MP BOB NAULT: Celebrating our class of 2018 graduates

Diplomas will be handed out and caps thrown into the air as the class of 2018 high school students in the riding celebrate graduation this week. It’s a time to recognize the hard work these bright young men and women have put into their education.

Bob Nault, Member of Parliament for the riding of Kenora

While celebration is certainly in order, it’s important to remember that graduation isn’t just the end of a long journey; it’s the beginning of a new and exciting one.

The importance of education cannot be overstated. To continue growing the North, we need smart and innovative thinkers here locally. Innovation is changing the way we educate, the way we learn, and the way we operate our businesses.

No longer is receiving an education limited to listening to the teacher at the front of the classroom; the Internet has opened up a whole new world of educational and training opportunities and the way we learn will keep evolving at a rapid pace. With technology revolutionizing the nature of education and the work force, it is imperative we have the necessary infrastructure and 21st century services available to remain competitive on the global stage in our riding.

High speed Internet is a must in order for Northwestern Ontario to reach its full potential both in the classroom and in the economy. Canada’s labour market is constantly changing. Automation and technological advancements are eliminating certain types of jobs and creating new ones.

A growing number of experts, private-sector associations, independent advisory bodies, and governments in Canada have concluded that preparing young people for the new economy will require a greater emphasis on ‘soft’ skills, including problem solving, communication, creativity, teamwork, and interpersonal skills. Skill development and life-long learning are more important than ever.

As parents, we all know that graduation is a significant milestone for our children. It marks the end of one chapter and the beginning of another. Some graduates may be continuing on to post-secondary at a university or college, some may choose to study in the trades, while others may work in the family business, or even start their own. Who knows – we may even have a few politicians in our midst. I would like to commend and congratulate all of this year’s graduates.

I wish you all the success in the world as you set out on the next exciting chapter of your lives.

Bob Nault is the Member of Parliament for the riding of Kenora

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