Canadian Colleges Take on India Skills Development

Source: The PIE News

Canadian educators have partnered with the National Skill Development Corporation of India to undertake part of the mammoth task of upskilling India’s youth population. With the NSDC responsible for training 150 million young people by 2022, this month it has signed 13 memoranda of understanding.

The MoUs, 12 of which with Canadian colleges as well as an umbrella MoU with Colleges and Institutes Canada, will facilitate collaborations for skill development in a variety of different sectors, including water, aviation and hydrocarbon.

The agreements were endorsed by both Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the latter’s visit to Canada last week, the first in 42 years.

In 2009, under the National Policy on Skill Development in India, a target to train 500 million people before 2022 was set and the NSDC has been charged with training 150 million.

Cynthia Murphy, director of the Canadian Immigrant Integration Programme at Colleges and Institutes Canada, told The PIE News that with the looming deadline, development under these MoUs is moving very quickly.

“We all know of MoUs that are signed that don’t have a lot of activity – that’s not happening with this group,” she said.

“The NSDC is incredibly motivated and keen to get work happening under these MoUs. Each institution set its own goals within its own sector, but the time frame is of the essence.”

According to CIC figures, last year Canadian colleges and institutes hosted more than 8,000 Indian students– more than the number at universities, language schools, primary and secondary schools combined.

Education in general was one of the key areas that both Prime Ministers agreed to prioritise for bilateral engagement.

Canada also listed India as one of the priority countries to work with in its international education strategy last year.

Modi’s visit followed trips to Germany and France where he signed a two-year residence permit for Indian graduates with French president Francois Holland.

Murphy said that while on this trip Modi connected with the diaspora, but also with business and industry.

“It’s very much about building partnerships in several key sectors, and education being one of them,” she said. “It’s on the government’s agenda, it’s one of the priorities listed, and it is incredibly important to both countries.”

Despite the initial momentum of the collaborations, Husain Neemuchwala, CEO of the Canada-India Education Council said Modi has a lot to prove in the face of India’s upskilling needs.

“The government has only been in power for the past ten months or so,” he commented. “I think there’s tremendous scope and lots to demonstrate the intent as well as the ability to get things accomplished.”

He added: “I think there’s a lot to undertake at this point to demonstrate that they are able and capable and they mean what they say.”

PSE’s Reaction to Budget Largely Positive

Source: CICan News Release via Academica

Reactions to Canada’s budget from the PSE sector were mainly positive, with some exceptions. Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) applauded federal investment in research infrastructure and in programs designed to foster close relationships between business and industry associations and PSE partners. Polytechnics Canada, meanwhile, welcomed the expanded adoption of the Blue Seal Certification program and Canada’s investment in a one-stop national labour market information portal. Universities Canada (formerly the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada) said that Canada’s $1.33 M investment in research infrastructure will yield significant benefits for Canadian researchers. Jonathan Champagne, Executive Director of the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA) said that his organization was “extremely pleased” with the budget’s commitments to student aid. However, the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS) said that by making loans more accessible, the budget will lead to greater student debt.

Canada’s Budget Focuses on Alignment Between PSE, Labour Market Need

Source: Budget 2015 via Academica

Canada unveiled its new federal budget on Tuesday. The budget’s highlights include $1.33 B over 6 years, beginning in 2017–18, for the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI); $105 M over 5 years, beginning in 2015–16, for CANARIE; an additional $46 M per year, beginning in 2016–17, of targeted funding for Canada’s granting councils; $119.2 M over 2 years, beginning in 2015–16, for the National Research Council’s industry-partnered research and development activities; a one-time investment of $65 M for business and industry associations to work with PSE institutions to align curricula with employer needs; and $56.4 M over 4 years, beginning in 2016–17, to Mitacs for graduate-level industrial research and development internships. The budget will also reduce the expected parental contribution and remove the penalty for in-study student income for the Canada Student Loans assessment process. Furthermore, the budget provides for the expanded adoption of the Blue Seal Certification program and the creation of a one-stop national labour market information portal.

Survey Finds That Those Without a Degree See PSE as Necessary but Expensive

Source: The Chronicle of Higher Education via Academica

A new report from the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) suggests that for Americans without degrees, PSE is seen as being important but not affordable. AEI surveyed 1,500 people in the US who did not have degrees. 84% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that some form of PSE was necessary in order to get a good job. However, 43% said that they were satisfied with their own level of education. 60% agreed or strongly agreed that PSE was worth the cost, though high cost was cited as the top reason why people did not enrol in college. The study also suggested that respondents did not have a good understanding of the actual cost of college; 51% overestimated the cost and 28% were unable to provide any estimate at all.

Indo-Canadian MoUs to Help Skilling in Apparel Sector

Source: Fibre2Fashion

India and Canada have signed two different memorandum of understanding (MoUs) for skill development in the apparel sector, the apex apparel exporters body, Apparel Export Promotion Council, (AEPC) said in a statement today.

The agreements were signed during the recent visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Canada.

Dr A Sakthivel, Chairman Apparel, Made-Ups & Home Furnishing Sector Skill Council (AMH SSC) signed an MoU with Bruce Wilson, President, Fanshawe College, Canada for transfer of expertise in the field of Training of Trainers and other fields.

