Ontario's colleges say budget commitments will produce a more highly skilled workforce

TORONTO, April 27, 2017 /CNW/ - Measures announced in the 2017 Ontario Budget will allow more students to acquire the professional and technical qualifications to pursue rewarding careers, Ontario's colleges said today.

"The government is clearly committed to producing a more highly skilled workforce," said Linda Franklin, the president and CEO of Colleges Ontario. "More people will enter the workforce with the qualifications and expertise to find long-term success."

Measures announced in the 2017 Ontario Budget tabled today include:

  • Exploring new opportunities to improve access to apprenticeship programs.

  • Increasing the funding to support college sustainability by $10 million this year, increasing to $16.5 million by 2018-19.

  • Developing a new website 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.

"College education will be pivotal to Ontario's success as accelerating automation and new innovations transform the economy," Franklin said. "We look forward to working with the government to ensure the new measures announced today are as effective as possible."

SOURCE Colleges Ontario

For further information: Scott Brownrigg, Senior Communications Advisor, Colleges Ontario, Cell: 416-456-2146, brownrigg@collegesontario.org

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www.collegesontario.org

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