The Ontario Liberal government is considering making work co-op programs in high school and post secondary institutions, mandatory for all students.
This comes after a workforce expert panel, set up in December, brought a recommendation to Queen’s Park for “better partnerships between educators and employers.”
For a number of years, a shortage of skills has been the number one concern for employers across Canada. In 2014, Skills Canada estimated that one million skilled trade workers will be needed by 2020.
This move could get students out in the real world, learning how exactly to be successful in job situations.
Constantly, high school students are asked what they want to do with their life. Having them all go through Co-Op programs could help them answer the question of, 'Is this line of work or career the right thing for me?' It can provide clarity.
The work world is constantly changing, this would also give students the opportunity to learn about and get familiar with the new technologies available.
Co-op, placement or internship programs can also help a person create a communication network with people already working in their hopeful field of choice.
The Reporters that work here at The Standard have both been through a placement program in college and learned their options in the field and what it takes to be successful. One reporter did his placement at this very newspaper and was hired on shortly after. He’s now doing what he loves, in the field he was hoping to break into. This is surefire proof these programs can be successful.
Of course, Kathleen Wynne and the Ontario Liberals have not had the greatest track record with educational decisions, so it's nice to see them make a sober choice for a change. This decision could end up having a positive effect for students in the province as well as for employers.
A little experience never hurt anyone who is on the hunt for new employment.
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