Smart Education in Canada : New Coordinator Links Businesses and Employees

NIC has created a new position to make it easier for employers to find skilled employees, interns, and co-op students. The new Coordinator of Work Integrated Education matches students to employers across the region and posts jobs for businesses for free on NIC's website.

"I want to meet as many business owners as possible to help them with their specific HR needs and help students find jobs," said Anita Budisa-Bonneau, who has more than 30 students available for hire. “The more I know about an organization’s needs, goals and operations, the better equipped I am to match them with an ideal candidate.”

The position is one of the ways NIC supplies demand for a skilled and educated workforce in the Comox Valley and across the North Island.

NIC provides incredible opportunities for local businesses to access highly talented and dedicated co-op students and interns who are a valuable resource to the business community,” said Dianne Hawkins, Comox Valley Chamber of Commerce President and CEO. “Employers provide workplace and industry knowledge; students provide fresh perspective and innovative ideas into local business systems and operations. It’s definitely mutually beneficial for both sides.”

Co-op and internship students generally come from the accounting, marketing, business, or tourism and hospitality fields, often filling vacant, seasonal, and project-based positions.

In recent years, co-op students have worked for a number of regional employers from the City of Courtenay, to Painter’s Lodge, and the Wickaninnish Inn.

Students like Jessica Cruickshank, worked with the City of Courtenay’s Public Works Department last year and is now looking for another memorable co-op placement in marketing this summer.

“Working at the City of Courtenay was such a wonderful experience,” said Cruikshank. “It was great to apply the knowledge I learned in the classroom.”

Co-op students work full time over four months while completing their undergraduate studies. Internship students, however, have already completed one degree and are available to work full- or part time across the school year.

“Our post degree diplomas consistently attract top notch, highly qualified students from around the world who already have degrees in commerce, business, tourism, or engineering,” adds Budisa-Bonneau. “They’re ready to apply their skills to the Canadian labour market.”

In past years, Gamdoor Brar, helped organize community events such as the Immigrant Welcome Centre’s Global Fusion Fest and accounting student MJ Sharma handled the financial accounts for Canadian Industrial Power and Control in Merville. Both students have now graduated and are working in the community. NIC interns also work locally in banks, accounting firms, insurance agencies, and manage sales for a local Telus affiliate.

“NIC interns bring a lot of skills and knowledge to the community,” said Jim Brennan, the Human Resources Manager at Campbell River’s Immigrant Welcome Centre. “They look at problems differently, bringing with them real-world perspectives, passion, and business acumen that motivates people around them.”

"Canada is not only known for it's picturesque locations, but also for it's high standard of education. The Colleges in Canada are at par with the best known Colleges in the world, in terms of the educational programs offered and the facilities provided to the students " , says Mr. Deepak, Education Manager, Career XL Services..


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