TORONTO, May 1, 2014 /CNW/ - Ontario's colleges are pleased with the provincial government's budget commitment to invest in critical maintenance repairs at colleges and universities.
"The budget recognizes that students must study in safe and effective learning environments," said David Agnew, the chair of Colleges Ontario and president of Seneca College. "We appreciate this long-term commitment to helping colleges produce the highly qualified graduates that are needed in the new economy."
The 2014 Ontario Budget has announced that capital allocations for repairs and maintenance at colleges and universities will increase to $40 million a year starting in 2015-16, up from $26 million this year. In 2019-20, the amount will increase to $100 million.
Other highlights in the budget tabled today by Finance Minister Charles Sousa included a commitment to fund regional skills-training programs for Aboriginal Peoples and to expanding work-integrated learning options for post-secondary students.
The need to invest in repairs and maintenance at colleges was one of the central issues raised by the college sector in its pre-budget submission to government last December. The sector has had a long-standing backlog of deferred maintenance work that has needed to be addressed.
The budget commitment to improve college facilities is particularly important as Ontario works to address youth unemployment and underemployment. There is a growing demand for graduates of the career-specific programs at colleges, with enrolment this year at an all-time high.
"We must continue to encourage young people to pursue college education, including combinations of both college and university programs," said Linda Franklin, the president and CEO of Colleges Ontario. "We are pleased that the budget continues to support the colleges' excellent programs."
SOURCE: Colleges Ontario
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