Top Ten

June 28, 2016

ON considers mandatory work experience for all secondary, postsecondary students

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne has declared her support for a recommendation that would mandate participation in co-op programs for every ON high school, university, and college student. The comment comes in response to the recommendations of a “Highly Skilled Workforce Expert Panel” that was created last December and tasked with developing a strategy for better linking the education system with the future job needs of the province's economy. The Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations has issued a release supporting the recommendations, provided that they are not privileged over the “variety of economic, social, and civic roles” that remain essential to the university. Hamilton Spectator | The Record | iPolitics | OCUFA | Report

NOSM takes part in €2M project with EU

The Northern Ontario School of Medicine will participate with four European countries in a project to advance the recruitment and retention of workers in the health sector and other public sectors in the Northern Periphery and Arctic region. Within Canada, the project’s focus will be on physicians in Northern Ontario and Nunavut. The project has received €2M from the European Union, and is part of a series of six projects receiving a total of €6.8M in funding. “Having access to a family practitioner in one’s own community is critical to the health and resilience of a population,” commented NOSM Deputy Dean and Associate Dean, Community Engagement David Marsh. “We are looking forward to collaborating with the people of Northern Ontario and Nunavut to increase access to care close to home.” NOSM

NWCC, UVic sign guaranteed admission agreement

Northwest Community College and the University of Victoria have signed an agreement that allows NWCC Arts and Science students who meet UVic entrance requirements to receive guaranteed admission into the university as transfer students. With the new agreement, students can complete up to two years of their degree at an NWCC campus, which allows them to stay home during the transition into postsecondary education, before moving to Victoria to complete their degree. “Guaranteed admission provides students a clear pathway to continue their education,” said UVic Associate Vice-President of Academic Planning Catherine Mateer. “Communities in the north need talented people with good university and college education to fill positions in engineering, health careers, teaching, social work, and management to meet a demographic shift.” NWCC

Carleton partners with Indian institutions to provide academic, research opportunities

Carleton University’s Canada-India Centre has partnered with Indian institutions to develop improved programming for working in India and strengthening innovation and trade between Canada and India. A partnership with the International School of Management Excellence will allow the institutions to explore academic and research collaboration opportunities in the business and management fields, while a partnership with the Bombay Stock Exchange Institute will allow the CICE to offer new certificate programs on the Indian business innovation system and Indian investment opportunities. Ottawa Business Journal | Carleton

Companies will need to improve work-life balance offerings to retain top talent

Canadian companies will have to implement better measures to facilitate work-life balance if they want to retain the country’s top talent, writes Aleksandra Sagan for The Record. Yet while young Canadians show a clear preference for having boundaries between their working and non-working lives, Carleton University Business Professor Linda Duxbury explains that “all of the indicators are going the wrong way.” According to Duxbury’s 2012 survey of more than 25,000 full-time Canadian employees, workers’ perception of work flexibility and management support has remained relatively unchanged since 2001. Duxbury warns that unless these numbers change, Canada’s companies will find themselves struggling to retain the most talented employees. The Record

Lethbridge College receives $750K donation for new technology lab

Students of the agricultural and heavy equipment technician programs at Lethbridge College will benefit from a new partnership between the school and a major Alberta tractor company. Last week, Western Tractor Company Ltd announced that it would donate $750K to support the creation of the Western Tractor Technology Lab at the college. The lab will be part of the first phase of development of the college’s new trades and technologies facility, and will provide new technology to benefit apprenticeship training over a five-year span. “The equipment that they’re providing over the next five years so that our students are learning on state-of-the-art equipment from a machine and tractor perspective, but also from the technology perspective, which I think is really exciting going into the future,” said College President Paula Burns. Lethbridge Herald | Lethbridge College

uManitoba approves new sex assault policy

The University of Manitoba has approved a new sexual assault policy designed to guide and support sexual assault victims through the disclosure process, while allowing the victim to be the “final decision-maker.” uManitoba reports that the new policy aligns with new provincial legislation, even though the policy was being developed prior to the introduction of Bill 204. “We have seen from other jurisdictions that getting every point right in the development of these policies can be challenging, but we are confident our process brought the right voices to the table to be heard, and we are committed to an ongoing assessment of the policy to ensure its effectiveness,” stated uManitoba President David Barnard. CBC | uManitoba

Trent report puts university’s economic impact at $500M

Trent University has issued a new report that estimates the school’s economic impact on the city of Peterborough to be nearly $500M. The report highlights Trent’s role as a major employer and partner in various city projects, as well as the $100M spent by the school’s students each year. The city of Peterborough was also found to benefit from the 620,000 hours of part-time labour performed by Trent students during the school year, which brought the students’ overall impact to $200M. “We are very proud of the strong, multi-pronged relationships between the region and Trent University,” stated Trent President Leo Groarke. “We rely on, and benefit from, a strong community, and the community benefits from a strong Trent.” Peterborough Examiner | NationTalk | Trent

Soft skills gained through work experience are what employers want, says report

Canada’s chief executives are looking for students who have the soft skills necessary for being comfortable and competent in the workplace, writes Virginia Galt for the Globe and Mail. Galt draws on the insights provided by last year’s “Developing Canada’s Future Workforce” report, and argues that the communication, collaboration, and problem-solving skills that are most desired by employers tend to be learned in the workplace rather than the classroom. The article offers specific examples of how students can learn these skills while amassing workplace experience, concluding that this experience will help set them up for management and leadership positions later in their careers. Globe and Mail

College option not being pushed hard enough in public schools, says Northern College President

Colleges should enjoy just as much exposure and promotion as universities when teachers speak to their students about postsecondary options, says Northern College President Fred Gibbons. In a recent meeting of the District School Board Ontario North East, Gibbons suggested that the school board and its teachers were not doing enough to promote the college option among high school students. Gibbons suggested that this trend might stem from the fact that teachers are university graduates, and thus more likely to promote the university pathway because of its familiarity. Gibbons proposed a number of ways to counter this potential bias and to integrate Northern College more into more local school programming. “We have a strong desire to work with the board to get secondary school staff to come and find out what we are about today,” Gibbons concluded. Timmins Press