The Ontario government says its new policy on college partnerships will strengthen the province’s workforce.
The policy, which expands partnership agreements between Ontario’s colleges and private trainers, is designed to produce a more highly qualified workforce, Ontario’s colleges said today.
“This creates new opportunities for international students to acquire the professional expertise to pursue rewarding careers in Ontario,” said Linda Franklin, president and CEO of Colleges Ontario. “This strengthens our workforce and our economic prosperity.”
The partnerships respond to demographic changes that make it more difficult for employers to find qualified people. As the number of young people in the province continues to drop, Ontario must attract more international students.
The partnership agreements address that challenge by providing more spaces for international students who want to acquire an Ontario college education. This is particularly important in filling labour shortages in communities outside the GTA.
There are currently six colleges that have licences with private colleges to jointly educate international students. Colleges and Universities Minister Ross Romano announced that the previous government’s moratorium on further agreements would be lifted, and new criteria will allow for more partnerships.
Colleges support the province’s commitment to protecting the quality of programs and managing enrolment levels.
The new policy allows Ontario to educate more students for careers in business, technology, mechanical engineering and computer programming.
“This marks an important step in Ontario’s efforts to close the skills gap,” Franklin said. “It will be particularly important in communities outside the GTA where employers are eager to hire more people.”
Colleges Ontario is the advocacy organization for the province’s 24 public colleges. The organization advances policies and awareness campaigns to ensure Ontario produces the highly skilled workforce that is essential to Ontario’s prosperity.