Majority of Canadians 'Strongly Agree' Educational Institutions Should Work More Closely With Business to Produce Highly-Skilled People Needed to Sustain and Improve Canada's Economy



    Nine in ten (91%) Say Practical Training More Important in Getting Laid
    Off Workers Back on the Job than Theoretical Education

    TORONTO, Jan. 22 /CNW Telbec/ - As the federal government continues its
consultations on the budget, a majority (54%) of Canadians "strongly agree"
that "educational institutions need to work more closely with business to
produce the highly-skilled people needed to sustain and improve Canada's
economy." Furthermore, 91 per cent agree that "practical skills training is
more important in getting laid-off workers back on the job than theoretical
education."
    The poll, conducted on behalf of Polytechnics Canada, also revealed that
nine in ten (86%) respondents agree that "small businesses in Canada need
increased public investment in research and development to meet current
economic challenges."
    Canada's polytechnic institutions are distinct from both universities and
colleges in that a polytechnic works in close collaboration with the local
business community and with senior academics to produce degree programs that
have highly practical applications. Polytechnics like Conestoga College,
George Brown College, SAIT Polytechnic, Seneca, BCIT, Humber College and
Sheridan Institute have always believed in providing an education that focuses
on the practical application of theoretical knowledge in order to deliver the
highest possible benefit to both students and the community. Polytechnics do
applied research in the real world.
    Citing concerns that Canada is falling behind in innovation and
productivity most of those surveyed (86 per cent) agreed with the statement;
"the government needs to invest more money on applied research in order to be
competitive internationally. "
    Similarly, 90 per cent affirm "the government needs to do more to equip
people with the technical and technological skills needed to succeed in
today's global marketplace", and that we "need to do more to take advantage of
scientific and technological discoveries."
    Generally, the survey found that an overwhelming majority of Canadians
think "Canada needs more entrepreneurs, innovators, and inventors who can
transform knowledge into marketable products and processes" and that "training
and educating people is as important, or more important, as building
infrastructure."

    Polytechnics Canada is an alliance of seven large, internationally
recognized post-secondary institutions committed to producing career-ready
graduates who combine critical thinking with theoretical understanding and
practical competence.

    These are the findings of a poll conducted on behalf of Polytechnics
    Canada from January 12 to 19, 2009. This online survey of 1043 Canadian
    adults was conducted via the Ipsos I-Say Online Panel, Ipsos Reid's
    national online panel. The results of these polls are based on a sample
    where quota sampling and weighting are employed to balance demographics
    and ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the actual
    Canadian population according to Census data. Quota samples with
    weighting from the Ipsos online panel provide results that are intended
    to approximate a probability sample. Statistical margins of error are not
    applicable to online polls, however, an unweighted probability sample of
    this size, with a 100% response rate, would have an estimated margin of
    error of +/- 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had the entire
    adult population of Canada been polled.




For further information:

For further information: on the results of this survey or on Canada's
polytechnic institutions please contact Sharon Maloney, Executive Director,
Polytechnics Canada, (416) 949-2588, semaloney@polytechnicscanada.ca; In
Ottawa: Ken Doyle, Director of Public Affairs, Polytechnics Canada, (613)
429-0057, kdoyle@polytechnicscanada.ca; Visit the Polytechnics Canada website
at: http://www.polytechnicscanada.ca/ Detailed results of this survey may be
found through Ipsos Reid at: www.ipsos.ca.

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Polytechnics Canada

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