Ontario prepares students for knowledge economy, changing workforce

Archived Release

Ontario prepares students for knowledge economy, changing workforce

Ministry of Colleges and Universities

MOOSE JAW, SK, Oct. 3 /CNW/ - Reforms to elementary, secondary and post- secondary education and training programs are preparing Ontario students to meet the challenges of an increasingly competitive, knowledge-based economy, Training, Colleges and Universities Minister Dianne Cunningham said today.
"The demographic and technological changes we face have made us rethink how and where education and training is delivered," said Cunningham, the incoming chair of the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC), which ends its fall meetings today in Moose Jaw, Sask. "Through a co-ordinated strategy developed with our education, business and training partners, we are ensuring that young people and those traditionally under-represented in the workforce have the relevant and up-to-date skills needed to find work and begin their careers."
The government's plan includes ensuring that Ontario has the capacity to prepare people for the jobs of tomorrow, said Cunningham. "With the first graduates of the new four-year high school program graduating at the same time as those of the previous five-year program, we, with our partners, are investing $1.8 billion so that there is a space for every student entering our publicly funded post-secondary system."
To better prepare students for success and ensure that Ontario has a skilled and competitive workforce in the future, the province has also taken major steps to support student learning in the elementary and secondary education system. The province has strengthened the career-related component of its new high school program by:

- requiring career education and planning for all high school students;
- providing for structured school-work transition programs, including
co-operative education, work experience, job-shadowing and youth
apprenticeship; and
- incorporating 'destination-related' courses to help students develop
the skills and knowledge they need to make successful transitions to
work, apprenticeship, college or university.

Ontario's plan to support student learning also includes:

- a more rigorous curriculum from kindergarten through to Grade 12;
- a new Early Reading Strategy to help schools improve children's reading
skills at the primary level (Junior Kindergarten to Grade 3);
- a comprehensive teacher testing program;
- a province-wide Code of Conduct to help make schools safer for students
to learn and for teachers to teach; and
- new initiatives to support more direct involvement of parents in their
children's education.

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For more information visit www.edu.gov.on.ca
For further information: Dave Ross, Minister's Office, (416) 326-1625; Tanya Cholakov, Communications Branch, (416) 325-7526