Work-integrated learning investment brings more opportunities for students to excel

VICTORIA, BC - The Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training has announced another major investment in the future of post-secondary students when they promised $9 million for co-ops and work-integrated learning opportunities.

"Completing your studies is only part of the challenge students face when looking for work," said Noah Berson, chairperson of the Alliance of BC Students (ABCS). "It has become crucial for students to have access to real-world work opportunities, to get a real understanding of the fields they are studying in, and we are thrilled that the Government has recognized the value that students can provide to the economy and employers"

Ensuring that students are fairly compensated for their work is an important step for those transitioning from post-secondary to the job market. Too often, students must make the decision between taking a paying job in a field unrelated to which they are studying or take an unpaid internship that will provide them with the skills required for their future careers. “Work-integrated learning should be an essential component of a students post-secondary experience,” continued Berson.

"We are particularly pleased that the investment announced today will have a focus on giving currently under-represented student groups more co-ops and work-integrated learning opportunities," said Anna-Elaine Rempel, director of research and campaigns of the ABCS. “Indigenous students and students with disabilities have so much to offer in terms of their perspectives and skills and we are excited that they will be supported further in their careers.”

Officers and board members of the ABCS joined the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations this past Fall and brought the importance of work-integrated learning to the Federal Government. Students asked that they adopt the Canadian Career Development Foundation’s 8 recommendations to support Poorly Integrated New Entrants (PINEs) and that they create a part-time job program for post-secondary students modeled after the Canada Summer Jobs program.