A new task force will recommend ways to build stronger connections between schools and jobs while helping students enter their chosen field sooner and ensuring employers have the skilled workers they need.
Alberta’s government is establishing a Career Education Task Force to review career education programming and provide strategic advice and recommendations that will help strengthen student learning pathways. The task force will focus primarily on career education for grades 7-12 and how to effectively prepare students for seamless entry into post-secondary studies or employment.
“We are committed to improving career education and making sure it supports students’ interests while responding to labour market needs. The task force will help determine the best approach to provide practical, foundational hands-on learning opportunities that enable students in grades 7 to 12 to transition into a chosen career pathway through post-secondary education or directly into the workplace.”
Adriana LaGrange, Minister of Education
The task force includes leaders from industry, labour, the education system, post-secondary institutions and government departments. The task force will be chaired by Shane Getson, MLA for Lac Ste. Anne-Parkland.
“By creating stronger connections between education and Alberta's labour market, the task force will play a vital role in helping young Albertans become even more qualified, educated and engaged to pursue rewarding career paths while supporting Alberta’s economic prosperity well into the future.”
Shane Getson, MLA for Lac Ste. Anne-Parkland
“Alberta’s economy is growing and diversifying and that means new opportunities for Alberta students. Ensuring students are prepared for those possibilities is critical to our long-term economic success and this task force will help make that happen.”
Doug Schweitzer, Minister of Jobs, Economy and Innovation
“The task force’s work will make it easier for students to transition into our world-class post-secondary system. We need to keep doing more so that students can realize the opportunities and benefits a trades education provides, even sooner.”
Demetrios Nicolaides, Minister of Advanced Education
“I look forward to the task force’s recommendations to further the foundational work needed to build a skilled workforce in Alberta and support a more efficient labour market for future generations.”
Kaycee Madu, Minister of Labour and Immigration
“Through career-focused educational programming, students acquire academic credentials, gain workplace skills, develop relationships with employers and have access to a wide variety of job opportunities. CAREERS: The Next Generation is excited to work with the Government of Alberta to ensure this important focus continues for future generations of young Albertans.”
Andy Neigel, CEO, CAREERS: The Next Generation
The task force will hold its first meeting in September and will continue to meet and engage with stakeholders throughout the fall. It will deliver its final report no later than December 31, 2022. Their work will include:
- Engaging with various education, industry and business stakeholders across Alberta to hear a broad range of perspectives.
- Evaluating existing career education programming to determine opportunities for innovation and improvement.
- Creating a provincial framework that will inform future career education programming, including curriculum and funding.
More details about the task force’s mandate, deliverables and engagement activities will be shared in the fall.
Career Education Task Force members
- Shane Getson, task force chair, Legislative Assembly of Alberta
- Marilyn Dennis, president, Alberta School Boards Association
- Jess Thomson, director of stakeholder and government relations, Women Building Futures
- Shauna Feth, president and CEO, Alberta Chamber of Commerce
- Stefan Rutkowski, operations director, CAREERS: The Next Generation
- Stephan De Loof, directeur exécutif opérations, infrastructure et transport, Le Conseil scolaire FrancoSud
- Kurtis Leinweber, vice president, The Association of Alberta Public Charter Schools and deputy superintendent and COO, Foundations for the Future Charter Academy
- John Jagersma, executive director, Association of Independent Schools & Colleges in Alberta
- Scott Morrison, president, College of Alberta School Superintendents
- David Price, director, Sunterra Group
- Holly Bilton, trustee, Chinook’s Edge School Division
- Patricia Nelson, manager, external training, Skills Canada Alberta
- Darren Roth, teacher, Black Gold School Division
- Chair, Alberta Board of Skilled Trades (will be appointed in July)
- More members to be added over the summer
- Career education programming is currently available to students in the K-12 education system, with a strong emphasis on grades 10-12. Programming includes five components:
- Career and Technology Foundations (CTF), where students in grades 5-9 explore their interests by learning about various career possibilities and explore different occupations.
- Career and Technology Studies (CTS), where students take courses to develop practical skills and enhance their employability and/or post-secondary prospects.
- Dual Credit, where high school students take courses that help them discover their career interests while earning both high school and post-secondary credits.
- Knowledge & Employability (K&E) Occupational Courses, where students develop employability skills to become active and responsible citizens, achieve their educational and career goals and positively impact their communities.
- Off-campus education that enables students to acquire knowledge and skills related to work and other life roles through their participation in out-of-class study, observation and/or performance at community-based work sites (volunteer or paid). Off-campus education programs include career internships, Green Certificate Program (GCP), Registered Apprenticeship Program (RAP), Work Experience, Work Study and Workplace Readiness and Practicum.
- Some aspects of career education are also addressed through the new K-6 Physical Education and Wellness curriculum and current Health and Life Skills (7-9), and Career and Life Management (10-12) curriculums.