Students at colleges and universities in the Lower Mainland will be encouraged to explore co-op opportunities to support their career ambitions.
Eight public post-secondary institutions will each receive $75,000. The funding will support outreach to more employers and increase awareness of the benefits of co-op placements for both employers and students. The institutions are:
- British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT)
- Capilano University
- Douglas College
- Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU)
- Langara College
- Simon Fraser University (SFU)
- University of British Columbia (UBC)
- University of the Fraser Valley (UFV)
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. This experience better prepares students for entry into the workforce.
Employers benefit from the energy, fresh ideas, knowledge and skills of co-op students. Co-op placements also provide employers with the opportunity to assess new talent for recruitment after graduation.
The funding announced today builds on a $1.3-million investment in co-op education in 2015-16 for a total investment of $2.6 million.
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 sectors, including programs that lead to a range of occupations needed in the technology sector.
The #BCTECH Strategy is a key component of the BC Jobs Plan to support the growth of British Columbia's vibrant technology sector and strengthens B.C.'s diverse innovation economy. The multi-year strategy includes a $100-million #BCTECH Fund and initiatives to increase talent development through more tech-related grads, co-ops and coding, as well as data innovation and market access for tech companies to drive innovation and productivity throughout the province.
Richard T. Lee, MLA for Burnaby North –
“Co-op education is a great opportunity for students who want to be at the front of the hiring line. Students get to see how their education is applied at the workplace and make valuable connections with businesses looking to hire new talent.”
Jane Thornthwaite, MLA for North Vancouver-Seymour –
“There will be almost one million job openings to 2025 and the B.C. government is working to give students access to the education they need to become part of our growing economy. Co-op education gives students the hands-on skills they will need to get these jobs.”
Stephanie Cadieux, MLA for Surrey-Cloverdale –
“It doesn’t matter what fields a student is studying, co-op education gives students an advantage in the workplace. Co-op students graduate with the knowledge they gain in the classroom and the real-life skills they gain through job experience.”
Darryl Plecas, MLA for Abbotsford South –
“Co-op education is a win-win for students and employers. Students get to apply the knowledge they gain in the classroom and employers have an opportunity to help train the employees they need to grow their businesses.”
Kathy Kinloch, British Columbia Institute of Technology president –
“Applied learning and industry partnerships are at the heart of the BCIT education model. Through work integrated learning opportunities, students are building important real-world connections and contributing to their industry before they’ve even graduated. Meanwhile, employers are playing a critical role in developing the talent required for today and tomorrow’s workforce.”
Paul Dangerfield, Capilano University president –
“Learning through experience is the best way for our students to apply their knowledge and expand their skills. Our students value the opportunity to engage in meaningful paid work and to connect with employers. With this support, we look forward to graduating even more students who are poised to contribute to their chosen fields.”
Kathy Denton, Douglas College president –
“Douglas College offers a range of applied degree programs and post-degree programs that provide students with a strong academic foundation and the employer-ready skills that prepare them for employment. This funding provides more opportunities for Douglas College students to work directly with employers who share an interest in their development and who want to employ graduates with the skills and values that are well aligned with their organizations. It is a win-win.”
Alan Davis, Kwantlen Polytechnic University president –
“This investment enables KPU to continue expanding opportunities for our students to meet their career aspirations, gain real-world work experience from business and industry, and integrate theory with practice.”
Lane Trotter, Langara College president –
“We know that Langara's students benefit through experience. This additional funding for our workplace education programs gives our students increased opportunities to enhance academic studies with hands-on learning.”
Andrew Petter, Simon Fraser University president –
“Simon Fraser University’s extensive and diverse co-op education programs exemplify our commitment to engaging students. Co-op work placements offer students wide-ranging and enriching learning experiences that help prepare them for life in an ever-changing and challenging world.”
Hugh Brock, University of British Columbia, associate provost, Academic Innovation –
“UBC supports this important initiative because work-integrated learning improves academic and career performance of our highly-qualified and motivated students, ensuring that the next generation of UBC students can compete and succeed as B.C. transitions to a knowledge economy.”
Mark D. Evered, University of the Fraser Valley president –
“This funding is appreciated and will be used to help students gain on-the-job learning opportunities. We know organizations are keen to hire UFV graduates with relevant experience and co-op programs provide an excellent way to help match students with employers.”
- There will be nearly one million job openings in B.C. through to 2025.
- 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.
- The Association for Co-operative Education BC/Yukon: http://www.co-op.bc.ca/
- BC Jobs Plan: http://engage.gov.bc.ca/bcjobsplan/
- #BCTECH Strategy: https://bctechstrategy.gov.bc.ca/
- BC’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint: https://www.workbc.ca/getmedia/4c54646a-93fa-4566-b148-f43a3f27b240/Booklet_BCsBlueprint_web_140428.pdf.aspx
Trish Fougner, ManagerGovernment Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Advanced Education