OTTAWA, Feb. 11, 2014 /CNW/ - Polytechnics Canada applauds today's federal budget, which recognizes the critical role colleges and polytechnics play in fostering made-in-Canada innovation and talent. We hope all federal parties will appreciate the importance of college and polytechnic applied research in helping local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) attain commercial success.
"Today's federal budget connects the challenges of skills and innovation in concrete ways and with targeted, reasonable funding," says Anne Sado, Chair of Polytechnics Canada and President of George Brown College. "I am also pleased the government acknowledged the important role apprenticeship training deserves alongside Canadian university and college education."
Budget 2014 contains several strategic announcements that respond directly to Polytechnics Canada's recommendations. These initiatives will benefit our members and the Canadian economy as a whole as we look towards remedying Canada's productivity gap and innovation lag. These measures include:
- Creation of a College Social Innovation Fund at the Social Sciences Humanities Research Council that will connect the talent, facilities and capabilities of Canada's colleges and polytechnics with the research needs of local community organizations.
- Creation of a new Canada Apprentice Loan which will help support registered Red Seal apprentices with access to interest-free, repayable loans.
- Introduction of a Flexibility and Innovation in Apprenticeship Technical Training pilot project.
- Expansion of experiential learning opportunities for college and polytechnic graduates in an innovative industrial setting with small and medium-sized host enterprises.
In addition, we welcome the new funds for the Indirect Costs of Research Program with the hope that the willingness to increase the program will lead to the inclusion of the College and Community Innovation Program. This will help offset the costs incurred by the college and polytechnic sector in carrying out federally funded R&D activity.
"The government continues to send strong signals of its support for applied education in Canada and the positive outcomes our members have for employers and our learners - students and apprentices alike," says Nobina Robinson, Chief Executive Officer of Polytechnics Canada, the national alliance of Canada's 11 leading research-intensive, degree-granting colleges and institutes of technology. Robinson added: "Our members will capitalize on the new opportunities."
In 2012-13, Polytechnics Canada members engaged over 11,000 students in applied research activity, worked on projects with over 1,400 industry partners and developed nearly 500 prototypes. In 2011-2012, over 40,000 apprentices, along with 270,000 post-secondary students pursued industry-relevant training across all our programs.
For more information on our recommendations to the Federal Government, please see our website here.
Located in Canada's key economic regions, the member colleges and institutes are: British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT), SAIT Polytechnic, Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT), Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology (SIAST), Red River College, Conestoga, Sheridan, Humber, George Brown, Seneca and Algonquin.
SOURCE: Polytechnics Canada
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Director of Policy
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