SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz, Glenn Rossman, Cynthia Dunlop

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George Brown College pleased with federal budget focus on youth unemployment, apprenticeships and college innovation

TORONTO, Feb. 11, 2014 /CNW/ - The federal government has acknowledged the critical role of colleges in addressing the youth unemployment crisis, advancing innovation and increasing apprenticeships in today's budget. All are key economic issues that George Brown College will continue to tackle with the help of today's announced programs and investments.

"This budget connects the challenges of skills and innovation in concrete ways and through targeted, reasonable funding," said Anne Sado, president of George Brown College and Chair of Polytechnics Canada. "I am also pleased the government acknowledged the important role apprenticeship training deserves alongside university and college education."

Several specific college-focused programs that had been recommended by Polytechnics Canada were supported in the budget, including:

  • Creation of the College Social Innovation Fund at the Social Sciences Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) will connect polytechnic innovation talent with the applied research needs of non-profit and not-for-profit organizations with $10 million in new funding over the next two years.

  • The Canada Apprenticeship Loan for registered apprentices in Red Seal Trades will provide up to $4000 per training segment to apprentices, interest-free and only requiring repayment after completion of training

  • Flexibility and Innovation in Apprenticeship Technical Training - a pilot program aimed to improve the apprenticeship system to support up to 12 multi-year projects to stimulate innovation and flexibility in the delivery of apprenticeship technical training

  • Creation of a National Job Bank to to improve available labour market information

The budget also announced $1.5 billion over 10 years to support research and innovation at post-secondary institutions in areas that "create long-term economic advantages for Canada," a Youth Employment Strategy reallocating $15 million to support up to 1,000 internships for post-secondary graduates in small and medium-sized enterprises and relaxed student loan criteria to better reflect the needs of students who commute or work while studying.

"The federal government's continued focus on skills training is essential," said Sado. "The skills mismatch is a barrier that is especially challenging for unemployed and underemployed youth in Ontario. This impact is costing the province as much as $24.3 billion each year in lost economic opportunity."

As part of its focus on ensuring the innovation economy has the right skills, George Brown College has made it a mission to support and advance industry- and community-problem solving through excellence in applied research, commercialization and scholarship. The college also provides enhanced training programs to ensure that more job-ready graduates enter the market and advance the building sector's adoption of new approaches, methods, standards and technologies.

The college has established a reputation for equipping students with the skills, industry experience and credentials to pursue the careers of their choice. It offers programs from its three campuses located across the downtown core, including its newest location at the Toronto waterfront, which opened in September 2012. Students can earn certificates, diplomas, postgraduate certificates, apprenticeships and degrees.

SOURCE George Brown College

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