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Canada's "skills gap" is actually an "experience gap"
Maclean's
The problem that recent graduates are having finding quality work in their fields is not due to a skills gap, but an experience gap, says a recent article in Maclean's. The article explores the criteria employers are looking for when they post "entry-level" positions, finding that many of these positions state the need for two to five years of experience. Many recent graduates do not possess that level of prior experience without undertaking a co-op program, explains researcher Sophie Borwein of the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario, who is currently working on a report on the topic. Employers today are also less willing to train new employees, especially around the soft skills needed for the labour force — communications, time management, etc. Internships are another way to gain this valuable experience before hitting the job market, but internships, and co-ops, are hard to find and competition is high. Institutions such as Queen’s University have introduced internship programs that match recent graduates with employers, but Queen's has only 300-500 job postings per year for over 17,000 students.
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Canada's youth turn to entrepreneurship
The Globe and Mail
Canada's early-stage entrepreneurship rates are now well above those of other G7 countries and on par with the U.S., reveals a new report by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor. The report also reveals that young men and women in Canada are the driving force behind this entrepreneurial shift, representing a wave of youth that are following opportunities and are more optimistic and less afraid of failure than entrepreneurs in other countries where necessity often drives entrepreneurship. The report involved a survey of 3,272 Canadians and 42 expert interviews, and found that only about 50 per cent of Canadians feel they have the skills and knowledge to start a business. Provincially, Alberta has the highest level of entrepreneurship and Quebec has the lowest. Canada has often been ranked low in innovation by organizations such as the Conference Board of Canada and the World Economic Forum — it is hoped that the rise of young entrepreneurs combined with increased access to funds and support, and the creation of a federal science, technology, and innovation strategy will help improve Canada's innovation performance.
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Centennial unveils plans for new residence
Centennial College
Centennial College has announced plans to build a new student residence at its Progress campus that will provide accommodation for 740 students and will include space for labs, classrooms, and a new teaching restaurant. The Centennial College Residence and Culinary Arts Centre will be funded, built, and managed by Knightstone Capital Management, with partners Diamond Schmitt Architects, Canadian Campus Communities and FRAM Building Group. The $85 million, 8-storey residence will have two- and four-bedroom suites, each containing a bathroom and kitchen, as well as communal kitchens and gathering spaces. The entire first floor will be dedicated to the Culinary Arts Centre, and a conference and banquet centre will be located on the top floor. The building will be LEED gold-certified, and will promote a "living learning" experience by encouraging students to partake in extra-curricular activities. Construction is set to begin this spring, with completion slated for summer 2016.
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University of Guelph lighting up Toronto with tech-driven art installation
Tech Vibes
A forest of clustered light poles, with bright orbs that slowly change colours, will soon light up one of Toronto's darker neighbourhoods. The installation, called Nyctophilia, involves retrofitting standard streetlights with new LED systems, which change colour at such a rate that each day brings a new shade.
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Uneven return of Alberta post-secondary funds spurs prof complaints
Metro News
Money has trickled back into Alberta's budget-battered post-secondary institutions at varying rates, fuelling criticism from some advocates that is showing favouritism to certain technical programs — and even entire schools. Metro compared funding levels for each of the province's 26 post-secondary institutions for the upcoming 2014-15 school year with the amount they received in 2012-13.
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Waterloo appoints new O'Donovan Director of the School of Architecture
Exchange Magazine
Pearl Sullivan, dean of engineering at the University of Waterloo, is pleased to announce the appointment of Professor Ila Berman to the position of O'Donovan Director of the University of Waterloo School of Architecture. An architect, theorist, and curator of architecture and urbanism, Berman comes to Waterloo from the California College of the Arts where she was the Director of Architecture for six years.
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University of Guelph lighting up Toronto with tech-driven art installation
Tech Vibes
A forest of clustered light poles, with bright orbs that slowly change colours, will soon light up one of Toronto’s darker neighbourhoods. The installation, called Nyctophilia, involves retrofitting standard streetlights with new LED systems, which change colour at such a rate that each day brings a new shade.

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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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Wearable technology shirts may reduce lower back pain and neck sprains
EIN News Desk
Wearability, a company founded by Waterloo Engineering students, has designed the latest in wearable tech — shirts that measure electrical activation in muscles to reduce work-related musculoskeletal disorders including lower back and neck sprains and strains. Founded by four Systems Design engineering students, Wearability walked away with $13,000 in funding at the first annual Norman Esch Entrepreneurship Awards for Capstone Design at the University of Waterloo.
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Saskatoon science students learn through hands-on experience
Global News
A group of Saskatoon students, who are inspired by science, are leaving the classroom and getting first-hand experience out in the field. Science isn't for everybody but an out-of-school experience is helping students understand the diversity and the impact it has on our everyday life.
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Canadian astronauts can make as much as $150,000
eCanada Now
Many people look into the night's sky and dream of exploring it. After all, who wouldn't want to look upon the Earth from above or set foot on the Moon? For those interested in becoming an astronaut, competition is fierce. Of the 4,000 to 8,000 people U.S. citizens who apply every application round, there are usually only 20 to 35 openings and a four to five-year wait for training.
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North Vancouver teen harnesses power of technology for good, rather than evil
Vancouver Sun
News stories about teens involved in social media are all too often negative, but one local teen is finding a way to change that. Christopher Bolton, a Grade 11 student at Windsor Secondary has taken his love of all things virtual and turned it into an entrepreneurial pursuit. He's hoping to inspire other kids who love life online to do the same. The 16-year-old recently designed WS Companion, an app for kids at his high school to use to sort out their confusing class rotation.
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Chris Hadfield on building a better spacesuit
CBC News
When Chris Hadfield was five years old, his mother made him a space robot costume for Halloween. "I still remember how proud and excited I was," the retired Canadian astronaut says, recalling the cardboard boxes painted silver that he wore almost five decades ago. But as clumsy as those cardboard costumes may have been, they were probably easier to get around in than the real and very uncomfortable spacesuit Hadfield donned in 2001 when he became the first Canadian to walk in space.
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Nanotechnology could change the world
The Irish Times
The science of nanotechnology is most often associated with high-tech materials and electronics but is increasingly being used in the medical arena and new applications could see it being utilized in the food industry in the not too distant future. According to Teagasc research officer Maeve Henchion, the technology could have a potentially transformative effect on the industry and the world. "It can be used to tackle issues like obesity and food waste," she says.
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