TORONTO, Dec. 5, 2012 /CNW/ - First-year enrolment in Ontario's colleges hit its highest level ever this year, increasing by 4.9 per cent over the previous year. More than 123,000 students are enrolled in first-year programs at the province's 24 colleges.
"In this difficult job market, more and more students are pursuing the career-focused programs at Ontario's colleges," said Linda Franklin, the president and CEO of Colleges Ontario. "They enroll in college because it means long-term success."
The colleges have seen a 17.4 per cent increase in international enrolment this year. As well, college education continues to attract significant numbers of university graduates. The number of university graduates applying to college has increased more than 40 per cent from five years ago.
Franklin said it is particularly important for students to pursue career-specific college programs as employers seek more highly qualified people.
There is growing evidence in Ontario of the skills mismatch identified in Seneca College president emeritus Rick Miner's seminal report, People Without Jobs, Jobs Without People: Ontario's Labour Market Future. At the same time that unemployment remains high, increasing numbers of employers are struggling to find qualified people to fill vacant positions.
"People entering the workforce must demonstrate they have the problem-solving abilities and the skills to succeed," Franklin said. "More than ever, a college education has become an important part of a student's path to meaningful employment."
Ontario's colleges serve 200,000 full-time students and 300,000 part-time students and clients. The most recent Key Performance Indicators released by the province confirm that college graduates continue to find work. The results show 83 per cent of college graduates found work within six months of graduation.
SOURCE: Colleges Ontario
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