Polytechnic education critical to the front-line workforce

Government needs to be thinking about smart investments to make applied education safe and accessible

Polytechnic education critical to the front-line workforceThe important role of front-line workers has never been more apparent than over the last several weeks. They include nurses and personal support workers, paramedics and other first responders, technology professionals and skilled tradespeople, and those working in advanced manufacturing or supplying us with food. These have been the people with the skills and know-how…

Mid-career workers are higher education’s next challenge

The traditional student no longer exists. That means we need to find ways to encourage and fund lifelong learning

Mid-career workers are higher education’s next challengeWith a host of transformational challenges putting pressure on labour markets, a line from Robert Atkinson and Jeffrey Brown’s latest paper struck me: “Nothing about the future of work is inevitable.” Their paper is intended to reaffirm that in the face of structural change, coming impacts can be mitigated through dedicated effort and smart policy.…

Canada’s polytechnics represent disruption in action

They offer industry-relevant programs, equipment and facilities that ready learners for a constantly changing workplace

Canada’s polytechnics represent disruption in actionIt seems everywhere you look, people are talking about transformation in Canadian workplaces. Robots, driverless cars and Internet-enabled machines are changing the nature of work. An aging population is putting unprecedented pressure on health-care services and leading to shortages in sectors where retirements are outpacing available young people with the necessary skills. The world around…

Colleges and polytechnics key to business innovation

Let’s unlock their full potential with greater and more consistent government funding

Colleges and polytechnics key to business innovationBy Sarah Watts-Rynard and Denise Amyot Canada is at an innovation crossroads. Productivity measures have long lagged our international counterparts and our small businesses often lack the internal resources to fulfil their potential. Developing new prototypes, adopting new technologies and designing new processes takes time, money and human resources. As Canada’s economic engines, small and mid-sized…

Canada needs new data for a new economy

It’s time to focus on assessing skills in workforce development as we prepare for the inevitable job shift

Canada needs new data for a new economyWhen the federal Liberals took power in 2015, they made evidence a key priority in policy-making. Michael Barber, known for his groundbreaking work in “Deliverology,” the science of getting results, was brought in to advise key government decision-makers, and results and delivery units were created within federal departments. Across almost every ministry, there was a…

The need to nurture a skills economy

We can’t talk about the future of work without also talking about the future of education

The need to nurture a skills economyBy Nobina Robinson and Daniel Komesch Polytechnics Canada  When leaders of the world’s seven most advanced economies meet on June 8 and 9 in Charlevoix, Que., the top-line agenda item will be preparing for the jobs of the future. What exactly does this agenda item mean for the Canadian workers, students and employers? The proliferation…

Reclaim brownfield sites by putting science funding to practical use

The payoffs from investing more in applied research collaboration among different kinds of institutions are practical and long-lasting

Reclaim brownfield sites by putting science funding to practical useThere are tens of thousands of brownfield sites scattered across Canada – many of them in urban locations. Enter collaborations with applied research. And a Canadian-made solution. Outstanding discovery research occurs at universities across the country. However, far too often this research fails to arrive at the commercial marketplace. Consecutive federal governments have attempted to tackle…

The job-market payoff of a hands-on bachelor’s degree

The graduate employment rate for bachelor’s degree holders from Polytechnics Canada members was 91 per cent in 2015-16

The job-market payoff of a hands-on bachelor’s degreeThere are bachelor’s degrees and there are applied bachelor’s degrees. The difference – when it comes to finding fulfilling employment – can be dramatic. In late November, Statistics Canada released its comprehensive reports on education, covering a wide range of topics, including overall education attainment and the skills mismatches and earnings potential of bachelor’s degree…

Building a clean, green and smart Canada

Canada’s polytechnic institutions are developing the talent to drive the nation's dramatic next-generation infrastructure expansion program

Building a clean, green and smart CanadaBy Nobina Robinson Polytechnics Canada and Glenn Feltham NAIT We are on the verge of another pivotal moment in Canada’s infrastructure history – one that will reshape our economy. But we need next-generation talent to build that infrastructure. Canada’s economy is inextricably linked to our infrastructure and it’s always been so. Our nation and its economy…

Set aside the stereotypes and put young people to work

We need to tackle youth employment needs with more polytechnic education that uses work-integrated models of learning

Set aside the stereotypes and put young people to workIt’s not easy being young these days – especially where employment is concerned. A recent report from Statistics Canada found that full-time employment among young people (aged 17 to 24, excluding full-time students) has declined significantly since the late 1970s. This is not just the result of a bumpy economy. Youth are more likely to be unemployed than…