Economy
OTTAWA, March 21, 2013 – James Knight, President and CEO of the national association representing Canadian colleges, institutes and polytechnics released this statement following the tabling of Budget 2013 in the House of Commons:
“Federal commitments in Budget 2013 will encourage a reduction in barriers to Canada’s economic success, while maximizing the talents and advanced skills of Canadians. Virtually every opportunity that we suggested for addressing the skills shortage has been embraced in this budget.
“The Canada Job Grant is the flagship program announced today. It proposes a $500 million investment in 2014-15 to connect employers with prospective employees and invest in their education.
“Expansion of the College and Community Innovation program by $12 million per year to $50 million per year recognizes the contribution of colleges to business. College expertise improves business productivity, creates innovative new products and prepares graduates with research skills that lead to commercialization and growth. The $20 million over three years pilot through NRC-IRAP to help small- and medium-sized enterprises to access research and business development at colleges and other organizations is an important contribution to productivity.
“We welcome the focus for modernization of apprenticeship including the use of apprentices at federally-funded construction sites. The Government will also work with provinces and territories to harmonize requirements for apprentices.
“Internships for recent graduates will accelerate entry into employment in key sectors.
“The $10 million over two years to Indspire to provide support for First Nations and Inuit Students pursuing post-secondary studies and other investments for training support related to resource projects are significant.
“There is a welcome focus on job opportunities for marginalized groups including persons with disabilities, youth, Aboriginal peoples, and newcomers through an investment of $222 million per year.
“The new Building Canada Fund has a component for post-secondary infrastructure.
“We are delighted with the additional investment of $10 million over 2 years to market Canadian education internationally.
“ACCC congratulates the government for making investments designed to address Canada’s skills gap. Budget 2013 acknowledges the role colleges and institutes play in ensuring that Canadian industry is prepared with the technology and skilled employees necessary to compete in the global economy.”
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