TORONTO, April 17, 2013 /CNW/ - Despite the slow economic recovery, new numbers show the vast majority of Ontario college graduates continue to find jobs quickly. The most recent data shows 83.6 per cent of college graduates found employment within six months of graduation.
The employment rate is among the independently gathered Key Performance Indicators (KPI) data for the province's colleges that were released today.
"The career-focused learning and hands-on experience offered at Ontario's 24 public colleges means our graduates are ready to contribute to the workplace immediately," said Linda Franklin, president and CEO of Colleges Ontario. "There is a big demand for skilled employees in this new economy. It is more important than ever to produce increasing numbers of highly qualified college graduates."
College education is particularly important as the province grapples with the skills mismatch that is undermining the economy.
Even during the economic downturn, many employers have vacant positions they can't fill because the people seeking work don't have the right qualifications. This problem is expected to get worse in the years ahead. It is projected more than 700,000 Ontarians will be unemployable by 2021 due to insufficient education and skills.
To tackle the skills mismatch, greater numbers of people must get access to the wide range of programs at Ontario's 24 colleges.
"College education will be central to Ontario's efforts to close the skills gap," Franklin said. "More students must get access to the colleges' career-focused programs as part of their higher education."
The KPI data released today also found that 93.4 per cent of employers were satisfied or very satisfied with the college graduates they hired.
Since 1998, the provincial KPI have been gathered annually by two independent research firms for the colleges and for the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities. The most recent data were collected from March 2012 to February 2013.
The full KPI report is available at www.collegesontario.org.
SOURCE: Colleges Ontario
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