CICan issues recommendations to help futureproof the Canadian labour market

Ottawa, October 27, 2022 – As the country works to rebuild the workforce and strengthen the economy, Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) has issued seven recommendations to the House of Commons Standing Committee of Finance (FINA) as part of its most recent round of pre-budget consultations.

As the voice of Canada’s largest postsecondary network, CICan encourages the federal government to work with colleges and institutes all across the country and make use of their expertise to support Canadian communities, grow Canadian businesses, and upskill and reskill thinkers and doers.

In advance of Budget 2023, CICan recommends the federal government:

  1. Accelerate business-led R&D by doubling the impact of the Tri-Council College and Community Innovation Program through a new $331 million investment over 5 years, with a permanent increase of $85 million per year ongoing.
  2. Adopt the measures to address systemic labour shortages now and into the future, including: investing $25 million over 5 years to develop career roadmaps for key industries, re-aligning federal training and learning programs to support employment transitions, and creating permanent residency streams for international students studying in programs that support identified labour needs.
  3. Accelerate the achievement of Canada’s net zero goals by creating a new Green Postsecondary Infrastructure Fund, with a minimum of $500 million a year over five years being dedicated to helping colleges achieve net zero emission campuses.
  4. Undertake an inventory of critical strategic skills infrastructure to ensure that Canada has the training space available to meet the needs of key economic sectors moving forward.
  5. Accelerate net zero initiatives in communities by investing $100M over 5 years in a new network of 50 College Sustainability Centres across Canada to leverage college assets including campus infrastructure, industry, and community partnerships to meet Canada’s net zero goals.
  6. Commit to fully supporting Indigenous peoples’ right to postsecondary education by working with national Indigenous organizations, Indigenous institutes, colleges and universities to address ongoing barriers to access and success and to integrate land-based learning and Indigenous ways of knowing in postsecondary programs.
  7. Increase support to developing countries to build capacity in their skills development systems, recognizing the critical role education and skills training play in achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

To read more about each recommendation, download the full submission.

“Colleges and institutes support every aspect of the communities they serve. As educators, they make learning accessible to every member of their communities. As partners in innovation, they make space for every innovator. And as skills providers, they make sure that everyone has an opportunity to find employment, no matter their background, race, or gender identity. These recommendations highlight how colleges and institutes can help make Canada futureproof.”

Denise Amyot, CICan president and CEO

In addition to these seven recommendations, CICan also worked as part of the College Applied Research Taskforce, consisting of national and regional associations, to prepare a joint submission that emphasizes the importance of helping Canadian small and medium sized enterprises, (SMEs) access the research and development resources available at colleges and institutes.


About Colleges and Institutes Canada:

CICan is the national and international voice of Canada’s largest post-secondary education network. It advocates, builds capacity, and drives knowledge to strengthen Canada’s publicly supported colleges, institutes, CEGEPs, and polytechnics. With more than 95% of Canadians living within 50 km of a member institution, and thanks to its extensive reach around the globe, CICan works to future-proof communities in Canada and abroad.

We respectfully acknowledge that CICan’s offices in Ottawa are located on the traditional and unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinaabe Nation.


For more information:

Leah Jurkovic

Director, Communications

Colleges and Institutes Canada


Twitter: @CollegeCan