Support for apprentices, innovation and labour market information welcomed by Polytechnics Canada

OTTAWA, April 21, 2015 /CNW/ - Polytechnics Canada welcomes today's federal budget with its mix of new funding announcements and future commitments for skills and innovation. Specifically, the Budget recognized a number our recommendations for skilled tradespeople, for improving career information for students and employers, and for ongoing support for applied research and innovation at colleges and polytechnics.

"We welcome Budget 2015's range of new initiatives and forward-looking commitments of continued support for well-performing programs that enable Canadian polytechnics and colleges to assist local industry partners in a variety of industry sectors," said Anne Sado, President of George Brown College and Chair of Polytechnics Canada's Board of Directors.

Budget 2015 will expand the adoption of the Blue Seal Certification Program across Canada. The program is designed to encourage journeypersons to continue to learn and gain business foundational skills after they have achieved their journeyperson status. Entrepreneurial engagement elevates the prestige of the skilled trades by encouraging more tradespeople to start or expand their own businesses or to operate as subcontractors. This also provides an avenue for succession planning for older business-owning tradespeople anticipating retirement and looking to hand off their businesses.

Budget 2015 also committed funds in this fiscal year for a new one-stop national labour market information portal. This announcement of funds begins to address the long-standing need to provide Canadians with timely, objective, consistent and comparable labour market information (LMl) that better connects students to employers. Polytechnics Canada looks forward to contributing advice and support for the implementation of the new initiative.

"The promotion of the Blue Seal Certification Program and the creation of a one stop labour market information portal are two important steps to building a modern workforce for Canada," said Nobina Robinson, CEO of Polytechnics Canada.

We welcome the strong signals that the Government will continue to support college and polytechnic applied research and related research infrastructure through the Canada Foundation for Innovation's College-Industry Innovation Fund. The Government has also committed to increasing the College and Community Innovation Program administered by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council starting in 2016. These programs help connect our students and our R&D expertise with the innovation needs of Canada's companies.

Polytechnics Canada also acknowledges the future commitments made today to support export development for small and mid-sized enterprises, business innovation program consolidation, youth entrepreneurship, student financial assistance, aligning employer needs with training, bolstering the aerospace supply chain, retooling labour market development agreements, certification loans for foreign trained professionals, and accelerating social finance uptake.

Located in Canada's key economic regions, the 11 members of Polytechnics Canada are: British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT), Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT), SAIT Polytechnic, Saskatchewan Polytechnic, Red River College, Conestoga, Sheridan, Humber, George Brown, Seneca, and Algonquin Colleges.

 

SOURCE Polytechnics Canada

For further information: Ken Doyle, Director of Policy, Polytechnics Canada, Tel: 613-688-0690, Email: kdoyle@polytechnicscanada.ca

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