The Alberta Colleges Economic Recovery Task Force has identified four key themes in its list of final recommendations to industries and government to aid in economic recovery.

Since its inception in May, the task force, chaired by Grande Prairie Regional College President and CEO, Dr. Robert Murray, consists of Alberta’s 11 comprehensive community colleges, has met with industry stakeholders, government, economic development officers, Indigenous peoples, and students in a series of roundtables and consultation sessions. Murray says the final recommendations supplement the initial report, released in July.

“The Task Force’s July 2020 report focused on immediate areas of action for the colleges, government and industry to address the province’s economic challenges,” he says. “Our final report builds on our initial recommendations and highlights existing strengths in the system, identifies areas for improvement and provides solutions for a collaborative approach to expedite the province’s economic recovery.”

The four core themes detailed in the recommendations are: Indigenous Peoples’ participation in post-secondary education and the workforce, student participation and integration into the workforce, talent and skills development, and industry connectivity.

Each of the four themes, respectively, detail what the task force describes as essential opportunities to meet industry and workforce needs. The Indigenous Peoples’ participation recommendation, is described as a proposal to better access, opportunities, and funding for indigenous students to post-secondary education and training.

Student participation and integration refers to creating workplace learning opportunities similar to that of a practicum or internship in order to provide hands-on experience within their industry during a student’s education and training.