Colleges urge government to implement highly skilled workforce panel's key recommendations

TORONTO, June 23, 2016 /CNW/ - The province should move quickly to implement key recommendations from Premier Kathleen Wynne's expert panel that call for reforms to apprenticeship training and new measures to help more young people acquire career-specific qualifications and skills.

"More young people must be equipped with the professional and technical skills to succeed in this new economy," said Linda Franklin, the president and CEO of Colleges Ontario. "We applaud the fact the Ontario government has made this a priority and it's clear from the panel's report that college education will be central to the efforts to create a more highly skilled workforce."

The Premier's Highly Skilled Workforce Strategy Expert Panel, chaired by former Ontario cabinet minister Sean Conway, released today its report to government, Building the Workforce of Tomorrow: A Shared Responsibility. The report calls for changes that align with a number of recommendations from Ontario's colleges, including:

  • Developing a modernized apprenticeship system that helps more young people pursue careers in the skilled trades.
  • Creating an Ontario-specific website that provides accessible information on labour market trends and opportunities.
  • Providing professional development opportunities to teachers involved in career counselling, to expand their knowledge of labour market trends, skills requirements and emerging careers.
  • Reviewing the guidance and career education curriculum to ensure that students are exposed to a variety of learning pathways and opportunities.
  • Implementing new measures to encourage more employers to offer experiential learning opportunities.
  • Improving training opportunities for people in groups that are traditionally underrepresented in higher education.

As well, colleges endorse the recommendation that Ontario work with the federal government to develop a national skills strategy and to secure improved labour-market funding for training. The report also makes an important call for new investments in training that supports indigenous communities and the shift to a low-carbon economy.

"Promoting a stronger workforce is a priority in Ontario," Franklin said. "Implementing the panel's recommendations will strengthen the economy and help more young people find meaningful employment."

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SOURCE Colleges Ontario

For further information: Amy Dickson, Manager, Media Relations and Communications, Colleges Ontario, 647-258-7686,


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