George Brown College hails federal budget focus on skills and innovation

Toronto, March 23, 2017 –  George Brown College is pleased to see specific initiatives in the 2017 federal budget that will help Canada's colleges and polytechnics expand their support for industry, employers and learners of all ages. Its strong focus on skills and innovation creates an opportunity to harness our institutions’ leadership across these priorities.

In particular, George Brown was happy to see new investment in the Community and College Social Innovation Fund (CCSIF), which enables colleges and polytechnics to engage with our communities to foster social innovation that benefits society. George Brown led in the number of successful proposals in the pilot round of the CCSIF. With our strong community partners and our commitment to diversity and equity there is great interest at the college in working on solutions that strengthen society.

"I was very pleased to see the focus on talent and innovation in yesterday’s budget," said president Anne Sado. "In many ways – the issues go hand in hand. The government recognizes that the nature of work is changing and the various approaches that can help bridge the developing gaps. I especially applaud the opportunities in the budget for collaboration and simplification. Our sector – colleges and polytechnics – are ready to not only play our part, but help drive the opportunities to positive implementation."

George Brown also welcomes government leadership on the review and consolidation of innovation programs through the creation of Innovation Canada. Significant investments in skills training through increased funding for innovation internships and the expanded Labour Market Development Agreements will support lifelong learning for a wide range of the learners we serve: post-secondary age students, mature students and adult workers.

As one of Canada's leading research-intensive polytechnics, we believe the new Innovative Solutions Canada program will enable more firms to use our technical and technological capability and experience to solve the government's own R&D and innovation challenges. "For innovative companies, new R&D collaborations and for government itself, this is something that has been long wished for," said president Sado.

Budget 2017 presents additional positive opportunities for colleges and polytechnics by: 

  • Encouraging participation of post-secondary institutions in the emerging supercluster innovation initiative;
  • Supporting applied research and programing in clean and green technology;
  • Making Canada Student Loans and Grants more accessible to all learners; and
  • Expanding the Youth Employment Strategy to help our students transition to the workforce.

About George Brown College 
Toronto's George Brown College has established a reputation for equipping students with the skills, industry experience and credentials to pursue the careers of their choice. The college offers programs from its three campuses located across the downtown core, and provides housing at its student residence, The George, which opened in Sept. 2016. George Brown offers 152 full-time programs and 243 continuing education certificates/designations across a wide variety of professions to a student body of nearly 29,000 (full-time enrolment) students, including 15 per cent international students; and over 66,000 continuing education registrants. Students can earn certificates, diplomas, postgraduate certificates, apprenticeships and degrees. www.georgebrown.ca.

Media Contact:
Jodi Serwatuk 
Corporate Communications Manager 
416-415-5000 ext. 3767  
jserwatuk@georgebrown.ca