23 2016

The Learning Partnership supports Premier’s Expert Panel recommendations to cultivate Ontario’s Highly Skilled Workforce

June 23rd 2016
Toronto, ON – June 23, 2016 – The Learning Partnership applauds the work of the Ontario Premier’s Highly Skilled Workforce Expert Panel and its comprehensive list of recommendations, which were issued today to ensure that Ontario remains a competitive force within the global economy and continues to meet the needs of the changing world of work.  
“The recommendations of the expert panel provide important guidance for policy makers and educational institutions across the province, and the Premier and the panel are to be commended for their leadership in this area,” says Akela Peoples, President and CEO of The Learning Partnership. “Ontario’s publicly funded schools have a major role to play in cultivating the skills employers are looking for now and in the years ahead. Partnerships and collaborations between educational institutions and business are key, and the recommendations support that approach.”  
The Highly Skilled Workforce Expert Panel was announced by Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne in December 2015 to develop a strategy to help the province’s workforce adapt to the demands of a technology-driven knowledge economy. Chaired by former cabinet minister Sean Conway, the panel was tasked with assessing how well the workforce is positioned and to recommend an integrated approach for the government to bridge education, training and skills development with the demands of an evolving economic landscape. The Learning Partnership was among the organizations approached by the expert panel to provide input to inform the recommendations, which were unveiled as part of a consultation at The Learning Partnership’s Partnership Summit 2016, a gathering of leaders from government, business and education held at Torys LLP in Toronto on June 23.
The Expert Panel’s recommendations cover a number of themes, including Partnerships and Local Leadership, Experiential Learning and Mentorship and the Promotion of Multiple Career Pathways. Highlights include recommending that every student have at least one experiential learning opportunity by the end of secondary school, exposing students to a variety of learning pathways and career opportunities, and encouraging school boards to work with employers to develop community approaches to career counselling.
“The Learning Partnership works hard to deliver student programs to nurture skills and talents that will be in demand for the jobs of tomorrow, and are informed by the latest research and best practices in education,” notes Ms. Peoples. “We are delighted to see that many of the panel’s recommendations validate the collaborative work we are already doing. The Learning Partnership was founded with the aim of establishing education and business partnerships and we continue to deliver on this mandate through our many initiatives, including Take Our Kids to Work, Take Our Class to Work, Take A Leader to Work, the Real Talk mobile app, Dragons’ Nest and Entrepreneurial Adventure.”
Take Our Kids to Work is an annual program in which Grade 9 (or equivalent) students are hosted by parents, friends, relatives and volunteers at workplaces across the country every November. The program supports career development by helping students connect school, the world of work, and their own futures.
Take Our Class to Work is integrated with the Ontario’s Grade 10 Careers Studies curriculum and offers a new way for business and education to collaborate, as students explore their career interests and learn from their future employers, making them more labour market ready.  
Take A Leader to Work This one day exchange program is an invaluable opportunity for a corporate/government leader and an educational leader to job-shadow each other’s role.
Real Talk is an interactive mobile and web app where students can search for career information and guidance on school-to-work transitions directly from new graduates and young professionals.
Dragons’ Nest challenges secondary students to create, develop and launch a real venture in their business class, supported by business mentors and teachers. Proceeds from student ventures support a charity of their choice and the program culminates with the creation of a video pitch, in which finalists are selected to face our panel of Dragons at the Dragons’ Nest Finale.  
Entrepreneurial Adventure is a hands-on entrepreneurial journey for students in Kindergarten to Grade 12. It is designed to develop students’ enterprising spirit, financial literacy, innovative thinking and social responsibility by challenging them to develop innovative business ventures that raise money for local, national and international charities.
About The Learning Partnership
The Learning Partnership is a national charity dedicated to building stakeholder partnerships to support, promote and advance publicly funded education in Canada. We do this through five key deliverables: innovative student programs, executive leadership for educators, knowledge mobilization and policy, tribute celebrations of excellence and ongoing collaborations across Canada. Since 1993, more than 6.5 million students have participated in The Learning Partnership's programs. For more information, visit The Learning Partnership

Fore more information, please contact:
Bernadette Celis-Clarke
Marketing and Communications,
The Learning Partnership