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.
“Creating opportunities with local business is a good investment for students and employers alike,” said Premier Christy Clark, MLA for Westside-Kelowna. “As our strong and diverse economy continues to create opportunities, hands-on experience will be increasingly valuable.”
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.
“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,” said Tyler Marshall, computer information systems student, Okanagan College.
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.