Alberta invests $3.6 million in work-integrated learning for post-secondary students
By Riggs Zyrille Vergara, Publishing Editor
Through a partnership with employers and post-secondary institutions, the Alberta government is launching the Work-Integrated Learning Industry Voucher pilot program where they are investing $3.6 million to help fund paid work placements for post-secondary students in the province’s priority sectors.
The initiative aims to offer employers access to new talent while providing practical skills for the students, and therefore helping bolster the province’s economic recovery.
According to the government, the pilot initiative will provide about 650 students with paid work placement and hands-on learning from professionals in their field for the next three years. Technology Alberta, Alberta Construction Association and BioAlberta are the three key partner associations working hand-in-hand with post-secondary institutions to match employers with students.
“Learning directly from mentors and seasoned professionals – while getting real-life work experience – is one of the best ways to set students up for success in their future careers.” Demetrios Nicolaides, Minister of Advanced Education said.
The initiative will also help employers by providing a grant of up to $5,000 per student placement, which is matched by the employer.
“In addition to providing valuable opportunities for our students, these work placements help build relationships between industry and educators to ensure programs are responsive to the needs of both students and employers.” Nicolaides added.
This is part of the province’s flagship initiative, Alberta 2030: Building Skills for Jobs which aims to develop a highly skilled and competitive workforce for the province. The province also looks at this strategy as something that will strengthen the innovation and commercialization of research and forge stronger relationships between employers and post-secondary institutions.
“It is exciting to see the alignment with industry, government and academia on work-integrated learning, and the Government of Alberta’s insightful and substantial commitment to these programs that will support both students and companies through job creation.” Gail J. Powley, President of Technology Alberta said.