Northern College Applauds Provincial Government for Stance on Skilled Trades

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TIMMINS, ON: Northern College and Colleges Ontario are pleased with commitments made by the Provincial Government to create a one-window digital portal for apprentices in the 2019 Ontario Budget.

“The one-window application process will ensure more people enroll in apprenticeship training,” said Linda Franklin, the president and CEO of Colleges Ontario. “This is a major step in producing a more highly skilled workforce to help close the skills gap.”

The current application system can be difficult for students and apprentices to navigate with no clear application process, making it very difficult to connect with willing employers.

The creation of a one-window portal will make the application process as straightforward as applying to college and university. This new, simple approach will help meet growing industry need for skilled apprentices and labour as Northern College’s catchment region continues to face a growing skills gap.

“Ontario’s colleges have been advocating for this change as part of the need for wholesale apprenticeship reform. The benefit apprentices can expect to receive is in improved clarity in how to navigate becoming an apprentice as well as in providing the needed supports to apprentices to increase completion rates,” stated Northern College President and CEO, Dr. Fred Gibbons.

Other budget highlights to produce a stronger workforce included:
• Establishing programs to encourage people to enter the skilled trades.
• Launching a new micro-credentials pilot this spring to provide people with specialty skills employers are seeking.

The 2019 Ontario Budget outlines many more changes to the way the province funds post-secondary education, tying established performance indicators to 60 per cent of provincial funding by 2024-25.

Gibbons further stated that, “Northern College looks forward to working with the government in developing meaningful and relevant performance indicators and believes in this level of public accountability. Northern College has a strong commitment to outcome-based post-secondary education and ensuring graduates are equipped with the expertise to land rewarding careers. This will also create higher awareness of the strengths of our programs and the great career opportunities available to Northern College graduates”.

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