“Corporate senior managers are coming to our school to talk about job openings… Seminars on how to find jobs in the Fortune 500 companies… Biggest job fairs since 2016 with managing directors from big firms on scene…”
Despite the emails and flyers boasting top professional job opportunities for a private career college’s graduates, recent released data by Ontario government has painted a bleak picture for the employment prospects of PCC graduates in general. According to the reports, a high number of students cannot find jobs, and an even a smaller number of students have found jobs in the area they studied.
Overall, less than half (48%) of employed students were working in their field of study, according to the report. Some sectors – such as media production and fashion design -- have higher employment rates (75% and 66.7%), while others fairing much worse: IT 34% and business 32%.
Private colleges’ students have a different demographic than the public colleges, with many of them being immigrants who speak English as second language. Back in the early 2000s, with the influx of immigrants from China and the government funding for those seeking second career training, the sector in the Chinese community was booming and school owners enjoyed lucrative returns. Court documents on a legal battle between shareholders of New Concept College, one of the first few colleges in the community, revealed that the owners of the school could enjoy a profit as high as $600,000 a year.
But it seems that the good run for the PCC sector in the community has been over. The reasons for graduates’ low employment rates could be many. It seems that students are given little opportunity to improve their English skills at many of these schools, as the training courses are provided in Chinese, rather than English – the language used in job interviews. Without adequate English skills, it is very difficult for the students to land decent jobs in Canada.
Some unethical business practices could damage business reputation and result in schools being ordered by the government to suspend operations or shut down. In their desperate attempts to seek quick profits, several career colleges in the community focused on seeking short term gains while putting students’ interest behind and ignoring business ethics of honesty and integrity.
Since the Private Career College Act became effective in 2005, several career colleges in the Toronto Chinese community were suspended by the Ministry for failing to comply with the Act. Mountain Institute of Technology had their license revoked in 2009 for misrepresenting the Ministry that it had delivered the promised training programs. Random inspections by the Ministry found that some scheduled training courses had not been offered to students, who received government funding – from tuitions to transportation costs.
In 2010, Victoria International College was issued a compliance order by the Ministry for breaching the PCC Act. Specifically, the Ministry has found that the schools’ advertising contained misleading statements, including “23 employer partners to hire graduates directly,” or “One of the largest PSW training courses in Ontario.” Victoria College has complied with the order by taking off the identified misleading statements and paid the fine. It is still operating in Toronto.
The government has started to provide performance metrics for PCCs including graduates’ employment rate, offering more transparency into the quality of training provided by PCC schools. Armed with that information, consumers –or students – can make informed choices. Numbers don’t lie. They serve as a strong evidence to invalidate any exaggerations or false advertising, and will help accelerate the demise of schools that fail to follow business ethics that are critical to the success of training colleges in the community.
我们鼓励所有读者在我们的文章和博客上分享意见。We are committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion, so we ask you to avoid personal attacks, and please keep your comments relevant and respectful. Visit the FAQ page for more information.