In This Together: Sheridan’s Commitment to Help Business Re-build and Recover
As we surpass the six-month milestone in responding to the COVID-19 pan-demic, it’s clear that the associated economic loss is being felt broadly. According to Statistics Canada, Ontario’s unemployment rate in August stood at 10.6%. Behind that statistic are families, and members of our community wondering what comes next.
As the economy recovers, how we do business – and the skills employees need to succeed – will change. Jobs in sectors like health care, technology, and automation in manufacturing will increase in demand. Our workforces, meanwhile, will require people who think critically and are adaptable, resilient, and innovative.
Postsecondary education will play an essential role in preparing these workers, and Sheridan is ready to meet the needs in our community. Our strengths lie in teaching excellence, connectivity to the workforce, applied research, and interdisciplinary creativity and innovation.
The pandemic has meant that we, like our industry partners, need to keep adapting. This fall, many of our programs will be delivered remotely, and the limited number of students who do come to campus for necessary in-person instruction will ﬁnd a different experience as we implement even more stringent health and safety measures.
Faculty and staff have worked tirelessly to ensure that no matter where students learn, they still receive high-quality learning opportunities. When the pandemic hit, our Career-Integrated Learning department worked quickly with the Faculty of Animation, Arts and Design and our Entrepreneur-ship Discovery and Growth Engine (EDGE) hub to ensure valuable internships and co-op opportunities weren’t lost. With the support of RBC Future Launch, the Canada Summer Jobs program, and our local MPs, we created the Virtual Internship Program, offering paid positions for 250 students.
The results of that project showcased the beneﬁt our students bring to industry. One team re-imagined how Food for Life could safely and conveniently make healthy food accessible to Halton residents in need during the pandemic. Another group helped the educational arm of one of the world’s largest technology companies maintain and improve the connections between educators and children. Other students examined how the Sheridan Centre for Elder Research can use technology to enhance older citizens’ access to, and engagement in, creative and performing arts.
We’re also getting ready to offer new programs that are relevant, timely and accessible to anyone looking to upskill or explore a new career. Throughout our history, we’ve launched trailblazing programs, including Ontario’s ﬁrst four-year, stand-alone Bachelor’s degrees in animation, cybersecurity and athletic therapy. Now, we’ve built microcredentials – short, targeted courses that respond to industry needs and allow our community members to re-tool to meet the demands of a changed economy.
The CNC RapidSkills course, for instance, is a 21-week program fund-ed by the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development geared to the manufacturing sector. It will offer students fundamental knowledge in manufacturing, safe operation of large and small machinery, key machine control units and functions, programming language and more. For others interested in boosting their cybersecurity or coding knowledge to help their business adjust to increasingly remote operations, we’re offering the Cyber Secure Your Business course, or you can learn coding, programming and problem-solving skills in Python, one of the world’s most popular and versatile coding languages.
The future of our economy and industry may still seem uncertain, but with access to nimble, relevant opportunities available to any learner – from new high school graduates to those looking to refresh their skills – Sheridan will continue to support our local industry partners as we face the future together.