Polytechnics Canada Welcomes Finance Committee's Budget 2017 Recommendations: READ THE PRESS RELEASE.
There is untapped human potential in Canada; this talent is vital for the Government’s innovation ambitions. The next federal budget must seek new and innovative ways to maximize the growth potential of workers and employers.
Polytechnics Canada presents a suite of ten measures that respond to the Finance Committee’s call for ideas to improve outcomes for individual Canadians, businesses and communities. Our recommendations focus on people and talent and accelerating business innovation through improved collaboration with polytechnics and colleges. The Finance Committee's report recommends new federal investments in apprenticeship, applied research and better labour market information. Polytechnics Canada is pleased that the committee recognizes the value of advanced technical and technological education.
A polytechnic education builds a resilient and resourceful workforce. Canada needs more of this kind of applied education. Budget 2017 can help scale-up support to make optimal use of polytechnics and colleges for Canada’s talent and innovation needs.
Measures for Canadian Learners and Employers
The federal government should
Direct Statistics Canada to create, deliver and disseminate high-quality, current, relevant and comparable labour market information and provide the agency with the required budget increase to achieve this objective.
Create an innovation-focused internship program connecting polytechnic and college undergraduate students with firms and non-profit organizations.
Expand existing research talent programs at the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) to increase participation by polytechnic and college students.
Create a grant program to fund students enrolled in post-secondary institutions to acquire vital entrepreneurial skills.
Launch a pilot program that identifies and establishes regional or sectoral consortia of firms, connecting apprentices to employers.
Fund a Centre of Excellence for Vocational Training to develop best practices that support the supply 21st century cadre of certified skilled tradespeople.
Connecting More Businesses to Innovation Solutions
In its next budget, the federal government should:
- Consolidate all key business innovation and industry-academic collaboration programs into one federal agency to improve both the efficiency and the impact of public funds targeted for this purpose.
- Significantly Increase funding to the College and Community Innovation Program (CCIP) currently administered by NSERC and link the CCIP Technology Access Centres with the government’s plans for cluster funding.
- Create a permanent annual program at the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) based on the successfully completed College and Community Social Innovation Fund pilot.
- Create a Canadian version of the Small Business Innovation Research program that would use a set-aside from federal procurement expenditures.
Launch a National Post-Secondary-Business Voucher Initiative delivered through all regional development agencies.
Increase the Research Support Fund and adjust its criteria in order to strengthen polytechnic and college applied research offices in delivering greater support to industry partners.
August 2013 submission to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance