Ontario Economic Forum 2018

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By Raquel Torres

York University School of Continuing Studies Leads Innovation In Life-Long Learning For The Future of Work

Private and Public Sector Leaders, including York University School of Continuing Studies, Discuss the Future of Work at Ontario Economic Summit

TORONTO, ONTARIO, October 29, 2018 –
The evolution of technology, automation and artificial intelligence are presenting new challenges and opportunities for the rapidly changing job market in Ontario. With leaders from the private and public sectors, including York University School of Continuing Studies, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce addressed the Future of Work during the Ontario Economic Summit, held in Niagara-on-the-Lake between October 24-26, 2018.

Ontario Economic Summit Panel with Tracey Taylor-O'Reilly AVP, School of Continuing Studies

As one of the fastest growing Continuing Education units in Canada, York University School of Continuing Studies shared the need for a revolutionary transformation in education to meet the demands of a changing world of work. More specifically, York University School of Continuing Studies voiced the importance of life-long learning, work-integrated learning, and policy changes needed to meet future workforce challenges.

Recognized as a thought leader during a panel session hosted by McKinsey & Company, Tracey Taylor-O’Reilly, Assistant Vice-President and Founder of the York University School of Continuing Studies, shared her perspective on the importance of experiential education across all stages of life. “We talk about ‘work-integrated learning’ being very valuable in younger years to build skills, social workplace competencies, and to help students make decisions about what kind of work and work environment they’d enjoy,” notes Taylor-O’Reilly. But work-integrated learning should span into programs for more experienced employees as well. “At later stages, they are integrating learning into their work life, so we talk about ‘learning-integrated work’ where students bring their experience to the classroom and then take their classroom experience back into novel work situations.”

Taylor-O’Reilly demonstrates how York University approaches education differently. She explained, “We sometimes forget that work-integrated learning isn’t just co-op programs. At the York University School of Continuing Studies, we build our programs with Capstones. We use real-world projects from companies around us that expose students to real projects and real potential employers. We are also introducing internships in some programs. Experiential learning adds value at all ages across the lifespan.”

As an influential advocate for lifelong learning, Taylor-O’Reilly recognized the need to develop a diverse workforce that has a strong grasp of the technical skills and cross-functional skills. “There is such a focus on the importance of cross-functional or ‘human skills’ at the Summit, and in fact internationally, right now. These skills are crucial for success in our rapidly changing job market. We’ve been focused on this since the beginning. It is part of our DNA at York” she says.

The Ontario Economic Summit included remarks from the Premier of Ontario, Doug Ford, as well as remarks from the Leader of the Official Opposition, Andrea Horwath. Delegates of the Ontario Economic Summit had the opportunity to exchange policy ideas with Cabinet Ministers, as well as to participate in an “in-conversation” panel between the U.S. Ambassador to Canada, Kelly Craft, and the Ambassador of Canada to the United States, David MacNaughton.

Media Contact:
Ian Barcarse, Director, Marketing & Enrolment Management
School of Continuing Studies – York University

About York University
York University champions new ways of thinking that drive teaching and research excellence. Our students receive the education they need to create big ideas that make an impact on the world. Meaningful and sometimes unexpected careers result from cross-disciplinary programming, innovative course design and diverse experiential learning opportunities. York students and graduates push limits, achieve goals and find solutions to the world’s most pressing social challenges, empowered by a strong community that opens minds. York University is an internationally recognized research university – our 11 faculties and 25 research centres have partnerships with 200+ leading universities worldwide. Located in Toronto, York University is the third largest university in Canada, with a strong community of 53,000 students, 7,000 faculty and administrative staff, and more than 300,000 alumni. York University’s fully bilingual Glendon Campus is home to Southern Ontario’s Centre of Excellence for French Language and Bilingual Postsecondary Education.

About the School of Continuing Studies
The York University School of Continuing Studies provides meaningful continuing education opportunities which combine guided instruction with practical application. Our programs are designed to develop the well-rounded professionals that employers value with both the deep discipline-based knowledge and the broad skills required to communicate and be effective within a multidisciplinary team. With a variety of options to suit your learning style and schedule, adding a recognized, respected credential has never been more accessible.