Advanced Skills for Employment
Colleges and institutes have evolved into incredibly sophisticated providers of education and research services. These institutions now live on the leading edge of critical advances in a huge number of sectors. The demands of today’s workforce change very quickly, requiring nimble training programs that are designed to respond to the needs of employers and communities. Colleges and institutes offer a huge range of credentials to meet these needs, from shorter term diplomas and certificates, to bachelor’s degrees, post graduate certificates and masters degrees. The breadth of credentials they offer and the quick evolution of their programs based on economic needs ensures colleges and institutes are the advanced skills providers of choice in Canada.
A key component of providing market-ready skills is giving students the opportunity to work with their future employers. Thanks to strong connections with employers in the regions they serve, colleges and institutes offer students
a diverse range of work-integrated learning opportunities, from co-ops and internships to apprenticeships, field placements, applied research projects, and service learning. These experiences are an integral part of almost all programs, allowing students to apply what they have learned in a real-world environment.
Matching Skills with Market Needs
Ensuring that the skills students learn in class match industry and community needs is a constant preoccupation for colleges and institutes. Consulting employers, involving them in the definition of curriculum and work placement opportunities is important, but so is access to timely and reliable, supply and demand labour market information (LMI).
Business, industry and post-secondary institutions all agree that improving LMI is a priority. This includes providing better information about employment needs and opportunities in all sectors of the economy. There is also a critical need to address the gaps in supply-side data, in particular for colleges and institutes. This will require support from the federal government to improve data collected on public colleges and institutes, and to capture data for all students and graduates. There is also a need to collect data on college and institute tuition rates, and to standardize data points across post-secondary education.
Reliable and useful jobs data is essential to delivering a well-functioning labour market and, more generally, a strong Canadian economy.
Source – Business Council of Canada, Labour market information : an essential part of Canada’s skills agenda, 2016