TIMMINS, ON: Northern College congratulates Premier Kathleen Wynne and all of Ontario’s Members of Provincial Parliament on being elected to form the 41st Parliament of Ontario. The college is looking forward to working with the new government to further enhance the quality and value of post-secondary education in the province.
Earlier this year, Northern College called on Queen’s Park to focus on youth unemployment. The college is pleased to see that the issue is specifically addressed by the new government’s education platform, through an extension of the Youth Jobs Strategy. The extension will see $38 million added to the program which will now run until September 2015, helping an estimated 30,000 young people find work, build job skills or start their own business.
The government also has plans to promote experiential and hands-on learning opportunities, co-operative education and online education. Northern College excels at providing its students with a variety of hands-on education opportunities and is a leader in providing distance education.
“Through experiential learning, we provide our students with the hands-on experience that employers are looking for in new hires,” says Fred Gibbons, President of Northern College. “In promoting these learning opportunities, the government is directly addressing the fact that industry is looking for employees with high-skills education. This is a step in the right direction in terms of addressing the skills mismatch.”
Northern College is now looking to the government to shift priorities and implement broader policy measures that better align higher education and training with the needs of the job market. Northern also hopes the government will expand the range of degree programs in career-specific areas. This would include elevating Ontario’s post-secondary system to international standards by allowing colleges to offer three-year degree programs.
Central to the government’s education platform is the continuation of the 30 per cent off tuition rebate offered to students in low and middle income families. First launched in 2012, the rebate is given to an estimated 260,000 students annually. Eligible Northern College students could save up to $820 this year thanks to the rebate.
“Increasing access to the high-quality programming we offer is one of our biggest objectives. This rebate makes post-secondary education more affordable for many of our students. It helps to remove one of the hurdles keeping many youth from pursuing post-secondary education,” says Gibbons.
The college is also pleased with the government’s plan to provide nearly $500 million over the next 10 years to be used on differed maintenance projects at Ontario’s post-secondary institutions. The funding will allow Northern to undertake various maintenance projects at its campuses to improve campus life.
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