Colleges could be the answer to skills mismatch: Linda Franklin

The challenge in developing the work force of the future will rely on development of community colleges. Quoting journalism Thomas Friedman, Linda Franklin told college administrators that community colleges are essential in building the economy of the future.

But the mismatch of skills and people, coupled with employers not providing the training they once did, changes the picture, she said; apprenticeship reform, better funding, and community college degree-granting status should be part of the vision of the future. 

Franklin, CEO of Colleges Ontario, said that helping create the vision of the future requires advocacy with political parties to achieve the needed changes. She was speaking in an afternoon workshop session June 24 at the OCASA PD Conference.

She cited a case of one student with a community college diploma who was applying to university programs. One institution offered two credits for community college studies; another offered two years. She suggested this indicates the need for standardization of credits.

 She also noted the lack of a central application system for apprenticeship programs, and suggested that colleges could be more involved not only in a central application system similar to OCAS to handle applications, but also in matching apprentices with employers. She said the current system is difficult for students to navigate and there is little help available for applicants compared to the help available to college applicants.