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February 22, 2022

A small package with a big impact

Thinking about going back to school? You’re not alone. New data from StatsCan looking at educational choices for displaced workers shows that 10% of post-secondary educated Canadians faced with job loss went back to school within three years of losing their job. And, of that 10%, more than 40% of women and more than half of men chose a college or institute to upgrade their skills. For many of you this isn’t surprising.  

Colleges and institutes are highly accessible, and their programs are rooted in employer needs. Short, flexible, and experience-based learning helps people build the employment-focused skills they need to thrive immediately in the workforce. The new secret: microcredentials. For example:

At Saskatchewan Polytechnic, Surge Micro-credentials are short, focused learning opportunities that help students accelerate their skills in specific areas (like digital communications, Indigenous leadership, artificial intelligence and machine learning, and small business finance)!

Similarly, at Conestoga College, the Continuing Education department offers 60 microcredentials that are short, flexible, innovative, timely, and based on industry needs (in areas like basic web design, business-to-business sales skills, Indigenous values and identity, conflict management, and inclusive teaching practices).

At Medicine Hat College, microcredentials have been developed with industry partners in areas like hospitality and tourism, technology, and agriculture.

At Olds College, the Environmental Management of Cannabis Production badge gives student insight into sustainability in the emerging cannabis industry (like reducing the environmental impacts of production and processing, and effectively and efficiently disposing of waste byproducts).

At Cégep André-Laurendeau, Perfectionnement en comptabilité pour travailleurs autonomes et petites entreprises is a micro-upskilling program that teaches the basics of accounting and finance software for freelancers, self-employed individuals, and small-business owners.

At Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology, CyberWave is a centre of excellence that address labour shortages in cybersecurity with specialized training options, work-integrated learning opportunities and applied research. Students can select career-oriented tracks (like vulnerability assessment and penetration testing, network defense and operations, and cyber forenics) or take individual microcredentials to fill more specific skill gaps.

At Cégep de Sept-Îles, Cybersécurité dans l’industrie minière et l’industrie connectée looks at cybersecurity risk and management in the mining industry with six modules totalling 66 hours of study.

  • This program was developed in collaboration with Cégep de la Pocatière, Cégep de Thetford, and the Institut national des mines du Québec (Quebec’s national mining institute)!

At Red River College Polytechnic, the COVID-19 Nasopharyngeal Sample Collection microcredential trains specific groups of health-care students and health-care professionals in safe COVID-19 sample collection. (Within months of the pandemic, this course helped dramatically increase the COVID-19 sample collecting capacity for Manitoba Public Health)!

At Camosun College, Clean Energy and Efficient Buildings microcredentials give students the skills to create net-zero energy buildings that are efficient, healthy, long-lasting, and climate-friendly.

At Holland College, the New Manager Training microcredential focuses on specific workplace skills for new leaders (like communications, performance management, team building, and organizational behaviour).

  • Students can choose to earn a digital badge when they complete each module, or a milestone microcredential if they complete all modules in the series!

So, what is a microcredential anyway?

Last year, we consulted members, employers and stakeholders, and put together a national framework to offer a standard definition and guiding principles:

Education has changed, and learners expect to be future-proofed. With microcredentials, our members work with industry partners to anticipate the needs of our economy, then train, upskill and reskill thinkers and doers.

50th anniversary: Adapting Education for Employment to a new reality

From our former Vice-President, International, Paul Brennan on our 50th anniversary and marking 15 years of our Education for Employment programs: a look at the fundamental transformations in our international development projects beginning in the 1970s and leading to the creation of our flagship approach. And what do today’s development challenges mean for the future?

Conference 2022: Different ways to take part!

Over three days, six streams, and 50+ sessions, we will be Navigating AnewBe sure to register before March 1 to take advantage of reduced early-bird rates.

  • New ways to take part: Register for one, two, or three days; attend in-person or virtually; and get your crew together with new group rates for institutional registrations.

