Cape Breton University will celebrate National Co-operative Education Week from March 20-24. The awareness week is held every year in March to encourage the celebration of Co-operative Education among student and employer fans of Co-op, while fostering awareness of the Co-op and Canadian Association For Co-operative Education (CAFCE) among new audiences.
“University co-op programs are becoming even more relevant as students graduate and look for jobs in an extremely competitive marketplace,” says Jennifer Currie, co-operative education Student Placement Officer. “Through co-ops we’re able to provide experiential opportunities that give students an edge when they graduate and begin to look for full time employment.”
With a growing need of students requiring experience in the workplace to obtain permanent, gainful employment, CBU recently re-focused the Co-op program and provided two dedicated Student Placement Officers to develop the program further and engage both students and employers. Co-op placements are now available to students studying arts, science and business.
“Connecting students and employers has been a rewarding practice,” says Currie. “It is a fantastic feeling to provide our youth with hands on experience in their field of study and it can be quite beneficial to local employers.”
With the shift in focus on the Co-operative education program, CBU has recently placed more than 40 students with employee mentors across Canada and are currently placing students for the spring and summer sessions.
“The co-op program at CBU allowed me to take my education to the next level,” says Allana Rendell, Bachelor of Business Administration student. “I took what I learned in class and was able to apply it to the business world. I would recommend the co-op program to anyone, as I feel it is a highlight of my time at CBU. I was able to secure a position at Breton Chartered Accountants, which would not have presented itself as an opportunity had I not completed a co-op term.”
Dave Douglas, Sales Manager at Celtic Colours International Festival adds, “Celtic Colours benefits as much if not more as the students when we hire a CBU co-op student and it is an opportunity to give back to the community by providing paid work experience to youth interested in working in the cultural sector.”
Visit the CBU website to learn more about the Co-operative Education Program and join the conversation on social media using #NationalCoopWeek.