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Budget watchdog says Harper government wrong on labour, skill shortages in Canada
Calgary Herald
Canada's budget watchdog says there's little evidence of serious labour shortages or a skills mismatch problem in the country. The finding by the parliamentary budget office could once again put it on a collision course with the Harper government. The government has made much of a skills mismatch to justify measures such as the foreign temporary workers program, stricter employment insurance eligibility rules and the Canada Jobs Grant program.
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Saskatchewan PSE institutions get $4.4 million for mining research, education
The StarPhoenix
The International Minerals Innovation Institute (IMII) has announced $1.1 million in funding for two research and development projects and $3.3 million in funding for four education and training projects at Cumberland College, Northlands College, Parkland College, the Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology, and the University of Saskatchewan. All six projects are focused on safety, environment and developing specialized training for the mining industry. "We believe through initiatives like these projects, the collaborations of industry, government and postsecondary institutions are going to help us to produce real outcomes for a world-class minerals industry," says IMII Executive Director and Senior Technical Adviser Engin Ozberk.
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NSCC sees spike in new students with university degrees
CBC News
A Nova Scotia Community College survey reveals an increase in the number of students entering the college with a university degree. In 2010, only six per cent of first-year students had university degrees; by 2012 that number had risen to 21 per cent. While most new NSCC students still arrive with no prior PSE, the recent increase does suggest more people are looking to enhance their university degrees with a college certificate or diploma. The NS Minister of Advanced Education says "college offers hands on experience, but people shouldn't write off university."
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Engineer builds instrument to study effects of genes, environment on plant traits
R&D Magazine
Let's say plant scientists want to develop new lines of corn that will better tolerate long stretches of hot, dry weather. How can they precisely assess the performance of those new plants in different environmental conditions? Field tests can provide some answers. Greenhouse tests can provide some more. But how can plant scientists get a true picture of a plant's growth and traits under a wide variety of controlled environmental conditions? That job has been too big and too precise for most laboratories.
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Selkirk College receives $1 million towards capital project
Selkirk College
Selkirk College has received a $1 million donation from Columbia Basin Trust that will go towards the planned upgrades to Selkirk's Silver King and Castlegar campuses. The donation marks the beginning of a campaign to raise the $32 million needed for the capital project, which Selkirk says will result in "modern facilities that provide the most beneficial learning environments for students." Proposed improvements to the Silver King Campus include a major renovation and equipment upgrade to the shop areas, work on the classroom block, and the addition of student common learning spaces. The Castlegar Campus renovations include redevelopment of the learning spaces, classrooms and equipment.
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'Hacker schools' in U.S. helping fill IT industry needs
eSchool News
"Hacker schools," private PSE institutions that specialize in teaching students how to write code, are becoming increasingly popular in the U.S. as companies attempt to deal with a shortage of qualified employees in the computer software area. A local technology association survey found there are nearly 4,000 open positions in Georgia alone, and some industry executives say it can take six months to fill some top jobs. These institutions do not offer certificates or diplomas, but some, such as The Iron Yard in South Carolina, guarantee job placement in six months, or students get their money back — the institution says it has yet to issue a refund. Dozens of "hacker schools" are opening across the U.S., with a heavy concentration in high-tech markets like San Francisco, New York, and Boston.
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Nanotechnology coating helps shrink mass spectrometers
Nanowerk
Nanotechnology is advancing tools likened to Star Trek's "tricorder" that perform on-the-spot chemical analysis for a range of applications including medical testing, explosives detection and food safety. Researchers found that when paper used to collect a sample was coated with carbon nanotubes, the voltage required was 1,000 times reduced, the signal was sharpened and the equipment was able to capture far more delicate molecules.
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NASA demonstrates Space Launch System adaptive controls
RedOrbit
Can a rocket maneuver like an airplane? And can an airplane act as a surrogate for a maneuvering rocket? NASA engineers demonstrated just that when they used a NASA F/A-18 aircraft recently to simulate a rocket in its early flight phase to test adaptive software for NASA's new rocket the Space Launch System, the largest, most powerful launch vehicle for deep space missions.
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Niagara biotechnology firm leading diagnostic revolution
NiagarathisWeek.com
A career in such a growing field as biotechnology might not be a bad plan for those entering or heading back to school. This is a rapidly growing and exciting field with a large number of options for those considering such a career. So if a career in a different sector isn't showing much promise, here are the positions the biotech industry will most need to fill over the next 10 years, according to Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News.
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Cloud impacting future skills needed for IT professionals
Computer Dealer News
Technologies continued to evolve with the industry developing solutions that could bring technologies together, but somehow the industry kept forgetting about the human capital. How were technology professionals supposed to learn and keep up with these changes and learn the vocabulary, programs and systems differences?
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Tech companies fighting for the connected car market
The Globe and Mail
The 'Grand Poobahs' of both the automotive and tech sectors assembled in Las Vegas this past January at the Consumer Electronics Show to divine how the automobile will be transformed into the world's largest mobile device. And, as strange as it may sound, the connected car could be the salvation for BlackBerry, the beleaguered Canadian telecommunications company.

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CCTT wins CIC award for new Engineering Career Pathways Tool
CCTT
The Canadian Council of Technicians and Technologists (CCTT) received an award from Citizenship and Immigration Canada for the newly-launched Engineering Career Pathways web tool. Parliamentary Secretary, Hon. Costas Menegakis presented the prestigious award to CCTT Chair Louis LeBel on behalf of Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Chris Alexander at the 2nd annual IQN Awards hosted at the Museum of Civilization in Gatineau, QC.

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Thousands of students cheating at university
CBC News
Results of a CBC survey of 54 Canadian universities show that almost 7,000 students were punished for cheating in 2011-12, representing less than one per cent of the total student population. Of these cases, plagiarism was the biggest offender, found in more than 50 per cent of all cases, unauthorized aid including inappropriate collaboration accounted for 22 per cent, and 10 per cent involved cheating on tests.

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Facebook makes foray into mobile hardware with $2 billion purchase of Oculus VR
Montreal Gazette
Facebook said it will buy virtual-reality technology company Oculus VR for about $2 billion, in its first push into mobile hardware. The deal includes $400 million in cash and 23.1 million Facebook shares, as well as an additional $300 million if the acquisition achieves certain milestones, the Menlo Park, California-based company said in a recent statement.
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The promise and peril of nanotechnology
Phys.org
Nanotechnology is one of the fastest growing areas of science, engineering and industry that is used in more and more consumer products each day. Do we know enough about this new technology to understand what the potential unintended impacts on human health and the environment could be?
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2014 Sanofi BioGENEius Challenge Canada highlights newest crop of potential top scientists
Canada Newswire
Hundreds of Canada's most gifted high school and CEGEP students and their mentors, teachers and parents, will come together for the 2014 "Sanofi BioGENEius Challenge Canada," Canada's only national biotechnology competition with mentors from Canada's top universities and research institutes. Inspired by the question "How will you change the world?," these Canadian teens aim to create astounding and life-changing discoveries.
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Employers must help to fill void in essential skills
The StarPhoenix
Employers in Canada, and especially in the West where we are also experiencing a technical skills shortage, are well advised to invest in skills training for employees. They cannot hire their way out of this problem, because there just are not enough workers available. Employers would find that the increased productivity from their existing and "up-skilled" workforce would help to offset some of the technical shortages they are experiencing.
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