Okanagan NDP MLAs say students across the Interior will benefit from more co-op and work-integrated learning opportunities

B.C. INTERIOR – New Democrat MLAs Roly Russell and Harwinder Sandhu say students at Okanagan College, UBC Okanagan, and Thompson Rivers University will have greater access to valuable learning opportunities with new co-op and work-integrated learning funding.

B.C. colleges and universities offer students incredible education and experiences that will stay with them for life,” said MLA Russell. “For employers in rural communities, attracting and retaining employees can be a challenge. I’m so pleased to see OK College and universities across the Interior working to bridge these gaps, and am grateful that we’re able to support their work.”

Okanagan College will receive nearly $450,000 to develop relationships with small and medium-sized businesses in nearby communities, support students with disabilities and Indigenous students in accessing work-integrated learning opportunities, and increase outreach to employers in rural regions. UBC Okanagan is receiving roughly $80,000 to develop co-op placements with not-for-profit organizations in the Okanagan. Additionally, UBCO is partnering with Thompson Rivers University and the University of Northern British Columbia with $204,000 from the province to recruit new employers and increase co-op and internship placements across the Interior and North with regionally-based coordinators.

“Everyone deserves the chance to find a job that they’re passionate about,” said MLA Sandhu. “And we know that businesses that attract diverse candidates perform better. I’m really happy to see schools creating more work experience opportunities for students with disabilities and Indigenous students, giving everyone the chance to realize their potential and added financial stability to reduce stress and focus on their studies.”

This one-time funding will expand co-op and work-integrated learning programs, and focus on placements in sectors impacted by the pandemic. In total, 47 projects are being funded at all 25 public post-secondary institutions in B.C, creating up to 3,000 new co-op and work-integrated learning placements for students

Investing in an economy that works for everyone is part of the New Democrat government’s plan to build back a stronger B.C.

Learn Morehttps://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2021AEST0077-002292