Continuing Education – A Key Strategy in Workforce Development

Companies are increasingly recognizing the value of investing in their workforce to keep skills current and promote employee development. Many companies in London offer professional development and continuing education opportunities to their employees to help build organizational capacity.

Local industry options

From post-degree diplomas to certificates and training sessions, there are a number of options locally that both employers and talent can leverage.

Western Continuing Studies

From recent graduates, professionals, and job seekers, to corporate clients and international students, there is an array of choices for lifelong learning at Western Continuing Studies (WSC).

WSC partners with organizations locally and around the world for the practicum component of their post-degree diploma programs. In addition to completing several courses to develop skills and knowledge in a chosen field of interest, each student completes a mandatory practicum for academic credit, where they have the opportunity to apply what they've learned in a workplace environment. 

Companies hosting an intern at their organization benefit from engaging high-level students who are eager to contribute their skills, ideas, and energy, and raising their organization's profile among the student population. Stiris Research in London has hosted multiple graduates from the Diploma in Clinical Trials Management program for their work-integrated practicums.

Former WCS students doing their practicum at Stiris Research. 

“Stiris Research became a practicum provider in 2015 and we have seen firsthand the tremendous value the program can have for both students, and host organizations. The students are offered real world experience and insight into the clinical research industry and the host is provided access to young professionals who are eager to learn. The ability to hire students once their practicum is complete provides a smooth transition from education to industry, while reducing onboarding time for the employer. We have made the decision to hire on every practicum student we have hosted to date because of the great value they have brought to our organization” – Ali Parkinson, Manager, Clinical Operations, Stiris Research.

Looking for interns? WSC is currently recruiting companies to host their Public Relations interns starting in January 2020. Contact them to learn more.

Fanshawe College Corporate Training Solutions

Corporate Training Solutions (CTS) specializes in industry-focused training solutions that equip employees with the knowledge, skills and expertise needed to succeed in their day-to-day work, to advance in their careers and to build organizational capacity.

In addition to training courses on business, computer software, leadership, trades and technology, transportation licensing, and other industry areas, CTS also offers learning management systems, market analysis to identify business needs and challenges, and strategic planning.

A recent Business Momentum series workshop.

CTS partners not only with industry, but with organizations like the London Economic Development Corporation (LEDC) to ensure industry training needs are met through continuing education. Since 2016, the LEDC and CTS Fanshawe have been running a series dedicated to providing small-and-medium sized enterprises with human resource and communications best practices. Called the Business Momentum Series, these free workshops have helped hundreds of company representatives enhance their skills around recruiting, performance management, digital marketing, branding, and public relations.

Take a look at the upcoming workshops here on Eventbrite.

Ivey Academy

Considered Canada’s home for executive learning and development, The Ivey Academy at Ivey Business School helps professionals deepen their business knowledge and develop leadership skills in order to make an exceptional impact on their organization.

They offer a number of individual, team and custom programs on topics such as personal leadership, strategy and vision, execution, communication, collaboration, and innovation. The programs are geared to mid-to-senior level managers, executives, and C-Suite employees.

The LEDC and Ivey have been formally collaborating since 2017 to address industry needs, through offering many new programs here in London at a discounted rate that were traditionally only held in Toronto.

The first cohort of the Frontline Supervisor Program.

These two unique partnerships LEDC has with CTS and Ivey Academy have transformed into a new collaboration between the two educational institutions. Using direct input from LEDC and leaders of London-based firms, CTS and Ivey Academy launched their first program in southwestern Ontario specifically for frontline supervisors and team leaders last year, called the Frontline Supervisor Program. The program helps new and experienced supervisors, lead hands, and team leaders gain essential skills to consistently meet the needs of their business. While the program was originally only supposed to run in March 2019, it was so well-received that Ivey and CTS have since completed their second cohort in September. Due to the success of this initiative, they have scheduled a February 2020 intake.  Those interested are encouraged to visit either institution’s website for registration information.

The Achievement Centre

Founded in 1984, The Achievement Centre (TAC) provides professional development programs, coaching, and strategic planning to large and small companies throughout the world. TAC offers employee assessments, business strategy retreats, leadership development, sales development, and more.

Ahria Consulting

Talent management experts Ahria Consulting (formerly Carswell Partners) offer companies talent development, career management, executive coaching, and career transition services. Located here in London, their global partner Career Partners International makes them the world’s largest and most successful global talent management consultancy with a footprint in over 40 countries around the world.

Employees can access their leadership development training, while companies can work with Ahria to ensure employees being promoted to new roles have a smooth transition. Their services aim to help employers build a better workforce.

They recently hosted a Disrupt HR event in London where local and regional companies including, rTraction, Sun Life Financial, and Hamilton Health Sciences examined the role of leadership in business. It provided an opportunity for companies to rethink the critical role of leadership within an organization’s brand and reinforce the value of continuing education for employee development.

Why continuing education matters

One of the largest constraints to company growth in the region is finding the right candidates to fill open positions. Often the process of matching the two is challenging and takes time. Given this, building internal capacity remains a top solution in addressing this.

Providing employees with more development and training options not only helps role evolution, but also with retaining current jobs. It attracts new workers that can see - through these employee investments - that they will have a supportive future ahead of them in their organizations.

With the ever-changing business landscape, it’s important to keep employees ahead of the curve of new innovations, consumer behaviours, and market demands. In order to achieve this, companies are seeking more continuing education options that are customized to their unique business needs. Luckily, London and its educational and training institutions are always looking ahead and anticipating industry needs.

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