Ottawa, September 8, 2020 – As the country looks to build back better in COVID-19 recovery, Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) has issued eight recommendations to the Standing Committee of Finance as part of its most recent round of pre-budget consultations. The association encourages the government to leverage the expertise available in colleges and institutes all across the country who are already doing incredible work to support their communities through this unprecedented time.
With many Canadians out of work, and employers looking to adapt to a new reality, supporting post-secondary institutions and investing in skills development will be absolutely essential to sustainably relaunching our economy. The expertise available at colleges and institutes will be critical, but they have also been hit hard by this crisis.
“Supporting colleges and institutes will always have an impact well beyond the individual institutions, and CICan’s recommendations reflect how our members serve their communities, including industry and small business partners, social and health organizations”, notes CICan’s president and CEO, Denise Amyot. “Most importantly, they serve the learners of all ages and levels of experience, forming the labour force that will power our exit from the crisis and help us build back better.”
CICan’s Budget 2021 recommendations:
- Support reskilling/upskilling to get Canadians back to work and address employers’ skills shortages.
- Boost Canada’s technical/trades training capacity by strengthening online delivery.
- Meet current and future labour force needs by investing $75M / three years to maintain Canada’s competitive position as an international study destination and by facilitating transitions to the labour market and citizenship.
- Empower SMEs, social, health and community organizations to restart the economy through a new investment of $165M over two years in the NSERC College and CommunityInnovation Program (CCIP).
- Support a green, inclusive recovery through a $5B stimulus investment in college infrastructure, making campuses more sustainable and accessible, advancing innovation,and improving learning spaces for Indigenous students.
- Accelerate sustainability initiatives at colleges and in communities by investing $50M in a national network of sustainability offices.
- Improve PSE access for vulnerable and low-income Canadians through: funding increases for Indigenous programs; extending special Canada Student Grants and Loans provisions; covering costs for computer equipment and internet access for online learning.
- Increase Canada’s commitment to international development to support skills training and applied research for climate change adaptation.
To read more about each recommendation, download the full submission.
CICan also worked as part of the College Applied Research Taskforce, comprising twelve national and regional associations, to insist on the importance of helping Canadian SMEs access the research and development resources available at colleges and institutes. Their joint submission was also shared with the Standing Committee of Finance.
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.
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