COVID-19: We are still monitoring and planning for a hybrid event, which means we will be welcoming participants online and in person in Halifax! View health and safety information for those attending in-person.

  • What happens if we are not able to hold in-person activities? Switch to a virtual registration at no charge! We’ll refund the difference.

This just in! Three confirmed keynote speakers (so far!): Susan Aglukark, Inuk singer and songwriter; Fabienne Goux-Baudiment, futurist and CEO of proGective; and Barb Stegemann, CEO & founder of The Virtues. Stay tuned for more keynotes to come!

  • Plus! Sessions to inspire and help us navigate uncertain waters: Over 100 speakers in over 50 live and pre-recorded sessions will get you thinking about how your own institution can navigate anewTake a deeper look.

LIVE: The future is female

Episode 6 of Perspectives LIVE airs March 16! The pandemic has exposed disproportionate challenges for women in the workforce, from an average of lower-paying jobs to a higher burden of family responsibility than their male counterparts. In what ways can we drive further growth by creating more opportunities for women to reach their full potential? What can colleges and institutes do to support women?

Professional development for leaders in applied research and international education!

Are you an aspiring leader in applied research or international education? Passionate about advancing your field of work? Registration is open for this year’s Leadership Institutes, focused on either specific roles or two thematic areas: applied research and innovation and international education!

  • Not your field? Our other Leadership Institutes are designed for specific roles at all institutional levels: staff & faculty, managers, deans, directors, vice-presidents, and presidents! Hurry as seats are limited.
  • Health and safety: Public-health permitting, the Leadership Institutes will take place in person in Whistler (BC), Banff (AB), Morell (PE), and Toronto (ON): Summer 2022!

Last call! Get students and grads working in green jobs with Career-Launcher

Has your institution recently hired an intern or will have one starting before March 25? Submit your internship to Career-Launcher and you, your research centres, or employer partners could get up to $32,000 to help address labour shortages, diversify your workforce, and strengthen the green economy!

Limited funding remains: applications are being pre-approved on an on-going basis until funding is fully allocated.

  • Funded by the Government of Canada’s Youth Employment and Skills Strategy, Career Launcher encourages employers to hire students and grads by providing wage subsidies. These jobs ensure tomorrow’s workforce has the skills needed in Canada’s ever-evolving economy.

Event: Explore TVET Excellence for All at the WFCP World Congress

Interested in technical and vocational education and training on a global scale? The WFCP World Congress is the largest TVET event in the world! Featuring keynote speakers and sessions on some of today’s most pressing issues in TVET: the future of work, equity and inclusion, and sustainability. Take part: June 15-17 in Spain!

BCCIE: Frame the future of International Education

The British Columbia Council for International Education is hosting its very first International Education Week. Take part in discussions on internationalization, decolonization, and reconciliation, share new ideas in international education, and mark the launch of BC’s International Education Framework! June 26-29 in Whistler, BC.

Eureka! Moment

Did you know that George Brown College is launching a brand-new space dedicated to promoting pathways and opportunities that lead to the future success of Black students? The Black Futures Hub will provide space for Black and racialized students to connect, access programming, collaborate, and innovate!


Cégep du Vieux-Montréal appointed Annie Doré-Côté as director of studies.

Vancouver Island University appointed Carolyn Russell as associate vice-president, International Education.

College of the Rockies appointed Dana Wesley as executive director, Indigenous Strategy and Reconciliation.


Jun 25 - 30th, 2022
CICan Leadership Institute for Non-Managerial Staff and Faculty
Morell, Rodd Crowbush Golf & Beach Resort
Jun 25 - 30th, 2022
CICan Leadership Institute for Managers and Chairs
Morell, Rodd Crowbush Golf & Beach Resort
View more

Send Us Your News

One of our main goals at Colleges and Institutes Canada is to champion and share the innovations and awesomeness of our members. You can help! We want to hear about your new applied research, industry and community partnerships, international education, important financial investments and more. Add to your media mailing lists! We’ll share member institution News Releases and other upcoming announcements online and with our national media contacts based in Ottawa.