Canadians value life-long learning as the answer to disruption

Ottawa, November 13, 2019 – With the labour market changing faster than ever to keep up with disruptive technologies, a new report commissioned by Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan), and launched today in Ottawa, shows that lifelong learning and access to hands-on training opportunities are highly valued by Canadians. 

The report is based on a poll conducted by EKOS and shows that 98% of Canadians believe that access to lifelong learning at all ages is important. It also shows a range of preferences when it comes to accessing training, depending on where respondents are in life and in their careers. The vast majority value hands-on learning geared towards employment, whether it’s delivered in a classroom, online or in the workplace.  

Closing the gap between school and work is a central theme of the research findings.  86% agree that all students should get experience in a workplace as part of their program, and 83% believe that post-secondary institutions should offer more ways to recognize past work experience with credits or a credential. The poll also looked at the various barriers to accessing retraining and how they affect different demographics. 

Regarding the performance of colleges and institutes, the EKOS poll shows that a large majority of Canadians believe these institutions are succeeding in their mandate. Nearly all respondents (98%) agree that a college credential will lead to a good job, with 91% agreeing that colleges prepare students with the technical skills they need in the workplace.  

“This survey is very encouraging, as it shows that Canadians are confident that our post-secondary system will equip them for success in the workplace. They believe in lifelong learning and see the value of programs that provide hands-on experiences that help learners prepare for a career. This is exactly what defines the work of colleges and institutes across Canada,” noted Denise Amyot, president and CEO of CICan. “And given that 95% of Canadians, and 86% of Indigenous people, live within 50km of their local college or institute, their success in meeting the needs of both learners and employers will remain essential to meeting the needs of the future.” 

Download the full report at 

About Colleges and Institutes Canada:
Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) is the voice of Canada’s publicly-supported colleges, institutes, cegeps and polytechnics, and an international leader in education for employment with ongoing programs in over 25 countries. CICan’s members add over $190B to Canada’s economy each year and contribute to inclusive economic growth by working with industry and community partners to offer more than 10,000 programs to learners in urban, rural, remote, and northern communities. 



For more information: 

Julien Abord-Babin
Senior Strategic Communications Officer
Colleges and Institutes Canada
Phone: 613-746-2222 ext. 3131
Twitter: @CollegeCan