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Sarah Watts-Rynard

Sarah Watts-Rynard

CEO, Polytechnics Canada

While many workplaces were disrupted during the pandemic, its aftermath is increasingly defined by skill shortages. As employers adopt new technology and new business models, today’s workers must be resilient and ready for change. Given the pace of that change, it is unlikely that one degree or diploma will be enough to sustain a whole career.

Lifelong learning is becoming a necessity.

Canada’s polytechnics — the country’s largest institutes of applied and technical learning — are committed to delivering workplace-ready talent. With nearly 17,000 continuing education and professional development courses available, this very much includes the mid-career workforce.

Industry-relevant training programs are designed to meet today’s needs. Courses in areas like digital marketing, entrepreneurship, business resilience and workplace diversity are relevant, efficient and just-in-time. They are offered in formats including online, hybrid and in traditional classroom settings. Most cost less than $500 and take fewer than 40 hours to complete.

Polytechnics are also excellent collaborators, creating mission-critical training in cooperation with employer partners. Employers identify skill shortages and help develop content. In many cases, instructors are also drawn from industry. As workplaces change, lifelong learning is becoming critical.

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