The MoU envisages greater cooperation between the Canadian partner and AMH SSC, whereby, Fanshawe College will share their expertise in the training of trainers and other fields in the skilling process.

This will result in availability of larger number of Quality Master Trainers which in turn, will ensure quality training in skilling in the apparel sector.

Dr Sakthivel also signed another MoU with Husain F Neemuchwala of the Canada India Education Council (CIEC) to access expertise in the field of skilling in the apparel sector.

Elections Canada should let students vote where they study

Source: Montreal Gazette via Academica

In an op-ed for the Montreal Gazette, Vanier College professor Mark Cohen argues that Elections Canada should allow students to cast their ballots from campus. He points to an Elections Canada survey in which most students cited “access barriers” as their main reason for not voting, and says that Quebec’s Bill 13—which allows students to vote on-campus for a candidate in their home riding, even if their school is outside of that riding—provides a possible model. Cohen says that a similar move on the federal level would demonstrate to students that they have an important role to play in the electoral system and that their input is valued.

Canada Commits $130 M for Global Education

Source: Canada News Release via Academica

Canada has promised $120 M for a four-year extension of its commitment to the Global Partnership for Education, as well as a further $10 M to UNICEF for education in crisis-affected areas, including Syria. “This will make a real difference in the lives of children in developing countries,” says International Development Minister Christian Paradis. “It will help to ensure they have access to quality education, which is vital to help them move out of poverty and build prosperous futures.” According to a recent global survey, Canada’s share of GDP dedicated to development has declined significantly, putting Canada in the bottom half of OECD countries in that category.

Firms Partner to Provide Counselling Support for International Students

Source: via Academica

Morneau Shepell, a Canadian provider of employee and family assistance programs, has partnered with international insurance provider to create the International Student Support Program (ISSP). Through the program, international students will have 24/7 access to confidential, culturally relevant counselling services to help them cope with feelings of loneliness, stress, and anxiety. The program, available in more than 200 languages, is meant to complement and enhance existing community services and educational resources in order to help prevent and resolve mental health issues. It will be free for students attending institutions that register for the program.

Canadian Colleges to Partner with India on Skills Development

Source: Globe & Mail via Academica

A group of Canadian PSE institutions is planning to sign MOUs this week with India’s National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) during a visit by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. 12 institutions, including 9 colleges, will work with Indian partners in specific sectors to create and improve training opportunities for Indian youth. The Indian partners will pay the colleges for services including curriculum development, training for Indian educators, and help with accreditation systems. NSDC, a large public-private partnership that aims to develop for-profit vocational institutions, has established centres of excellence across India that will house the partnerships.

New Prime Minister of India Gives Hope to Hindi Translators

Contributed by: Ravi Kumar (Founder) of Hindi Center

With a new government in place in India, Hindi seems to be bouncing back with a bang. Not only in India but in the world at large. The international business community has read the writing on the wall. If the world wants to do business with India, business community need to communicate with the new prime minister Mr. Narendra Modi in Hindi. Modi is market friendly and has acquired a solid reputation as a tough man and a quick decision maker. It is not surprising that 19th June newspapers have carried a news that the Indian Home ministry has asked government offices to give preference to Hindi. These are the signs of changing times. More is likely to come soon.

For the complete article, visit

Business Grads Entering Workforce with Global Mindset

Source: KPMG via Academica

According to a recent KPMG survey of over 300 business students from 27 different countries, students today enter the workforce with an increasingly “global mindset.” 89% of students said that they were prepared to relocate regularly for the right job, and 78% expected to work in 3 to 4 different countries during their careers. Still, concern remains about global instability. 46% of students said that they believe economic instability will make it harder to find a job, and 60% said that they were worried about another financial crisis. “This generation understands that the global economic outlook remains challenging,” said Rachel Campbell, Global Head of People for KPMG, “and is looking globally for the right career opportunities to match their ambition and abilities.”

CIEC Facilitates PM Modi Visit in Toronto

India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi made a much anticipated stop in Toronto, Canada for a Community Reception during his three-nation tour. This marked the first time an Indian PM visited Canada in 42 years. The PM was eager to meet his Canadian counterpart Stephen Harper as well as address the Indo-Canadian community during his visit to Canada.

Canada India Education Council has joined the National Alliance of Indo-Canadians (NAIC) as a Welcoming Partner for this historic event which will be attended by several CIEC members and guests.

From: National Post

The thousands in attendance were full of excitement as they chanted “Modi! Modi!” However in the midst of the celebrations business was still attended to. Various agreements were signed and ties between the nations were further strengthened.

Modi was quoted as saying “Canada is a major Asia-Pacific power and should play a more active role, including in regional institutions.” Harper said about the relationship between Canada and India, “It’s not where we want it to be, but it’s growing.”

From: Metro News

At the event, Harper welcomed Modi as an individual “with humble roots and a devout spirit”. Modi then came to the stage, thanking the Indo-Canadian community for all they have done in terms of “enhancing the glory of India” abroad.

