The Ontario Association of Career Colleges (OACC) is eager to work with the Ontario Government to help shape the vision that is in the best interests of all Ontarians, and we strongly endorse the principle that “Increased innovation in the PSE sector will improve student learning options, meet the needs of lifelong learners, enhance quality, and ensure the long-term financial sustainability of the sector”. By working side-by-side, the Ontario government and all education stakeholders – public and private – can build a world-class postsecondary education system. Career Colleges are an integral component in the
continuum of the province’s postsecondary system and are well positioned to inform the government’s consultations and actively address the challenges associated with developing a highly skilled, globally competitive labour force in communities across the province.
The modernization and increased productivity that are essential to Ontario’s postsecondary system and the economic prosperity of the Province must recognize the value of, and optimally integrate all four pillars of program delivery – Career Colleges, Community Colleges, Universities, and Apprenticeship Programs. If Ontario is to keep pace globally, we must develop strategic policies and mechanisms that support the Career College sector’s potential to contribute to the province’s economic well-being.
The Career College sector in Ontario currently offers more than 5,000 programs at over 600 campuses in 70 communities. It employs 12,000 staff, and annually produces approximately 50,000 skilled graduates at a minimal cost to taxpayers, due to the fact that Career Colleges receive no direct operating funds from the government. By choosing to study at Career Colleges, those 50,000 graduates save taxpayers more than $1 billion per annum. At the same time, the Career College sector generates
more than $94 million in business and payroll taxes. The sector is efficient, productive, flexible, innovative and accountable. It is able to shape and expand its programming to quickly adjust to market forces, thereby complementing the educational offerings of the other three pillars.