Ontario college graduates continue to get jobs

TORONTO, April 14 /CNW/ - An Ontario college education continues to prepare people for success - even in a difficult economy - with about 85 per cent of most recent graduates finding work within six months of graduation, new data released today confirm.

"College education and training continues to prepare people for success," said Anne Sado, president of George Brown College and chair of the colleges' committee of presidents. "Even in a worldwide recession, the vast majority of college graduates were being hired."

The employment rate for graduates is among the Key Performance Indicators (KPI) data released today for the province's colleges. The results show 84.8 per cent of the 2008-09 graduates entering into the labour force found work within six months of graduating.

"I can't imagine a better measure of our success, given the mandate of public colleges," said Linda Franklin, president and CEO of Colleges Ontario, which represents Ontario's 24 public colleges. "Colleges were created to provide hands-on, career-focused education to meet the needs of local businesses and industry. Clearly, we are very good at this."

Since 1998, the provincial KPI data 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 2009 to February 2010.

Sado said the employment rate confirms that postsecondary education is important for people entering the workforce. The most recent data from Statistics Canada shows the employment rate for people without postsecondary education is only 74.9 per cent.

The KPI data also found that 93 per cent of employers were satisfied or very satisfied with the quality of the graduates they hired.

"College graduates enter the workforce with an excellent combination of academic education and skills training," Sado said. "Graduates have the problem-solving abilities and the up-to-date skills to succeed in their careers."

Other key findings in the KPI data included:

    -   93 per cent of employers were satisfied with the quality of the
        educational preparation of college graduates.

    -   79.8 per cent of graduates were satisfied with the usefulness of
        their college education in achieving their goals after graduation.

    -   76.3 per cent of students were satisfied with the overall quality of
        learning experience, knowledge and skills acquired, services,
        programming and resources available to them.

Sado said the results are particularly important as Ontario prepares to address a pending labour shortage. A recently released report by Seneca College president emeritus Dr. Rick Miner has found that more than 700,000 people in Ontario will be unemployable by 2021 due to an insufficient level of higher education and training.

"The evidence is clear that higher education is essential to helping people fulfil their career goals," Sado said. "In the new knowledge economy, it is more important than ever to produce greater numbers of college graduates."

The KPI results are available at www.collegesontario.org.

SOURCE Colleges Ontario

For further information: For further information: Sally Ritchie, Senior Communications Officer, Colleges Ontario, (416) 596-0744, ext. 242

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