There is a lot happening at Canada’s polytechnics. Our blog offers perspectives on the exciting work underway on campuses and in Ottawa. Do you have a polytechnic story to tell? Share it with us!

Conestoga’s School of Trades & Apprenticeship is building tomorrow’s talent

With Ontario facing skilled trades shortages, there’s a movement afoot to attract young talent. At Conestoga College, skilled trades and apprenticeship training have long been a focus. Students at their School of Trades and Apprenticeship benefit from partnerships with local, national and international companies which guide programs and offer experiential placements across the Construction, Motive Power, Industrial and Service sectors.

Polytechnics Canada checked in with Suzanne Moyer, Dean of Trades & Apprenticeship, and Tony Thoma, Executive Dean, Engineering, Technology, Trades & Apprenticeship, to discuss current initiatives to boost the skilled trades workforce.

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Work-Integrated Learning at Saskatchewan Polytechnic

Polytechnics are leaders in the delivery of experiential education, providing diverse work-integrated learning (WIL) opportunities from applied research and capstone projects to interactive simulations and apprenticeships.  To stay ahead of the curve, polytechnics continuously refine and improve programs in response to learner and industry needs.

At Saskatchewan Polytechnic, the commitment to hands-on experiential learning opportunities ensures graduates are work-ready.  Partnerships with organizations like Riipen and the Business + Higher Education Roundtable illustrate an ongoing effort to strengthen opportunities for learners.

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Red River College Polytechnic embraces innovation to transform disruption into opportunity

When Red River College changed its name to Red River College Polytechnic this past October, we made a resounding commitment to an education model that acts as a direct link between labour market needs, student talent, and applied research partnerships. 

In some ways, the name change was a mere formality. RRC has been a polytechnic for years. However, in another, more critical way, officially calling ourselves a polytechnic signaled a bold step forward – and that’s in our commitment to innovate.  

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A new era of healthcare training: the 2021 applied learning model at Seneca

Providing learners with the practical experience and skills to excel in their industry is a key strength of Canada’s polytechnics.  In the healthcare field, this applied approach prepares graduates to interact with patients.  While restrictions on in-person training have eased over the past few months, safety is still top of mind in Seneca’s labs and classrooms.  The challenge now is finding the right balance between hands-on opportunities and using technology to deliver substantive clinical training remotely.

Polytechnics Canada chatted with Sharon Cassar, the Academic Chair for Seneca’s School of Nursing, to find out what this looks like in practice.

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Work-Integrated Learning at George Brown College

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, organizations in virtually every sector have needed to adapt and pivot, implementing new practices and technologies to support sustainability and growth.  Rapid changes accelerated labour challenges that Canadian companies were facing even before the pandemic, including the urgent need for upskilling and the search for new talent.

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2021: The year in review

It was a year of innovation, collaboration and for one institution, a new name. As I reflect on all that has been accomplished in 2021, it is clear that our members rose to the challenges of the pandemic and, at the same time, actively contributed to efforts to combat climate change, advance Indigenous reconciliation and enable inclusive recovery. 

Here are a few highlights that stood out for me: 

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Skills critical to delivering on Canada’s climate change ambitions

The conclusion of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) saw renewed climate change commitments from more than 200 countries, Canada among them.

Now that the targets are set, it is time to get to work. Canada’s Climate Plan focuses on cutting energy waste in buildings, improving the efficiency of transportation and energy production, building a clean industrial advantage and adopting nature-based climate solutions. From Canada’s infrastructure plan to setting a price on carbon, the federal government is dedicating resources to incentivize a net-zero transition

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Working together to establish more opportunities for students in Ontario

The recently tabled Supporting People and Businesses Act included a proposed initiative by the provincial government to expand credentials in the public college system to include applied master’s degrees. 

This is very encouraging news and, if passed, something that would help keep more talent and skill in Ontario. Applied master’s degrees offered by Ontario colleges would create opportunities to develop critical skills and specialties within the province. 

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Green educational infrastructure: A building block for just transition

It is no longer necessary to expound on the importance of taking action to address climate change.  Canada’s federal government and every major political party have committed to addressing the problem.  There is widespread support among Canadians and, indeed, our global counterparts.  Increasingly, we are seeing larger emitters – companies, sectors, provinces – committing to a greener future.  What remains are the specifics of a just transition.  

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