OTTAWA – Universities Canada joined representatives from Canada’s business community and student leaders Thursday afternoon to urge the federal government to support the development and retention of talent. Canada is facing an acute talent crisis that is seriously straining the Canadian economy. Together with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations, Universities Canada is launching the Talent for Canada campaign, proposing common-sense solutions that would ensure Canada does not fall behind in today’s increasingly competitive and turbulent world.
“The Canadian economy is facing significant headwinds when it comes to producing, attracting and retaining talent. Universities, students and businesses are ready to work in partnership with government to meet those challenges head on with investments in the talent Canada needs for a prosperous future,” said Paul Davidson, President of Universities Canada.
The Talent for Canada campaign proposes measures the government can take to foster and produce the top talent Canada desperately needs in today’s competitive labour market and global economy. Renewing research funding will help grow Canada’s research ecosystem, including by supporting early career researchers as they make exciting new discoveries, helping scientists partner with business to commercialize their ideas, and finding solutions to global challenges like climate change.
Additionally, Talent for Canada partners propose increasing the number and value of Canadian Graduate Scholarships, which have remained stagnant for 20 years. Increasing the value and number of these scholarships for the first time in two decades would help revitalize Canadian research by reducing obstacles for the next generation of researchers and incentivizing our best talent to remain in Canada.
“To achieve economic prosperity now and into the future, we need renewed support for Canada’s most talented people at home, and we also need to attract top talent internationally,” added Davidson.
Last year, study permit processing times stretched for months—and over 100,000 students’ permit applications were still being processed just weeks before the school year began. As a result, universities and their communities were left unable to welcome thousands of the world’s most talented young people.
In advance of the forthcoming federal budget, these proposals provide a roadmap for government to deliver on its goal of investing in skills and innovation and ensuring economic growth into the future. Now is the time to secure the talent Canada needs to thrive.
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Universities Canada is the voice of Canada’s universities at home and abroad, advancing higher education, research and innovation for the benefit of all Canadians.
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