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Students Nova Scotia Enthusiastically Welcomes Ivany Commission Report

Halifax, NS – This morning, the Ivany Commission released Now Or Never: An Urgent Call to Action for Nova Scotians, which highlights the imperative for action to improve Nova Scotia’s economic and demographic reality. StudentsNS welcomed the report’s analysis and goals, which underline especially the importance of supporting the labour market and post-secondary success of youth and other newcomers.

“The Ivany Commission report’s message resonates strongly with the work we have been doing in the last year and a half on demographics, post-secondary education and employment, and the need for Nova Scotia to do better with our assets,” said StudentsNS Vice Chair, Matthew Rios. “Nova Scotia’s circumstances unequivocally demand action, but as indicated by the Ivany Commission we have remarkable opportunities to turn our province around if we work together and act more strategically.”

StudentsNS was especially supportive of many of the report’s Economic Development and Population Goals. With respect to economic development, the report notably recommends significant improvements to Nova Scotia’s post-secondary participation rate and youth unemployment rate. It is estimated that 70% of new jobs will require a post-secondary credential in the next decade, while Nova Scotia’s youth unemployment rate is consistently much higher than the national average.

“Nova Scotia absolutely has to improve its post-secondary participation rate and youth employment rate to be successful in the 21st century”, said StudentsNS Executive Director, Jonathan Williams. “We need to strike down the barriers to post-secondary education and labour force participation, but also ensure that the quality of education and employment maximizes the potential of our young people.”

Population goals include increasing inter-provincial migration, international immigration and notably doubling the retention of international students post-graduation. Nova Scotia’s post-secondary students are among the province’s most promising sources of new residents from elsewhere in Canada and overseas. StudentsNS research indicates that international enrolment at Nova Scotia universities can be expected to double by 2030-31.

“Nova Scotia’s traditional focus on youth retention is a losing strategy. We have to attract more residents from elsewhere in Canada and overseas to reverse our demographic decline”, said Williams. “International and out-of-province students are among our most promising potential new residents and we need to ensure they are welcomed, supported, and offered attractive opportunities to stay in Nova Scotia after graduation.”

StudentsNS has released multiple reports in the past year that provide ideas as to how some of these goals could be met, including groundbreaking reports on international students and student financial assistance. StudentsNS is also co-hosting a Summit on Youth in the Nova Scotia Economy in partnership with D250, the Department of Labour and Advanced Education and Dalhousie University, among others, March 19-20. More information on the Summit is available at http://studentsns.ca/economysummit/.

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Students Nova Scotia (StudentsNS) is a not-for-profit and non-partisan advocacy group that represents 38,452 Nova Scotia post-secondary students, including 87% of the university student population. Our members study at Acadia, Cape Breton, Dalhousie, Saint Mary’s, and St. Francis Xavier Universities, the Kingstec Campus of the Nova Scotia Community College, and the Atlantic School of Theology.

For more information or questions, please contact:

Jonathan Williams, StudentsNS Executive Director

(O) 902.422.4068

(C) 902.483.5480

(E) director@studentsns.ca

Kate Elliot