MaryLynn West-Moynes, President and CEO, Georgian College (photo submitted)

Georgian College Boss expects budget to narrow the skills gap

The President and CEO of Georgian College applauds the province’s commitment to modernize apprenticeship training.

Dr. MaryLynn West-Moynes says the 2019 budget promise to create a one-window digital portal for apprentices will produce a more highly qualified workforce.

She expects the plan to ensure more people will enrol in apprenticeship training, to help close the skills gap.

She calls the current application system complex with no clear application process. She adds many people seeking to become apprentices find it difficult to get matched with willing employers.

The creation of a one-window portal will make the application process straightforward and easily accessible

“The government clearly recognizes it should be as easy for students to apply to be apprentices as it is to apply to any other college or university program,” said West-Moynes. “Modernizing our apprenticeship system will help make it one of the best in the world.”

“College education is pivotal to Ontario’s success and to ensuring more people find rewarding careers,” West-Moynes added. “We look forward to working with the government to helping more people acquire the expertise that is essential to success in this new economy.”

Other budget highlights to produce a stronger workforce included:

· Establishing programs to encourage people to enter the skilled trades

· Launching a new micro-credentials pilot this spring to provide people with the skills employers are seeking

The budget also calls for a transformation of postsecondary education so that 60 per cent of provincial funding will be tied to performance outcomes by 2024-25.