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Helping Students Become Life-Long Learners
Date
December 1, 2020
Topics

Across the province, Ontario’s universities are preparing the next generation of entrepreneurs, innovators, educators and health-care workers for the future. These students share the common trait of being adaptable life-long learners who can adjust to change, identify opportunity and help drive the province forward.

As we continue to navigate the uncertainties of COVID-19, particularly as students enter a changing labour market and an unpredictable work landscape, Ontario’s universities are working to help the modern learner become a life-long learner by providing opportunities for preskilling, reskilling and upskilling.

Preskilling for the first job and preparing Ontario’s students with the skills to begin their career is now more important than ever. Whether through work-integrated learning, co-op or badging opportunities, preskilling helps students develop the adaptable, transferable skills they will need and employers require.

In addition, as changes in occupations, shifting career paths and new and disruptive industries emerge, reskilling for new jobs is essential to keep our economy growing. Ontarians will need access to high-quality, short-duration skills development opportunities that meet the needs of today and tomorrow’s employers. Universities remain committed to offering programs and courses to help develop an adaptable workforce and are uniquely positioned to deliver this training and to help support workers as they experience changes in their careers.

Ontario’s universities are also responding to a growing need for upskilling with innovative programming for both traditional and non-traditional learners. Upskilling opportunities enable employers and workers to rapidly build on their experience as the economy shifts and new opportunities emerge. Our institutions offer a broad range of programing to ensure a highly skilled and innovative workforce, including micro-credentials, collaborative programs and stackable credential initiatives that help workers upgrade their skills and remain competitive in the marketplace.

These learners are all at different stages of their careers – some are enhancing a skillset to meet new challenges in their work or changes in the economy, while others may have been displaced by COVID-19 and are learning new skills to help them return to the workforce.

A rapidly changing and innovative economy will require a highly skilled, nimble and adaptable workforce able to pivot quickly to compete in the global economy. The government of Ontario’s recent investment in micro-credentials and a framework to support students and employers will further assist postsecondary institutions in supporting students, workers and those seeking employment.

Ontario’s universities are and will continue to collaborate with government, industry and other stakeholders to ensure our institutions can continue to meet the increasing demand for a skilled and innovative workforce. Our economy depends on it.

Steve OrsiniSteve Orsini
President & CEO
Council of Ontario Universities

Read our one-pager for more examples of how Ontario’s universities are helping the modern learner become a life-long learner.