COTR obtains work-integrated learning funds

Students across British Columbia will have access to no less than 3,000 new cooperative learning and work-integrated learning (WIL) opportunities in 2021-2022 thanks to new funding and a focus on strengthening internships affected by the COVID pandemic -19.

The Ministry of Higher Education and Vocational Training is investing $ 5.5 million in one-time funding to expand co-op and WIL programs. In total, 46 projects in British Columbia’s 25 public post-secondary institutions are supported, including the College of the Rockies (COTR).

The college receives a share of the funds to help restart cooperative education and further develop cooperative education options in 13 program areas at the diploma and degree levels, including accounting, hotel management, marketing, l business administration, adventure tourism and environmental sciences. .

“The COVID-19 pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on the employment prospects of young people, notably by reducing the number of cooperative learning and work-integrated learning placements available to students. We are investing in these opportunities to help students access the hands-on experiences they need to launch their careers, ”said Anne Kang, Minister of Higher Education and Vocational Training. “Helping employers across the province provide cooperative and work-integrated learning opportunities is great news for businesses and great news for students. “

“British Columbia’s competitive advantage lies in its people, and by investing in skills training, we are supporting our economic recovery and building long-term prosperity,” said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Employment, Economic recovery and Innovation. “Lifelong learning is essential to building the sustainable workforce that British Columbia needs to address labor market shortages now and in the future. This commitment to vocational training will open up more opportunities for good jobs that will help communities thrive.

The 2019 British Columbia Labor Market Outlook forecasts more than 860,000 vacancies that will need to be filled over the next decade. Of these job openings, 77% will require some level of post-secondary education or training.

In 2020-2021, there were 14,318 co-op placements at 16 public post-secondary institutions, involving more than 6,800 employers who paid more than $ 174 million in salaries to students.

This is a decrease of 14.8% from 2019-2020, or a loss of nearly 2,500 co-op placements, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Other forms of TIA have also been affected.

Cooperative internships are concentrated in engineering (30% of internships in 2020-2021), administration / business (17%), science (13%) and computer science (19%).

“With the help of the cooperative, I was able to acquire hospitality skills such as teamwork, leadership, time management and customer relations. We applied our knowledge to practical situations and learned communication skills and how to attract customers, ”said Sandhu Awrinder, a hotel management student at the College of the Rockies.

e-KNOW photo file


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