From education to employment

Educational foundation delivers a keynote speech at a major Canadian conference

A decisive Canadian conference has been addressed by Edge, the UK educational foundation, on how best to communicate the need for young people and their parents to consider vocational and practical learning. Colleges Ontario, the organisation that represents Canada’s 24 colleges of technology and applied arts, had asked Edge to attend following success of its ‘Another Way Forward’ campaign. The popular campaign aims to raise awareness of education routes other than the degree route, and uses press and online advertising, TV, and PR.

Edge’s chief executive, Andy Powell, said: “In the UK we’re very good at looking for best practice overseas, so it comes as a great compliment when someone looks to us. We believe that Our Another way forward campaign has been very successful at convincing people to consider all routes to a successful career, including FE colleges, and we hope that our educational colleagues in Canada will benefit from our experience.”

The majority of people in Canada, like those in the UK, see further education colleges as a second choice. The 2008 Colleges Ontario conference was held in London on 10 and 11 February to find ways to re-brand the definition of college education for the 21st Century, and help change this perception.

The chief executive officer and president of Colleges Ontario, said: “We want to brand colleges and the college experience; the need for more college graduates with real skills in Canada is greater than ever. As the workplace becomes more high tech and demanding, and as globalisation challenges our economy, employers are looking for employees to have greater levels of knowledge and training”.

Edge is committed to raising educational standards by applying practical experience to learning, which it believes is crucial for the future competitiveness of a nation. The Another Way Forward campaign was launched in late 2007, and its second wave commenced in January of this year.

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