Colleges call for Ontario to focus on youth unemployment

TORONTO, April 30, 2015 /CNW/ - Ontario's colleges are urging the provincial government to work with educators and businesses to help tackle youth unemployment by addressing the shortage of information about career trends in the labour market.

"Many young people don't know what careers they should be exploring," said David Agnew, the president of Seneca College and chair of Colleges Ontario. "To tackle the youth unemployment problem, the government must work with educators and businesses to find ways to provide better information to students and parents."

Business leaders and other experts continue to stress that young people and their parents need more information about the labour market and the careers that are in demand. There is also a need for more information about the education and qualifications required to pursue those careers.

Addressing the shortfall in labour-market information is one of the college sector's priorities highlighted in Fuelling Prosperity, the newly released strategic plan for Colleges Ontario.

Colleges Ontario is the advocacy organization for the province's 24 colleges. Along with the need for better labour-market data, Fuelling Prosperity describes a number of policy goals to promote economic growth and stronger communities.

Working in partnership with students, governments, businesses and others, the colleges' goals for the years ahead include:

  • Reforming Ontario's apprenticeship system to help more people get skills training.
  • Expanding post-secondary credentials in Ontario to encourage more students to enrol in career-focused programs. This includes continuing to pursue provincial reforms to expand the range of four-year degree programs at colleges and to allow colleges to offer career-specific three-year degrees.
  • Strengthening Ontario's credit-transfer system to allow more students to pursue combinations of university and college education.

"Ontario's colleges play a pivotal role in producing highly qualified graduates for the new innovation economy," said Linda Franklin, the president and CEO of Colleges Ontario. "Ontario must build on the strength of its colleges to help more people acquire the professional and technical skills to find rewarding careers."

SOURCE Colleges Ontario

For further information: Rob Savage, Director of Communications, Colleges Ontario, 647-258-7687, savage@collegesontario.org

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www.collegesontario.org

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