Atlantic ministers of education, post-secondary education and training committed to a number of actions to support public and post-secondary education students in the area of mental health and career transitioning. These were the major themes that emerged from their meeting of the Council of Atlantic Ministers of Education and Training (CAMET) today in St. John’s, NL, attended by Hon. Dale Kirby, NL Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development; Hon. Gerry Byrne, NL Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Labour; Hon. Donald Arseneault, NB Minister of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour; Hon. Brian Kenny, NB Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development; Hon. Kelly Regan, NS Minister of Labour and Advanced Education; Hon. Richard Brown, PEI Minister of Workforce and Advanced Learning; and Hon. Doug Currie, PEI Minister of Education, Early Learning and Culture.Mental Health
Building on the numerous provincial programs and initiatives, the ministers of education, post-secondary education and training agreed to collaborate in the area of mental health by promoting the sharing of best practices and creating network opportunities between and among various government departments and key stakeholders. CAMET will host a symposium in 2017, involving mental health specialists in the area of public and post-secondary education, health and non-government organizations, to share best practices and intervention strategies to promote positive mental health in public schools and post-secondary education institutions in Atlantic Canada.
Ministers of education, post-secondary education and training agreed that further work needs to be undertaken to promote positive mental health in public schools and post-secondary education institutions. The ministers strongly believe that a regional dialogue in mental health will provide numerous opportunities to establish partnerships among the various stakeholders to promote a continuum in the delivery of effective services to students.
Ministers discussed the importance of evidence-based research and data in the area of mental health to assist the provinces and stakeholders to make informed decisions pertaining to intervention strategies to support students. Ministers have asked their senior officials to work closely with experts in the field of mental health to determine the current level of need and the required data to inform evidence-based decisions.
The commitments announced today by the Atlantic ministers are the results of the June 2016 Symposium sponsored by CAMET. Ministers recognize that the commitment to furthering this critical work will complement and add value to the provinces in creating a positive mental health environment conducive to building student resiliency so they can achieve academic success.
Effective Career Transitioning
Atlantic ministers recognize the important changes and investments made by each province with the introduction of quality career education and transitioning programs and resources, as well as diverse approaches to the delivery of career education services in each Atlantic province. Building on these successes, ministers announced three major Atlantic initiatives today that will assist students to effectively manage career choices, transition from high school to post-secondary education institutions and from post-secondary education to the labour force. Ministers are pleased to launch the Atlantic Canada Career Week,which will take place from October 31 to November 4, 2016 in all schools in New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island. The theme of the career week this year is Create Your Own Future, and is intended to support career development using a coordinated whole school approach, and to promote career development as an integral part of student learning. Student activities related to a specific theme will be introduced during each day and integrated into the existing curriculum.
Ministers of education, post-secondary education and training also announced today that Atlantic provinces will proceed with the development of a framework containing the articulation of competencies that school and post-secondary education students should develop to navigate and propel learning, work and transition in today’s world and in the future. These competencies will be used to demonstrate the required skills needed to effectively transition from studies to work. Ministers strongly believe that the timing is right for developing competencies for Atlantic Canada given the current labour market climate. Ministers are concerned that unemployment remains high for youth and young adults, and underemployment and part-time work continues to grow in Canada.
As part of its ongoing commitment to solidify career transitioning in the region, CAMET has undertaken an analysis of the strengths and gaps in the transition of students from public to post-secondary education. The study, to be conducted by the Canadian Career Development Foundation (CCDF), will be completed in the fall 2017.The result of the study will provide evidence-based information on how to provide better access to post-secondary education for students who take an indirect route to post-secondary education, maximize the number of students who graduate from post-secondary secondary education and training, and provide more opportunities for graduating students to find work in their fields of study.
The initiatives announced today in career development and student transition build on recommendations from Future in Focus – Atlantic Career Development Framework for Public Education: 2015-2020, released by CAMET in June 2015 (available at www.camet-camef.ca). The framework outlines seven goals that Atlantic provinces will pursue to strengthen career development and transition in Atlantic Canada. The Council of Atlantic Ministers of Education and Training (CAMET) is an agency of the departments responsible for public and post-secondary education, and its purpose is to enhance cooperation in public (Entry–12) and post-secondary education in Atlantic Canada by working together to improve learning, optimize efficiencies and bring added value to provincial initiatives.