Canada’s polytechnics have significant untapped innovation and skills development potential that is key to remedying persistent productivity and competitiveness challenges. Investing in, and scaling the existing capabilities of polytechnics can yield valuable benefits to the Canadian economy.
Polytechnics Canada has released six recommendations to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance, in response to the call for measures that will enhance Canada’s productivity and competitiveness, ahead of the 2018 federal budget.
In order to address Canada’s productivity and competitiveness challenges, Polytechnics Canada calls on the government to:
- Grow support to polytechnic and college applied research and innovation by doubling funding for the College and Community Innovation Program.
- Improve business access to polytechnic innovation solutions.
- Create a regional commercialization voucher program.
- Invest in new labour market information tools such as a Skills in-demand Survey, and a Nationally Registered Apprenticeship Number.
- Scale federal work-integrated learning supports.
- Invest in prior learning assessment and recognition supports for mid-career workers.
Now is the time to harness the full capabilities of Canada’s polytechnics. In Budget 2018, the federal government should right-size the investment in polytechnic and college applied research, re-balance the disparity in its contribution to higher education R&D and re-tool and modernize its supports for learners and employers.