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Ontario’s government signed an agreement with Alberta this week, that the two provinces will increase educational opportunities within STEM and skilled trades subjects for elementary and secondary students.
Stephen Lecce, education minister to Ontario, and Alberta’s education minister Adriana LaGrange signed the agreement, called a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Friday, while the two were attending the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC) in Victoria, B.C. The MOU is meant to ensure that skilled trades are recognized as a career of choice by parents, educators, and students.
“Our government is committed to helping Ontario students gain the skills they need to prepare for the demands of the global economy and jobs of the future,” said Lecce. “This agreement is another step we are taking to better prepare our kids for future success. By increasing educational opportunities for our students in the STEM and skilled trades sectors, we are giving them the tools they need to be successful in the classroom, to the boardroom, to the shop floor.”
The agreement makes it easier for both provinces to support learning in these fields through data sharing, research regarding best practices to promote STEM and skilled trades to students, and promotion of joint activities between the provinces.
“We are focusing on promoting the skilled trades as a first-choice career path for young people and increasing access to the apprenticeship system,” said David Piccini, parliamentary assistant to the minister of training, colleges and universities.
Ontario has taken other steps to encourage learning in STEM and the skilled trades recently, including an online tenth grade “Career Studies” course that focuses on jobs of the future, and an investment in Ontario’s Youth Apprenticeship Program to the tune of $12.7 million.