With entrenched double-digit rates of youth unemployment across most of the country, parents and students are taking notice of the fact that 90 per cent of college grads find employment within six months of graduation.
Canada's colleges and institutes prepare graduates with advanced skills that 94 per cent of employers say they are satisfied with and find easy to hire. That's because there is a college program for almost every job out there, and colleges ensure students graduate with real-world skills that equip them to start careers or become successful entrepreneurs.
Colleges and institutes offer certificates, diplomas, degrees and postgraduate diplomas across a variety of disciplines. Most also offer pathways to degrees through articulation agreements with partner universities. Increasing numbers of university students are choosing college to prepare them for employment. In Ontario, for example, the number of university grads enrolled in college has increased 40 per cent in the last five years.
Public colleges and institutes also support economic growth, innovation and employment across Canada through partnerships with communities and businesses. There is a growing list of leading Canadian industry organizations from aerospace, construction, oil and gas, food services, engineering, mining, retail, technology, forestry and other sectors all supporting colleges as key partners to address Canada's employment and innovation challenges.
Canada's colleges are also playing increasingly influential roles in support of international development initiatives, with partners around the world.
Through links with industry and community members, ACCC's Education for Employment (EFE) programs promote sustainable economic growth and job creation, reducing poverty and helping communities thrive. Canadian colleges deliver expertise in government and business partnerships that contributes to job solutions for students and employers. ACCC partners on EFE with our college members in Africa as well as the Caribbean and Andes regions to provide support developing skilled, adaptable and flexible workforces.
ACCC also undertakes development and executive leadership initiatives in China and India, in addition to international student recruitment. Promoting Canada's colleges as destinations-of-choice for education is key to creating learning opportunities for students and institutions. Working with government and post-secondary partners, we market Canadian colleges abroad and increase opportunities for our colleges, institutes and polytechnics by attracting greater numbers of international students.
While ACCC and its members assist in delivering Canada's ambitious International Education Strategy, we continue to seek greater inclusion of college students in international internships and scholarships offered through various government and industry funding mechanisms. We must prepare all Canadians to become global professionals, global entrepreneurs and global citizens.
Our economy depends on linking employers with employees that have the right skills, which includes ensuring newcomers are ready for Canada's workforce. ACCC's award-winning Canadian Immigrant Integration Program (CIIP) provides tailored pre-departure information and planning services to federal skilled immigrants and provincial nominees before they arrive in Canada, as well as online referrals with partners across the country.
The federal government recognizes that colleges play a vital role in ensuring Canada has a skilled workforce.
Increasingly, Canadians are pushing aside old ideas about post-secondary education and recognizing that colleges start careers. For high school students and their parents as well as university students and experienced employees in need of skill upgrading, colleges, institutes and polytechnics offer education solutions – and a wealth of attractive career options.
ACCC is the national and international voice of Canada's publicly funded colleges, institutes and polytechnics, working with industry and social sectors to train 1.5 million learners of all ages and backgrounds at campuses serving over 3,000 urban, rural and remote communities across the country and in 29 countries around the world.
On February 13, ACCC was presented a gold IPAC-Deloitte Public Sector Leadership Award for its pioneering overseas orientation program for economic immigrants, delivered in more than 25 countries.
The Canadian Immigrant Integration Program (CIIP), developed by ACCC and funded through Citizenship and Immigration Canada, provides pre-departure services for newcomers, including online referrals to an extensive network of partners across Canada. They include immigrant-serving organizations, regulatory bodies, credential assessment agencies and employer-based organizations and others. Nearly 25,000 newcomers have benefited from the service in just a few years.
In accepting the award, ACCC president and CEO Denise Amyot shared the honour with all ACCC members, employees and its partners that “live the vision of public sector leadership every day.”