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Canadian Colleges, Cégéps and Polytechnics are Rising to the Challenge of Training Workers for the Jobs of Tomorrow

As leaders, the Canadian Colleges for a Resilient Recovery (C2R2) coalition is actively engaged with the federal government to demonstrate how we can quickly respond to complex training and applied research challenges from coast to coast to coast. C2R2 is a coalition of highly aligned institutions from across Canada with an established commitment to sustainability, that have come together as a driving force, providing the skills required to transition to a clean economy in Canada. Our institutions are positioned to develop thousands of training and applied research opportunities to help Canadians access new careers, support the transition to a low-carbon economy, and foster inclusion, diversity, and equity.

We will ensure we are at the forefront of the transition by:

  • Rapidly implementing and scaling curriculum initiatives focused on training workers for a resilient recovery to meet federal targets
  • Demonstrating new and existing research expertise and facilities to innovate technology, techniques and products to drive the low-carbon transition and significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions
  • Utilizing the C2R2 pan-Canadian network to collaborate and expand the reach of training and research abilities to better support women, underrepresented populations, First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples
C2R2 can support federal priorities. With government awareness, support and funding C2R2 can rapidly respond to the training and research opportunities needed to support an inclusive low-carbon economy.

In its November 2021 Speech from the Throne, the federal government said, “As a country, we want to be leaders in producing the world’s cleanest steel, aluminum, building products, cars, and planes. Not only do we have the raw materials and energy to do that, most importantly, we have skilled, hard-working Canadians to power these industries.”

Canada must become a leader in producing these clean materials if Canada is to meet its net-zero targets and build a more resilient, sustainable, and competitive economy. However, the federal government cannot meet these commitments alone. It requires the collaboration of provinces, communities, industry, and educational institutions to ensure we have the trained workers required to fill jobs in an emerging economy brought on by the opportunities a net-zero future provides.

Across Canada, the opportunities found in a resilient, sustainable and competitive economy are becoming apparent. From building Canada’s capacity to develop our critical mineral infrastructure, to ensuring Canada is at the forefront of emerging sectors like electric vehicles, artificial intelligence and carbon capture – Canada’s colleges, cégeps, institutions and polytechnics are ensuring workers can be trained to take full advantage of the opportunities these new sectors offer.

On February 10, 14 and 15, C2R2 members will be meeting with federal parliamentarians to ensure they understand that Canada’s colleges, cégeps, institutions, and polytechnics play a critical role in preparing workers for a changing economy. C2R2 committed to working with the government and parliamentarians of all political stripes to ensure we prepare our workforce for the employment opportunities that are emerging in every region of our country, and that we fully benefit from the transition to a low-carbon economy.

We are seeking the support of parliamentarians to support C2R2’s efforts in ensuring we recognize the opportunity C2R2 provides to prepare our workforce, and that it receives the support required for success.

The goals the federal government have set are ambitious, but we have to be ambitious to succeed and ensure a strong, resilient economic recovery for Canada. Canadian colleges have always risen to the challenge of ensuring that Canadian workers are trained for the jobs of tomorrow. We stand ready to get that job done once again.

Interested in meeting with C2R2 to learn more and how you can support the coalition? Contact Paul Armstrong, C2R2 Steering Group Co-Chair at [email protected] to arrange a meeting.

Ron J. McKerlie is Chair of Canadian Colleges for a Resilient Recovery and President of Mohawk College in Hamilton, Ontario.

Adrienne Madden

Adrienne Madden

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