Oshawa, ON – The 2020 Ontario Budget tabled last Thursday announced $59.5 million over three years to support Ontario’s new micro-credentials strategy, which will help people retrain and upgrade their skills to find new employment.
“This first-ever funding is a valuable investment in Ontario’s post-secondary sector and supports Durham College’s vision to deliver transformative education,” said Don Lovisa, president of Durham College (DC). “By offering innovative micro-credential opportunities, individuals will have the opportunity to upskill at any stage of their career journey.”
The funding will be used to create an online portal of micro-credential training opportunities, develop new micro-credential programs, launch a public awareness campaign and to develop a virtual passport that creates opportunities for people in the programs to pursue further learning.
The government also announced that students enrolled in qualified programs will be eligible to get student assistance.
Expanding micro-credential programs to provide more retraining opportunities was one of the recommendations in a recent white paper, The Future of Ontario’s Workers, by the StrategyCorp Institute of Public Policy and Economy. It was submitted to Colleges and Universities Minister Ross Romano as part of the minister’s consultations on modernizing higher education.
The paper has also recommended other important steps Ontario must take to produce a strong workforce that will drive economic growth. These include establishing career-focused three-year degree programs at colleges and creating master’s degrees at colleges for college and university graduates in specialized fields such as robotics, cybersecurity and animation.
“Investing in colleges is crucial to Ontario’s future economic vitality,” Lovisa said. “We’ve already seen the value of micro-credentials through Durham College’s Centre for Professional and Part-time Learning and continue to work with industry partners to develop new offerings to meet market demand.”
About Durham College
With campuses in Oshawa and Whitby and a learning site in Pickering, Durham College (DC) offers approximately 11,200 full-time post-secondary and apprenticeship students access to more than 140 full-time and nine apprenticeship programs, including the Honours Bachelor of Behavioural Science and Honours Bachelor of Health Care Technology Management.
DC enables students to develop the career-ready skills required to meet the demands of today’s job market by connecting them with expert faculty and offering quality programs. With a focus on experiential learning through field placements, applied research, co-ops and other hands-on opportunities, DC grads have the skills and knowledge employers need.
The Oshawa campus features DC’s newest building, the Centre for Collaborative Education, which represents the college’s commitment to working with local business and community partners while bringing together local, Indigenous and global communities and members of key business sectors.
DC’s Whitby campus is home to the Skills Training Centre, where students receive hands-on training and instruction in industrial-grade shop labs for carpentry, HVAC, welding, elevating devices and crane operation, among others. The campus also features the W. Galen Weston Centre for Food, which includes Bistro ’67, a full-service, teaching-inspired restaurant, and Pantry, a retail store featuring food prepared by students in the college’s culinary programs.
For more information, visit www.durhamcollege.ca or call 905.721.2000.
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