Read editorials and articles that we’ve submitted to national and regional media outlets across Canada. These feature a few of the ways Canadian polytechnics are contributing on topics of national interest.

Polytechnics are preparing Canada’s next-generation workforce

It’s no secret that unrelenting technological progress and chronic labour shortages challenge Canada’s ability to remain prosperous and compete globally. Unfortunately, traditional academic learning doesn’t necessarily prepare young talent for the 21st century work world.

That’s why polytechnics, with their delivery of hands-on, technical, and career-focused education, are increasingly being viewed as the best solution. But Polytechnics Canada CEO Sarah Watts-Rynard prefers to describe the situation more magnanimously.

Read More > “Polytechnics are preparing Canada’s next-generation workforce”

In Canada’s housing crisis, skilled tradespeople as essential as blueprints. Here’s how Ottawa can grow their numbers

Canada is facing its worst housing affordability crisis in decades, putting home ownership out of reach for many young people looking to get a foothold in the market.

Despite federal investments designed to boost housing supply and expedite building approvals, the need for millions of new homes comes with additional challenges. At least as urgent as freeing up land and issuing building permits is the need for skilled tradespeople able to turn blueprints into bathrooms and concepts into kitchens.

Read More > “In Canada’s housing crisis, skilled tradespeople as essential as blueprints. Here’s how Ottawa can grow their numbers”

Canada’s cap on international students shows a university bias

When Immigration Minister Marc Miller announced a new cap on international students last month, exemptions were made for master’s and PhD students because “these are the highly skilled people Canada needs.”

Another exemption was made for those who complete short-term graduate programs, who are now eligible for three-year postgraduate work permits so long as their credentials are earned at one of Canada’s universities.

To hear the minister explain it, the exemptions are designed to address labour market needs. But has Canada’s business community found itself suddenly short of doctoral candidates and MBAs? Job vacancy rates in the federal government’s own analyses suggest otherwise.

Read More > “Canada’s cap on international students shows a university bias”

Canada must ramp up skills for the AI revolution or risk falling behind

Like it or not, the age of artificial intelligence (AI) is upon us. While Canada has every reason to be ahead of the implementation curve, with a highly educated workforce and excellent access to cutting-edge tech, history suggests Canada will be well behind on the path to AI adoption.

How do we break the cycle and become technology leaders?

Read More > “Canada must ramp up skills for the AI revolution or risk falling behind”

Adopting clean technology is a skills issue

The urgency of climate change action is no longer theoretical. Worldwide, fires, floods and extreme heat have made it clear that we have a major global challenge on our hands.

Among the solutions, Canada should be all-in on clean technology adoption. While renewables are increasingly viable and tax levers have proven to influence company and consumer behaviour, clean tech offers immediate-term benefits that are critical to achieving climate wins.

Read More > “Adopting clean technology is a skills issue”

Humber College uses digital twins to make buildings smarter

On a scorching summer day at Toronto’s Humber College, a smart system precools buildings in the early morning to avoid the afternoon spike in electrical rates at peak demand time. Another system turns on lights in rooms only when people are using them. And when the weather is cold, heat pumps have learned to redirect heat from crowded spaces on campus to other buildings that can use some warming.

Since 2014, Humber College facilities have grown by 25 per cent, yet the school’s use of smart controls as well as energy-efficiency initiatives and retrofits has reduced energy use per square foot by more than 20 per cent.

Read More > “Humber College uses digital twins to make buildings smarter”

Canadians are upskilling and reskilling at polytechnics

Labour force challenges could impact Canada’s future economic growth and innovation. These challenges include modest population growth, labour market shortages and skill mismatches within our current workforce.

A recent survey commissioned by Polytechnics Canada found that 90 per cent of Canadian employees believe skills development is important. Nearly 50 per cent of workers feel the COVID-19 pandemic has shown the importance of upskilling and reskilling to advance their careers.

Read More > “Canadians are upskilling and reskilling at polytechnics”

Harnessing the power of partnerships to drive post-secondary forward

Ontario’s public colleges have always worked with industry and community organizations to ensure curriculum was relevant and up-to-date, and that students had opportunities for work-integrated learning experiences.

Today, partnerships with industry are the lifeblood of our institutions and are helping to shape the future of education in the province and beyond.

Applied research, scholarships, work-integrated learning on-campus and online as well as networking, mentorship and outreach are some of the ways these relationships expose Ontario students to career options and help Ontario businesses succeed.

Read More >Harnessing the power of partnerships to drive post-secondary forward

Regenerative Revolution: How Canadian Polytechnics are Leading the Charge

A sustainability-focused approach to combatting environmental degradation and resource scarcity is now critical. It is no longer viable to consume the world’s natural resources or develop our natural landscape in the manner of the last century. At current rates of fossil fuel consumption, climate models predict that Earth’s global average temperature will rise an additional 4°C (7.2°F) during the 21st Century, threatening coastal cities, increasing the frequency of natural disasters and heightening the risk of extinction among numerous plant and animal species (UCAR, 2022).

Read More > “Regenerative Revolution: How Canadian Polytechnics are Leading the Charge”