What's New at BC Colleges September 2015
New President Joins BC Colleges
Today marks the start of my new role as President of BC Colleges. This is an exciting chapter for me personally, and from what I understand, for the college sector overall. Now, perhaps more than ever, colleges are increasingly important to the future economic prosperity of British Columbia and Canada.
The BC Labour Market Outlook forecasts that by 2022 there will be 985,100 job openings in British Columbia, with the largest percentage, 44 per cent, requiring a college education. It also forecasts that the demand for college-educated workers will far outpace supply. So, our diverse and local colleges, with over 60 campus locations, have a vital role to play in developing the highly skilled and educated workforce required for British Columbia to be competitive globally and, in doing so, further contribute to a prosperous and vibrant economy.
In another report recently published by the provincial government on high-demand occupations, 76 per cent of the 70 most in-demand occupations will require college education and training. And, that does not take into account the many students who complete their applied degrees or begin their studies at one of BC’s colleges and then transfer to university in order to finish the remainder of their education.
I am dedicated to building on the great work that our past president, Jim Reed, began first through the original organization of BC’s colleges into a provincial association and through the many (over 200 and counting) partnerships and collaborations colleges have undertaken together, with other post-secondary, secondary as well as business and industry.
In June the college leaders came together to define their strategic priorities for the next three years and I am looking forward to working with them to see those priorities realized. My early steps will involve getting on the ground to meet with College leaders on campus and work with Lane Trotter, President of Langara College, on our groups’ presentation for the Select Standing Committee on Finance in mid October.
Read on to learn more about the milestones, projects, collaborations and announcements from our colleges during the past month. For a full list of this month’s news, please check out “In the News” on the BC Colleges website. And, most importantly, I welcome your feedback and ideas about how my office can better work for the success of our students and the post secondary system - you can reach me by e-mail.
Lastly, on behalf of the BC college sector, I would like to thank Jim Reed for his tireless efforts, commitment and leadership on the colleges' behalf. It is because of Jim’s leadership and vision that we have an excellent foundation in place to meet future challenges and opportunities.
Colin Ewart, President BC Colleges