Students at Okanagan College will be encouraged to explore co-op opportunities to support their career ambitions.
The college will receive $75,000 to support outreach to more employers and increase awareness of the benefits of co-op placements for both employers and students.
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.
Premier Christy Clark and MLA for Westside-Kelowna –
“With more career opportunities opening throughout the province, the BC Jobs Plan is working. Co-op education provides a unique, real-world experience invaluable to employers and job seekers alike.”
Steve Thomson, MLA for Kelowna-Mission –
“Our region will need a broad range of new workers for industries such as skilled trades, forestry and logging and silviculture. Hands-on learning will prepare students for a successful entry into these industries that are important to our regional economy.”
Norm Letnick, MLA for Kelowna-Lake Country –
“Okanagan College has a long history of providing a steady supply of job-ready students through its outstanding co-op program. This funding will enable the College to build on the program and reach more employers.”
Jim Hamilton, Okanagan College president –
“Work-integrated learning is a vital part of the educational experience at Okanagan College. It’s one of the many ways we work closely with industry to prepare students for success in their chosen fields. This one-time funding will allow more students to tap into co-op opportunities and gain hands-on training with employers while pursuing their studies.”
- 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