Co-op students at Okanagan College will benefit from $75,000 in one-time funding, part of a $1.3-million announcement to 16 public post-secondary institutions following the launch of Co-op Week celebrations today.
The funding provides outreach to leverage more employers to the program and increase awareness of the benefits of co-op placements to potential employers and students. An additional $100,000 will be provided to ACE, the Association for Co-operative Education, a non-profit organization that works with post-secondary institutions in B.C. that offer Co-operative Education programs.
Programming in co-op education combines academic studies with paid work experience in career-related fields. Co-op students have opportunities to apply their learning, gain employment-related skills, and make connections with employers, better preparing them for entry into the workforce.
Employers benefit from the energy, fresh ideas, knowledge and skills of co-op students. Co-op also provides employers with the opportunity to assess new talent for future recruitment after graduation.
Government support for co-operative education aligns with commitments in the BC Jobs Plan, #BCTech Strategy and B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint. Co-op programs are offered across many program areas, including programs leading to the range of occupations needed in the technology sector.
B.C. Co-op Week runs from March 14-18, 2016.
Premier Christy Clark, MLA for Westside-Kelowna –
“Creating opportunities with local business is a good investment for students and employers alike. As our strong and diverse economy continues to create opportunities, hands-on experience will be increasingly valuable.”
Steve Thomson, MLA for Kelowna-Mission –
“Okanagan College has a long-standing tradition of graduating top notch students into our community. This funding will encourage local employers to make the connection that students in co-op programming bring energy, fresh ideas and the opportunity for future employment.”
Jim Hamilton, president, Okanagan College –
“In today’s economy and in many professions, graduates are expected to be job-ready on day one. Co-op placements provide the practical experience that benefits students’ learning. Acquiring that real-world experience makes a huge difference to students and allows them to make important connections in industry. Any time we can invest in bolstering our co-op training we are enhancing the student learning experience and providing a great value to industry.”
Tyler Marshall, computer information systems student, Okanagan College –
“My main goal when I came back to school was to get a job. The experience I gained during my co-op made that goal a reality much faster than I expected. It’s really the best of both worlds; I now have professional real-world experience while still working toward my diploma.”
Claudia Sperling, president, British Columbia Association for Co-operative Education –
“We are proud to work with students, employers and post-secondary institutions in B.C. to build a strong foundation of work experience. Co-op placements provide students with the valuable, hands-on learning that will benefit their chosen careers.”
- Between now and 2024, British Columbia expects to have almost one million job openings.
- Approximately 42% of job openings will require college education or apprenticeship training.
- 36% will require university and/or significant work experience.
- 18% will require high school and/or occupation-specific training.
BC Jobs Plan: http://engage.gov.bc.ca/bcjobsplan/
#BCTech Strategy: https://bctechstrategy.gov.bc.ca/
B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint: https://www.workbc.ca/Training-Education/B-C-s-Skills-for-Jobs-Blueprint/Learn-about-Blueprint.aspx
Association for Co-operative Education (ACE): http://www.co-op.bc.ca