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How to Find Co-op Students to Build Your Workplace With New Talent

Co-op students are an easily accessible talent resource for eastern Ontario employers. While COVID concerns have slowed the active recruiting of co-op students to fill job gaps, there are still active co-op programs offered through post-secondary schools in eastern Ontario. Read on to get help on how to find co-op students to get your business back on track with the workers you need.

Co-op placements are a significant source of labour for employers. Students rely on co-op programs to learn valuable job skills and meet the completion requirements of their college or university programs. This student-based hidden resource can work for many businesses, and COVID precautions are in place to make the process seamless and as safe as possible. The bottom line is that eastern Ontario employers need staff and local students need work experience, making co-ops a win-win situation. 

Here’s How to Find Co-op Students for Eastern Ontario Employers

Employers have the advantage of accessing students who are being trained in the skills employers need now. Co-op placements are important to the learning process, so schools are ready to work with employers to get more students working and honing their skills on the job. If you’re an employer in eastern Ontario, here are some places you can start looking for new co-op students to hire:

Belleville, Ontario 

  • Loyalist College has some different co-operative program opportunities. At the college, various programs, such as technology and business-based courses, require co-op placements for students to graduate. Get in touch with the Career Centre and learn whether or not your business qualifies.

Cornwall, Ontario

  • At St. Lawrence College, there are many student placement opportunities available for employers to get involved in. If you are an employer looking for how to find co-op students, here is the information you need to become a partner agency with St. Lawrence College.

Kingston, Ontario

  • Kingston's Royal Military College of Canada is a military university that educates, develops and inspires bilingual, fit and ethical leaders who serve the Canadian Armed Forces and Canada. Focused on programs such as math, business, engineering, defence, technology and communications, students of RMC have in-demand skills to benefit employers. To find out about RMC co-op opportunities, get in touch with the office of the registrar
  • World-renowned Queen's University is home to a diverse student population. With programs ranging from business and computing to education, law and humanities and engineering and sciences, there’s a host of skill sets to help employers fill job gaps and help students get work experience. To reach Queen’s University students for placement, find out more here
  • St. Lawrence College in Kingston offers placement opportunities for a variety of programs, as it does in Cornwall. The college makes it easy for employers to find out what they need to do to become a placement agency partner. Get started here.

Pembroke, Ontario

  • The Pembroke Campus of Algonquin College offers learning in outdoor adventure and environmentally focused careers plus administration, skilled trades and health, computing and police services programs. If you are an employer near Pembroke, find out how to access student help here.

Peterborough, Ontario 

  • At Trent University, programs with co-op components are easy to find. Check the “Co-op” box under “Program Type” to narrow down your search for co-op opportunities in your industry. You’ll see that students are working towards degrees in conservation, economics, languages, computing and the sciences. They will add a new layer of knowledge to your team.
  • At Fleming College, you can work with the college to fill co-op opportunities for students in programs such as agriculture, aquaculture, arboriculture, forestry and other environmentally focused careers, plus skilled trades and more.
  • The Peterborough Campus of Seneca College is a world-class home to students from the school of aviation. Programs include the Honours Bachelor of Aviation Technology and the Airline Pilot Flight Operations programs. These programs include a mandatory degree work term requirement that could fit your employment needs. Find out more here.

More Inclusive Co-op Based Programs in Ontario East

Community Integration Through Co-operative Education programs provide education and workplace training opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities and other significant learning challenges. Through in-class instruction and co-op placements, students build skills and confidence to work and maintain a quality of life in their communities. This course is available at the campuses of Loyalist and St. Lawrence Colleges. 

Here are more opportunities for diversity and inclusion in your workplace.

How Co-op Placements Benefit Your Business and Help Young People  

Hiring co-op students can benefit your business in a few different ways. Students and existing staff can connect and share knowledge to improve business performance and company culture. Here’s how:

  1. As your long-term employees get closer to retirement, it is essential for your business to retain legacy knowledge acquired throughout their careers. Co-op students provide an opportunity for senior employees to impart this knowledge effectively and even have it documented as part of the co-op tasks. Knowledge transfer keeps legacy knowledge active and can open discussions of new ideas.
  2. Young people help generate new ideas and offer hope for the future. In a time when the pandemic, business uncertainty and climate change have disrupted lives, it is important to keep in perspective what is still possible for the future. Your co-op students are the up-and-coming leaders who are working through these unprecedented times, and they can offer insight into what is possible to provide stability as we work through challenges worldwide.
  3. Mentoring opportunities benefit the mentors as much as they benefit young students. After working years to earn extensive knowledge, it can be rewarding for your current employees to provide young workers with the information, encouragement and leadership to pursue their own rewarding careers. Offering employees the opportunity to make a difference in someone else's life, right in the workplace, can help to boost morale and create meaningful connections.

As we learn to function with COVID in society and follow proper safety measures, it is time for employers to again take advantage of the diverse talent available in the student population of eastern Ontario. There is a great need to fill co-op placements in eastern Ontario, so as an employer who needs staff for the summer or a semester or longer, it will be easy for you to get that labour from the hidden workforce of co-op students. 

Fill Vacant Positions. Learn How to Recruit From the Hidden Workforce

External links are provided as informational resources only and are not necessarily endorsed by Ontario East.













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