Creating a greener future is one of the most pressing issues of our time, requiring timely and innovative responses to new challenges.
By working in close collaboration with industry, Canada’s colleges and institutes have shown time and again that they are able to respond to immediate labour market needs and adapt to new and emerging disciplines. Climate change is not different – colleges and institutes have a key role to play in mobilizing the skills and developing the solutions required to reduce environmental impacts and enhance efficiency in all sectors of the economy.
CICan’s member institutions are playing a vital role in the transition to a cleaner future in two key areas:
Today’s graduates need to develop the skills and expertise required to thrive as Canada transitions to a green economy. With nimbleness at the heart of their mandate, colleges and institutes are able to respond to evolving labour market needs by working in close collaboration with employers through Program Advisory Committees. Their involvement in local and regional employment consultation bodies, as well as long-standing relationships that support work-integrated learning and graduate placement services enable them to evolve at the speed of business.
Colleges and institutes develop green skills by embedding them in the learning outcomes of existing curriculum and by developing new programs specifically focused on the green skills required across key economic sectors, including natural resources, energy, manufacturing, agriculture, transportation, and information and communications technology.
Research and Development of Clean Technologies
Companies investing in clean innovation turn to Canada’s colleges and institutes for applied research services that help them develop, test, and bring new products and processes to market. This includes green technologies in fields such as resource management, energy efficiency, waste management and transport.
Launching careers in the green economy
CICan’s Career Launcher offers paid professional work experience for students and grads. Currently, the program offers two internship programs that set students and grads up for a career in today’s green economy:
- CleanTech: Funded by Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Science Horizons Youth Internship Program.
- Natural Resources: Funded by Natural Resources Canada’s Green Jobs – Science and Technology Internship Program.
Both internship programs are funded as part of the Government of Canada’s Youth Employment and Skills Strategy and offer employers up to $32,000 towards an intern’s salary and training expenses. As for graduates, they get an opportunity to apply their skills in a green job that addresses climate change or environmental challenges. This is valuable work experience that will help them transition to long-term employment or advanced studies.
Canadian Colleges for a Resilient Recovery
Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) and Canadian Colleges for a Resilient Recovery (C2R2) have formed a special affiliation with a shared commitment to environmental sustainability and resilient recovery. C2R2 is a coalition of 15 CICan members who have come together to spearhead initiatives for training, applied research and demonstration sites to drive skills development for the green economy. Through shared membership and collaboration, CICan and C2R2 can jointly promote and position the sector as key players in Canada’s resilient economic recovery that will benefit all.