An open letter:
I just read the report, noworneverns.ca while it is thorough and comprehensive, it is sometimes way off the mark. Innovation and job growth, expansion of our exports is all great, but one point makes me upset:
“universities and the Nova Scotia Community College as foundations for future economic growth in the province. The Commission believes there is even greater potential for these vitally important institutions to bring their immense institutional capacities to bear on the economic, social and cultural development needs of the province. In doing so, we believe the post-secondary” p59
This is truly BS. They are not innovating (well, maybe very slowly?). They cannot be the drivers of growth. They are not the foundation either. From a basic Econ Courses we teach in first year business we know that high taxes, high gov’t involvement – does the exact opposite of growth and innovation. It is not the way. WTF?
If you talk to any of the private training and education companies around Halifax including mine: Think Business Training? you will find that we compete directly with the Provincial Goverment – giving away free skills training to businesses – because these skills were not taught in our schools. What a waste.
The local universities as well as the NS Community College all are attempting to get a bigger piece of the after Post Secondary market too. If you did not do a good enough job while you had the students paying for their education why do you think you can do a better job after they graduate and are at a workplace?
You (universities and NSCC) should take a look at the skills being taught, the curriculum of you programs, and provide the skills while they are in school. The waste is atrocious!
Most recently we found ourselves competing with the Halifax Chamber of Commerce. Through WIPSI the Chamber has come up with the idea that they are providing a great service to their members by funneling these grants into the pockets of the very few service providers who are “friends” of the Chamber. I say friends, they really are “founding members” of the All Ships Rise program invented to take advantage of the WIPSI program funds.
What is actually happening is more of the same. Many people are being put into inappropriate programs, with no regard to their true needs for training, via these grants. The program is promoted as free training and the companies are taking advantage of it. Or are they being taken advantage of? While I agree that some free training is better than no training, I am not sure the money is being well spent.
When asked if the training is making a difference, the answer is “we do not know”. So another waste of time and money…hmmm…all the while they are taking the grant money off the table, and taking the training time away from companies who might be able to innovate, and grow and deliver an ROI for the training dollars.
Training can be an export business, it can create jobs, but not if the small business growth opportunities have to compete with the province and the provincially funded institutions. It’s just more of the same, lining the pockets of the few, and providing no ROI for the people it was designed to help. Nice try….
I see absolutely no innovation coming from these organizations. They are are using their resources (big budgets compared to most companies) to supply basic training to the people working in companies who were already “let down” with inadequate training and education while they were going through the very education system that the province supplied them with our tax payers money in the first place.
High school did not prepare them, a lot of the university and trade programs did not adequately prepare them. Why do you (Gov’t?, universities?, NSCC?, Chamber?) think you can do better? By taking the money out of the marketplace and continue to deliver the same training the same way we have been delivering education for the last 100 years.
As an active member of the business community I appreciate you getting all of our young people ready for a world that exists no longer.
I really appreciate competing with you in an industry that needs to change to be better, and compete globally.
Thank you for taking 80% of the market and put it back into the very system that sucks!