Panel Recommends Ways to Improve Processes for Integrating Immigrants Into Workforce

Source: Panel on Employment Challenges of New Canadians Report via Academica

The federal Panel on Employment Challenges of New Canadians has released a report that explores ways to improve the process of getting internationally trained immigrants into the Canadian labour force. The report looks at current barriers and makes a number of recommendations such as developing pan-Canadian standards for occupations so that people can assess their credentials before moving to Canada, and developing a broader strategy for alternative careers with more regulator involvement. The federal government also announced support for 2 new initiatives, one led by the Medical Council of Canada and the other by Engineers Canada, which will more quickly and efficiently evaluate the credentials of internationally trained doctors and lawyers. Several Canadian universities have launched initiatives to help internationally trained doctors, lawyers, and midwives.

CICan Signs Agreement for Second Phase of Canadian Immigrant Integration Program

Source: CICan News Release via Academica

Colleges and Institutes Canada has signed a 2-year agreement with Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) to move forward with a second phase of the Canadian Immigrant Integration Program (CIIP). As part of the initiative, CICan will collaborate with the International Organization for Migration to expand pre-arrival services and to ensure consistent curricula and materials worldwide; CICan will also work with the Association des collèges et universités de la francophonie canadienne (ACUFC) to provide access to pre-arrival services for French-speaking immigrants coming to francophone-minority communities.

Canada Invests Nearly $250M in International Observatory Project

Source: UBC News Release via Academica

Canada is investing close to $250 M to help build what will be reportedly be the world’s most powerful optical telescope. Canada will contribute $243.5 M to the Thirty Meter Telescope project, to be located on the summit of Mauna Kea volcano in Hawaii. Canada joins partners from Japan, India, China, and the United States in backing the initiative. Much of Canada’s funding will support the construction of the telescope’s enclosure and optical instruments, features that were designed by Canadian engineers and that will be fabricated in British Columbia. Construction of the observatory, which had been delayed pending the Canadian government’s decision, can now begin in earnest. Researchers across the country applauded the announcement. “[It’s] an amazing day for Canada,” said Ray Calberg, an astronomer at the University of Toronto. Paul Davidson, President of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC), said in statement that “this timely investment gives certainty to Canada’s role in this globally important project.” The 22-storey-tall observatory is expected to be operational in 2023.

Colleges Help Students Meet Industry Demand for Soft Skills

Source: Globe & Mail via Academica

An article in the Globe and Mail looks at how Canadian colleges are working to overcome a gap between the demands of employers and the skills of recent graduates. The article notes that recent US-based surveys have found that while 75% of education providers said that graduates were adequately prepared for entry-level positions in their field, only 42% of employers and 45% of youth felt the same way. 49% of employers felt that grads had adequate written communication skills, in contrast to 63% of education providers. In response, some colleges are working to enhance their soft skills offerings, providing instruction on communication, teamwork, and problem-solving, sometimes in collaboration with employers. The British Columbia Institute of Technology [CIEC Academic Member], for example, requires that students complete a hands-on consulting project for an industry client in order to graduate. BCIT has also collaborated with SAP Canada to develop a high-school course that has students working on real-world projects and learning about teamwork and job readiness. “I firmly believe you have to simulate what is done in industry if you are going to call yourself industry-ready,” said Robin Hemmingsen, Dean of BCIT’s business school.

Smart Cities Forum 2015

The Canada India Centre at Carleton University is pleased to announce a conference on “Smart & Sustainable Cities – Opportunities for Canada-India Partnership” to discuss the development and implementation of Smart Cities in India and the opportunities it will create for Canadian companies.

The objectives of the Forum will be to:

  • Provide a platform for knowledge exchange and networking among Indian and Canadian stakeholders involved in Smart Cities;
  • Present current developments in the Smart Cities sector in Canada and lessons for India;
  • Promote mutual partnership opportunities for Canadian and Indian companies involved in Smart energy generation and management, transportation and mobility, ICT, infrastructure, buildings and utilities sectors;
  • Showcase existing projects in India in the areas of Smart Mobility and environmental solutions.

Attendees will include Policymakers and Regulatory Agencies, Infrastructure Developers, Construction Companies and Contractors, Architects, Designers, and Engineers, Technology Providers, Financial Institutions and Investors, and Economic Development Agencies.

Further information on this conference & registration are available on the Canada-India Centre website.

BCIT Among PSE Institutions Recognized by Diversity Award

Source: via Academica

Several Canadian PSE institutions have been awarded Canada’s Best Diversity Employers Award, including Red River College, Ryerson University, [CIEC Academic Member] the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT), UBC, the University of Toronto, and the University of Victoria. Employers are judged on a number of criteria, including diversity initiatives for employees from 5 areas: women, members of visible minorities, persons with disabilities, Aboriginal peoples, and LGBT peoples. “Red River College has always been proactive in their efforts to support its employees and today’s award is ongoing recognition of the work we are doing,” said Lori Grandmont, Acting VP Human Resources and Sustainability. “I want to congratulate our staff for their work on these initiatives, and for their input into continually finding new and innovative ways to strengthen our workplace.”