As the voice of colleges and institutes in Ottawa, we joined forces with other organizations this year to advance our members’ priorities, including the need to support upskilling and reskilling in order to help Canadians adjust to changes in the labour market. We worked with Universities Canada to submit proposals on student mobility and market diversification for international recruitment. We also worked with Polytechnics Canada, Tech-Access Canada, la Fédération des cégeps, and l’Association pour la recherche au collégial to highlight the need for stable research support funding for our members’ applied research activities. Finally, we partnered with the Business/Higher Education Roundtable, Co-operative Education and Work-Integrated Learning (CEWIL) Canada and many other stakeholders to promote work-integrated learning as a critical aspect of preparing Canadians for the jobs of tomorrow.
We also worked closely with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and consulted with members on a range of issues with relevance to international students, including the launch and expansion of the Study Direct Stream and biometrics, to ensure that policy and program criteria reflect the interests of our members
These efforts were well received by the federal government, which delivered a very college-friendly budget, on March 19, that was introduced from the get-go as a skills budget.
Budget by the numbers:
- $1.7 billion over five years for the Canada Training Benefit
- $798.2 million over five years to expand the Student Work Placement Program and support 84,000 new work-integrated learning placements per year
- $147.9 million over five years for a new International Education Strategy