Ontario Invests in Short-Term Flexible Training Program
Funding helps people obtain skills for in-demand jobs in textile computing industry
January 19, 2021
TORONTO – The Ontario government is providing $35,000 to help adult learners and displaced workers develop the skills they need to work in the textile computing industry. The new online training program has been created by OCAD University (OCAD U) and Myant Inc. and is part of Ontario’s plan to support more flexible, short-term and responsive education programming to prepare people for the in-demand jobs of today and tomorrow.
“The partnership between Myant and OCAD U is proof that effective partnerships between Ontario’s businesses and world-class colleges and universities can deliver high-quality education that leads to real jobs,” said Ross Romano, Minister of Colleges and Universities. “We have heard loud and clear about the gap between employers, like Myant, that cannot find candidates with the right skills and the many Ontarians looking for meaningful employment. By working together, we can create flexible and responsive programing that meets the needs of employers and ensures that Ontarians can learn a new skill, to help them better succeed in their careers.”
The online training program in Human-Centred Design is a micro-credential that has been created to help people rapidly obtain the design skills they need to work at Myant Inc., a technology and advanced manufacturing company, and other workplaces. Participants in the program will receive training on design principles and developing prototypes.
Ontario is working on its first-ever micro-credentials strategy to help people quickly retrain and upgrade their skills to find new jobs. As announced in the 2020 Ontario Budget, Ontario’s Action Plan: Protect, Support, Recover, the province is investing $59.5 million over the next three years to further establish micro-credentials, an emerging and innovative teaching model in postsecondary learning.
The funding will help:
- Create new micro-credentials that respond to regional labour market needs and strengthen partnerships between postsecondary institutions, training providers and employers
- Create an online portal to access micro-credential training opportunities
- Ensure individual learning experiences are formally recognized and tracked
- Support students with financial need so they can pay for education geared to in-demand jobs, through the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP)
“As pioneers in the emerging textile computing industry, one of the great challenges we face is finding talent with the unique set of skills, training and ways of thinking that we need in order to innovate,” said Tony Chahine, Founder and CEO, Myant. “A way we invest in this talent pipeline is by partnering with academic institutions like OCAD University to craft curriculums serving the needs of the student, the school, and the company. We need designers who are not just human-centric in their philosophy, but trained to pragmatically drive processes that bridge the gap between idea and product. We are grateful for our partners at OCAD U for helping us drive innovation.”
“As Canada’s oldest and largest art and design university, OCAD University trains students in areas that are helping close the skills gap in a variety of sectors including manufacturing, automotive, finance, creative industries and technology,” said Ana Serrano, President and Vice-Chancellor, OCAD University. “Our new micro-credentials and partnership with Myant Inc. fulfills a need to provide valuable training to individuals and new opportunities for our industry partners.”
Human centred design is an approach to designing products or services that starts with the user’s needs and experience. The Myant-OCAD U Human Centred-Design micro-credential project is one of 36 facilitated through eCampusOntario, a provincially funded centre of excellence and global leader in the evolution of teaching and learning through technology.
“eCampusOntario believes a strong micro-credential ecosystem that serves all learners is rooted in the co-creation of targeted curriculum and meaningful partnerships between post-secondary institutions and employers,” said Dr. Robert Luke, CEO, eCampusOntario. “With micro-credential seed funding provided through eCampusOntario and the Government of Ontario, this project between OCAD U and Myant is an excellent example of the mutual benefit that can be achieved by these partnerships: ensuring that the talent gaps faced by local business are filled and graduates of institutions like OCAD U have a digitally-recognized and versatile skillset to launch their careers.”
- Micro-credentials are rapid training programs offered by colleges, universities and Indigenous institutes across the province. They help people retrain and upgrade their skills to find new employment.
- eCampusOntario leads a consortium of the province’s 46 publicly funded colleges, universities, and one Indigenous Institute, to develop and test online learning tools to advance the use of education technology and digital learning environments.
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