The 2013 Ontario Budget will play an essential part in ensuring the province has the qualified workforce it needs
for the years ahead.
The challenges facing Ontario are significant. Young people throughout the province are struggling to find meaningful
work. People who have lost their jobs after years at the same company continue to seek opportunities to train for new
Meanwhile, there is an increasing skills mismatch in Ontario and throughout the country, as many employers struggle to
find qualified people to hire.
As Seneca College president emeritus Rick Miner predicted in his seminal report, People Without Jobs, Jobs Without
People: Ontario’s Labour Market Future, there is a growing divide between the qualifications sought by employers and
the education and training of much of the workforce. Growing numbers of job seekers simply aren’t qualified to fill a large
number of vacant positions.
Fortunately, Ontario can meet these challenges and become a global leader in the innovation economy. Through a meaningful
transformation of higher education, Ontario can produce the best-educated, best-prepared workforce in the world.
The Ontario colleges’ policy submission to the province – Empowering Ontario: Transforming Higher Education in the
21st Century – has proposed a number of recommendations to ensure students reach their full potential through a broad
array of theoretical and applied learning opportunities.
The recommendations include expanding the college sector’s ability to assess and offer degree programs, strengthening the
system for the transfer of completed post-secondary credits, expanding online and blended-learning opportunities,
improving access to apprenticeship programs, and much more