Conestoga news

April 28, 2017 11:56 AM

Provincial budget commitments will produce a more highly skilled workforce

Measures announced in the 2017 Ontario Budget released on April 27 will allow more students to acquire the professional and technical qualifications they need to pursue rewarding careers, Ontario’s colleges said today.

“Producing a more highly skilled workforce is essential as new technology and innovations transform our economy,” said John Tibbits, President of Conestoga College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning. “This budget will help produce economic growth and strengthen our community.”

Measures announced in the 2017 Ontario Budget include:

  • Exploring new opportunities to improve access to apprenticeship programs.
  • Increasing funding to support college sustainability by an extra $10 million this year. The increase will be $16.5 million by 2018-19.
  • Developing new tools to provide better information about careers and the labour market to students, parents and employers.
  • Enhancing student assistance so that recent graduates won’t have to pay the provincial portion of their OSAP loans until they’re earning at least $35,000 a year.
  • Reaffirming the investment of $190 million over three years in the Career Kick-Start Strategy to help more students and graduates get work-related experiences as part of their education.
  • Recalibrating the Second Career retraining program for laid-off workers.
  • “The budget reinforces the government’s commitment to helping more students get the expertise and experience to pursue rewarding careers,” President Tibbits continued. “It reaffirms the pivotal role that colleges play in student success.”

    Conestoga College is a leader in polytechnic education, delivering a full range of career-focused education, training and applied research programs to prepare students for success in the new knowledge economy and promote economic prosperity throughout our region and across Ontario.

    Established in 1967, Conestoga now serves approximately 55,000 full and part-time learners each year through campuses and training centres in Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, Guelph, Stratford, Ingersoll and Brantford. For more information, visit