CANOE Network

The Toronto Sun CareerConnection


Forum to help students find work

This September, employers from across Ontario will be invited to participate in a business-led human resource forum to promote the value of developing partnerships with local school boards to help high school students experience the workplace.

The Provincial Partnership Council, a group of committed leaders from business, training and education, will organize the conference.

The council was created in April 1999 to help implement the Ontario government's new high school program, which requires school boards to provide school-work programs, such as co-operative education and the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program, to students who want to participate.

Since then, the council has launched an employer recruitment strategy, Passport to Prosperity, which brings together school boards, business-education councils, local training boards, and employers to promote and recognize businesses that provide work place experiences for high school students.

"School-work programs offer companies a cost-effective solution to recruiting, training and retaining younger workers, while helping to build the talent pool," said Catherine Swift, president and CEO of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business.

Employers who offer students work experiences can benefit in many ways:
  • School-work programs create better-prepared workers and reduce the time-consuming and costly recruiting, hiring and training efforts.
  • Giving students work experience helps promote a variety of career choices. It also enlarges the pool of qualified workers in sectors with shortages of skilled employees.
  • Work experiences help enhance the work ethic in students, and provide valuable lessons, such as pride in a job well done, punctuality, dependability and honesty.
  • When employers team up with schools, the exchange of information and expertise helps enhance the curriculum and integrate classroom and workplace learning.

    The September conference will recognize existing successful business-education partnerships, share best practices, and seek endorsement for Passport to Prosperity from employers who are new to the campaign.

    -- News Canada

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