As many of you will be aware, on June 13, 2016 (yesterday) there was a cabinet shuffle in the Ontario government. As part of that shuffle, Deb Mathews was appointed the new Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development. The new Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development replaces the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU). It will encompass the current mandate of MTCU while additionally employment and training programs in other ministries will be coordinated through the new ministry.
Minister Mathews also remains Deputy Premier and Chair of Cabinet, and as well as being in charge of initiatives promoting greater digitization of government services. She is a key Minister in the Wynne government, and holds a a Ph.D in social demography from Western University. Her bio can be found here: https://news.ontario.ca/profiles/en/deb-matthews
Reza Moridi, the previous Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities, remains Minister of Research, Innovation and Science.
In the media release announcing the new Ministry, it noted that the government intends to focus particularly on skills development for the labour market and the economy:
… [M]ore must be done to ensure that all Ontarians have the education and training they need to succeed in a modern economy. The ministry will work with the panel on a Highly Skilled Workforce Strategy to bring forward a comprehensive plan to develop a more innovative and skilled workforce. Working with the private sector and postsecondary education institutions, the ministry will help ensure Ontario has the skilled workforce it needs to compete in the global economy.
While the government has spoken about the need to promote an “innovative and skilled workforce” for many years, what a “comprehensive plan” noted in the media release will mean in practice and its impact on universities is not yet known.
OCUFA plans to meet with the new Minister to discuss this issue and many others this summer, and will provide an update and analysis of the Ministry’s initiatives at the October 29-30, 2016 Board meeting.
In the meantime, if you have any questions, please let me know.
Mark Rosenfeld, Ph.D
Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations
17 Isabella Street
Toronto, Ontario, Canada M4Y 1M7
Tel: 416-979-2117 x229