Ontario's universities welcome partnerships with government, industry to help Ontario thrive in disruptive global economy

TORONTO, April 19, 2017 /CNW/ - Ontario university students trying to land their first job and employers scouting for the talent they need to compete in the rapidly changing economy will benefit from the new Career Kick-Start Strategy announced today by the provincial government.

Universities have been hearing from employers that more partnerships among universities, business and government are key to helping Ontario thrive in the disruptive global economy. Students also have indicated they value career-oriented learning experiences that apply the skills they are developing.

"Career Kick-Start is the kind of collaboration that will help provide the work-related learning opportunities so crucial to helping graduates launch their careers, while also connecting employers to the emerging members of our skilled and talented workforce," says David Lindsay, President and CEO of the Council of Ontario Universities (COU).

"Universities are hearing more and more that meeting Ontario's economic and social challenges will depend on building stronger partnerships with employers and governments. This new program is an example of how we can all pull together for a better future for students and for the province."

A recent survey showed that 94 per cent of Ontario university graduates have secured well-paying jobs two years after graduation, and data also shows that bachelor-level graduates with work-related experience have higher employment rates than their peers.

Ontario's universities want to be good partners in building a better future, and know that greater collaboration is needed to help the province thrive.

Ontario's 21 universities produce more than 100,000 graduates each year, contributing to the highly educated population that employers and government agree is required to drive the new economy.

Ontario universities look forward to working with employers and the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development on the Career Kick-Start Strategy, and in developing direction for implementation of the new Career Ready Fund intended to create career-oriented learning experiences and supports for students and recent graduates.

Internships provided to students through the Mitacs Accelerate program as a result of this investment will also benefit Ontario through meaningful industry-led research partnerships.

Ontario's universities are engaged in a conversation about how we can work together to unlock the full potential of Ontario's future and all who live here as part of the #futuring campaign. Join the conversation and share your thoughts on the future by visiting ontariosuniversities.ca and taking our survey.

COU is the voice of Ontario's universities, promoting the value of education, research and innovation that leads to social, cultural and economic success.

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SOURCE Council of Ontario Universities

For further information: Wendy McCann, Senior Director, Communications, Council of Ontario Universities, http://cou.on.ca/, 416-979-2165 ext. 233, 416-473-4829 (cell), Email Wendy McCann [wmccann@cou.on.ca]


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