Canada College President George Burton says he welcomes the Government of Ontario’s first-time investment in micro-credential retraining programs.
The 2020 Ontario Budget tabled on Thursday announced $59.5 million over three years to support Ontario’s new micro-credentials strategy, which will help people retrain and upgrade their skills to find new employment.
“Canadore is pleased with the government’s ongoing support and investments to ensure we have a workforce to meet the challenges of the 21st century,” he said. “It is only through ongoing investments in workforce training and applied learning that we will ensure a strong Ontario,” said Burton.
The funding will be used to create an online portal of micro-credential training opportunities, develop new micro-credential programs, and establish a virtual passport that creates opportunities for people in the programs to pursue further learning. The government also announced that students enrolled in qualified programs will be eligible to receive student assistance.
“Many of our students come from rural and remote areas and the much-needed investment in broadband access will help create greater opportunities for our students and their communities by reducing the digital divide. Continuing investments in technology and modern learning environments are essential to help students attain the skills required to be successful in the evolving job market,” said Burton.
Expanding micro-credential programs was one of the recommendations in a recent paper by the StrategyCorp Institue of Public Police and Economy submitted to College and Universities Minister Ross Romano, as part of the minister’s consultation on modernizing higher education.
The paper also recommended other steps Ontario must take, including colleges to get approval to offer career-specific three-year degree programs.
“These recommendations align with Canadore’s priorities for future growth,’ said Burton. “Colleges continue to be pivotal to the efforts to restore Ontario as an economic powerhouse, and we are keen to work with the province to become world leaders in post-secondary education.”