Investing in skills and innovation is key to inclusive economic growth

Ottawa, September 5, 2018 – With federal budget consultations underway, Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) has issued six recommendations aimed at supporting inclusive economic growth and competitiveness by investing in skills and innovation. This is critical to help Canadians prepare for the future of work and to stay competitive in a rapidly changing labour market.

These recommendations were shared as part of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance’s pre-budget consultations in advance of budget 2019 and are based on broad consultations with CICan member colleges, institutes, cegeps and polytechnics.

Focusing on innovation, providing students with experiential or work-integrated learning opportunities, making education more accessible to all, including Indigenous people, and encouraging student mobility are all key priorities for colleges and institutes across the country. They also believe that the time has come to support a national skills strategy aimed at providing more upskilling and reskilling opportunities to Canadians, and supporting a culture of lifelong learning.

“With 95% of the population living within 50km of a campus or learning centre, colleges and institutes are perfectly positioned to assist governments in delivering equitable economic growth for all Canadians”, says CICan president and CEO, Denise Amyot. “They stimulate innovation, drive productivity, and contribute to global competitiveness.”


  • Amplify the impact of college and institute applied research offices in the innovation ecosystem with a new annual investment of $40M in research support funding.
  • Prepare youth for the jobs of tomorrow by expanding federal investments in work-integrated learning (WIL).
  • Improve labour market outcomes of Indigenous peoples and support economic development in Indigenous communities through increased financial support for learners, tailored programs and wraparound supports.
  • Develop a national skills and lifelong learning strategy for working Canadians and employers to deal with disruption and capitalize on new opportunities.
  • Make campuses greener, more energy efficient and better suited to current and future learning needs by investing in the Post-secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund.
  • Ensure Canada’s global competitiveness by increasing opportunities for student mobility, both domestic and international.

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

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
Tel. : 613-746-2222 ext. 3131
Twitter : @CollegeCan