National Skills Summit
A well-received ACCC National Skills Summit was held in Ottawa on October 20-21, with more than 200 participants. The Summit brought together presidents and CEOs from colleges, institutes, and polytechnics across Canada to identify solutions for greater access to education, including Indigenous learners, and to connect Canadians to the right skills for employment.
Business leaders and senior executives of industry associations invited to attend the summit spoke of the challenges they face in finding appropriately-skilled labour, debunking recent suggestions that the skills gap is being exaggerated. The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), stressed the importance of skilled trades to jobs, growth and prosperity. In his speech, Kenney said “We see the ACCC as an essential partner in all of this because you are where the rubber hits the road. The programs that you deliver are market responsive. You are leading young Canadians … I know the employment rate for your graduates is phenomenally high.”
Read more about ACCC’s post-Summit commitments, including a brief Summit report, which will inform ACCC’s efforts to champion initiatives that encourage Canadians to go to college.
ACCC on Parliament Hill
On the heels of the Summit and support from federal decision-makers, ACCC on Parliament Hill 2013 had impact on several fronts. Presidents engaged with five Ministers, the Leader of the Official Opposition, the Chairs and opposition members of House of Commons Committees on International Trade; Industry, Science and Technology; Health; Natural Resources; Justice and Human Rights; and Foreign Affairs and International Development; as well as with New Democrat and Liberal critics. Janice Charette, Deputy Clerk of the Privy Council and Associate Secretary to the Cabinet and nine Deputy Ministers spent an evening in discussion, and John McBride, CEO, Public-Private Partnerships, shared perspectives on new approaches for college partnerships.
Congratulations to Kathy Kinloch, who was named President of the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT), effective January 2014. Kathy has been president of Vancouver Community College (VCC) since 2010. Prior to joining, she was dean of the BCIT School of Health Sciences from 2007 to 2010, and worked in senior positions in health care, government and post-secondary education.
Congratulations to Daniel Thorpe, who was named Dean of Continuing Studies at Langara College. Daniel joined Langara in 1998 as an instructor, and has since served in a variety of roles including Project Coordinator of the Student Connections program, Program Coordinator of Computer Technology Programs, Manager of the Accounting, Business, and Technology Department, and Interim Dean of Continuing Studies.
Eureka Moment (formerly known as Coup de cœur)
This week, Georgian College was named one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers – for the seventh time in 11 years! Georgian is the only college selected for the 2014 award that honours companies and organizations that lead their industry sector in attracting and retaining employees. More than 10,000 Canadian employers applied and were evaluated using eight criteria: physical workplace, work atmosphere, health, financial and family benefits, vacation and time off, employee communications, performance management, training and skills development, and community involvement. Many reasons were cited by Canada’s Top 100 Employers for selecting Georgian, including staff involvement in the community, outstanding physical workplace and superior financial and family-friendly benefits.
Did You Know?
Mohawk College instituted a policy banning the distribution and sale of plastic bags and water bottles intended for single use – making the college water bottle free, and the student centre garbage free (compost only). The College’s Sustainability Office posts information on their environmental sustainability initiatives on the website and publishes a monthly newsletter to both inform and engage staff and students. How does your college or institute go green? Let us know!