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March 14, 2014

March 14, 2014

CEO on the Move

Minister of Employment and Social Development and Minister for Multiculturalism, Jason Kenney’s, #SkillsMission2014 to Germany and the U.K. is all about innovative approaches to skills training. Follow that hashtag to read updates from those on the mission.

Kicking off the trip in Stuttgart, Germany, the delegation met with one of Germany’s largest employer federations, Südwestmetall (the Baden-Wuerttemberg Employers’ Association of the Metal and Electrical Industry) to hear the views of industry and learn about their role in the VET system.  This was followed with visits to the Stihl production site and to Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State UniversityStihl is a global manufacturer of chainsaws and other handheld power equipment. The University not only offers dual-education programs in cooperation with industry and non-profit institutions, but is recognized as a leader in the integration of academic studies and work experience.

In Düsseldorf, the delegation visited the Franz-Jürgens-Berufskolleg school and met with representatives from the Ministry of Labour, Integration and Social Affairs, State of Nordrhein-Westfalen; Sylvia Löhrmann, Deputy Premier and Minister of Schools and Education, State of Nordrhein-Westfalen. I also took part in a roundtable meeting with Chamber of Commerce, Skilled Trades Chamber and experts from the Ministry of Labour, State of Nordrhein-Westfalen.

We travelled from Düsseldorf to Berlin, where we met with representatives from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research to discuss the successes and challenges of the German VET system. Siemens, a global powerhouse in electronics and electrical engineering, opened the doors of its Training Centre to us.  Siemens provides infrastructure solutions, operates in the fields of industry, energy and healthcare and is one of the world’s largest providers of environmental technologies. We toured the Training Centre and met some of the trainees who are taking part in the Siemens apprenticeship program.  The delegation also took part in a roundtable meeting with Dr. Jörg Dräger, Member of Executive Board, Bertelsmann Stiftung, a not-for-profit foundation that undertakes research and is an agent for social change; and representatives of the Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry.

The busy schedule even allowed for visiting Brandenburg Gate and the Holocaust Memorial, both within walking distance of the Canadian Embassy.

London, England was next!  Gordon Campbell, Canada’s High Commissioner to the UK, welcomed us to the Canadian High Commission for a roundtable meeting with UK stakeholders, including the Federation for Industry Sector Skills and Standards, the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES), the International Skills Standards Organisation (INSSO), the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, our sister organization the Association of Colleges, and the London School of Economics and Political Science, to learn more about England’s VET system and apprenticeship programs. We also visited and met students from the College of Northwest London.

While in London, ACCC signed a skilled trades benchmarking agreement with the UK’s National Recognition Information Centre (UK NARIC). Minister Kenney witnessed the signing, which you can read more about, right here.

On the last day of the study tour, we visited the British Airport Authority (BAA) Academy, where we were given an overview of the Heathrow Airport training system, how the employer engages and attracts talent from within its local communities and met with BAA Academy graduates and trainees.

Check out my Twitter feed @DAmyot to see photos and updates from the study tour, or use #ACCCGermany or #SkillsMission2014.

Next week’s travel schedule is less demanding:  I will be visiting the Canadian Defence Academy and St. Lawrence College, in Kingston, Ontario, as well as Sheridan College’s Davis Campus in Brampton, Ontario.

Meetings and Partnerships

We engaged with the Partnership for Resource Trade, and I am a member of their Advisory Council.  The Partnership seeks to increase the recognition of the key role that Canada’s vast natural resources play in the success of the country.

Canadian Association of Allied Health Programs | Annual General Meeting and Conference

The Annual General Meeting and Conference of the Canadian Association of Allied Health Programs (CAAHP) will be held in Ottawa on May 28 and 29, at La Cité. This year’s theme is “Capital Ideas/Thinking to Action: Forecasting System Changes and their Impact on Allied Health Programs.” The agenda focuses on health care and health education of the future, and the primary goal is to discuss strategies and actions to prepare for health system changes.  For more information or to register, visit the CAAHP website.


Congratulations to Martin Aubé, faculty in the physics department at Cégep de Sherbrooke, and to Olivier Vermeersch, Chairholder of the NSERC Industrial Chair on Innovative Technical Textiles at Cégep de Saint-Hyacinthe’s Groupe CTT, on receiving the Award of Excellence from the Fonds de recherche du Québec — Nature et technologies (FRQNT). Awarded for the first time at the college level, the Award is in recognition of the outstanding contribution of a researcher to the advancement of knowledge in natural, mathematical or engineering sciences, as well as for international work and the benefits to Quebec.

Congratulations to Maureen Piercy, President and CEO of Loyalist College, on the renewal of her term. We look forward to continuing to work together! 

College expertise in national media

The search for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, ongoing since March 8, has prompted worldwide media interest in its whereabouts and the technology being used to try and locate it. On March 14, CBC Radio’s The Current asked whether it is time to improve the black box on airplanes. It was an enlightening discussion, which also featured a great interview with Seneca College Aviation Professor, Savik Ramkay. With more than 30 years of aviation experience, Professor Ramkay provided fascinating details and history about the development of flight data recording and the impacts they can have on safety. 

“A wing or a flight control, in the old days, had pulleys and cables and computers were just a few in those days. Today, you have to be, literally, a computer geek. When I started in this business I started working with microfiche and big manuals. Today, without a computer I can’t find anything. So, in my aviation experience I have gone the gamut of the technology,” says Ramkay. 

Have a listen to the interview and please do share your college’s media successes with ACCC Communications so that we can share them with other members. 

Did You Know?

Whether they work in front of the camera or behind the scenes, a number of college students and graduates contribute to the success of film, television and digital media. At the recent Canadian Screen Awards (CSA), these contributions were recognized. More than 15 graduating students and five faculty members from Seneca College’s Animation Arts Centre worked with Oscar®-winning director Chris Landreth, producer Marcy Page of the National Film Board of Canada, producer Mark Smith of Copperheart Entertainment on Subconscious Password, which won the CSA for Best Animated Short.  Several Seneca Visual Effects for Film and Television professors and graduates also worked on the hit television series Vikings which won a CSA for Best Visual Effects.

“Seneca students have been involved in animating the last three films I’ve done with the National Film Board,” said Landreth. “It was completely natural to work with Seneca again on this project and it’s invigorating to work with such talented up-and-coming animators — the students were more professional than many of the professionals I know.”

Tweet of the Week

Follow us on Twitter and stay up-to-date on innovations and other developments across Canada’s colleges, institutes and polytechnics: @ACCC_Comms.

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