Conestoga news

March 22, 2013 11:36 AM

Budget focuses on skills development and innovation for a prosperous future

Conestoga College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning, Ontario’s fastest growing college and a leader in polytechnic education, welcomes the initiatives announced in yesterday’s federal budget to support skills training and foster innovation to create a more prosperous future.

“Providing opportunities for individuals to develop the skills that are needed by industry will help address the current mismatch that has resulted in high youth unemployment as well as labour market shortages that threaten Canada’s economic prosperity,” said Dr. John Tibbits, Conestoga president. “We look forward to building on our proven track record and our established partnerships with industry and government to provide solutions that will benefit individuals and businesses across the country.”

As well as the new Canada Job Grant, the budget contains a number of other welcome initiatives that will allow colleges and polytechnics to continue playing a pivotal role in boosting innovation and job creation, including:

• a $12 million increase to the College and Community Innovation program that supports applied research collaboration between colleges and industry
• dedicated funding to promote education in high-demand fields, including the skilled trades
• the introduction of measures that will increase opportunities for apprentices
• investment in Canada’s International Education Strategy to strengthen Canada’s position as an educational destination of choice.

“This budget clearly recognizes the important role that applied learning plays as a catalyst for job opportunity and innovation that will reinvigorate Canada’s economy and put us on the path to a brighter future,” Tibbits continued. He has called for post-secondary education reform that would steer more young people towards career-focused, skills-based education that is aligned with real-world needs.