There's no mistaking the priority among parents, students and the public these days when it comes to post-secondary education. First and foremost, they want the post-secondary programs to lead to rewarding careers.
More needs to be done to identify the careers of the future -- this is especially important as the demand for a more professionally trained and highly skilled workforce continues to grow. It is more essential than ever to identify the future opportunities for young people and ensure students and parents know what qualifications are required to pursue those careers.
Colleges in Ontario and throughout the country have been working with small and medium-sized businesses on applied research projects to help businesses grow and innovate, as well as create new jobs. Applied research that Ontario's colleges conduct in partnership with business and industry will be central to our success when competing with international markets.
The Ontario government is to be applauded for emphasizing the importance of apprenticeship programs, particularly as the province strives to produce a more qualified and highly trained workforce for the skilled trades and other sectors. Ontario has committed funding towards new equipment and technology upgrades to ensure apprentices get training that is aligned with innovations in the workplace; while new funding has been announced to encourage greater numbers of Aboriginal Peoples, at-risk youth, women and newcomers to Canada to pursue skills training.