Co-operative education has come a long way since the program was first initiated in 1957. Although enrolment continues to flourish, the possibilities for growth, and the potential benefits for employers, are much greater, according to the faculty of business at Brock University in St. Catherines, Ont.
“Canada is a recognized leader in the field of co-operative education. As an instructional method, co-operative education has fostered the growth of several prominent Canadian companies. There is no doubt that the business community could further benefit from an infusion of human capital,” said Cindy Dunne, director of co-operative education at Brock University's faculty of business.
Employers across the country should be educated about the many benefits of co-operative education so they can make informed decisions about participation in quality programs, said Dunne.
According to Dunne, the top five benefits of co-op employment for employers are:
• Employers will have access to a year-round supply of motivated students who have completed significant academic and employment-readiness training.
• Co-op employees can provide relief for short-term peaks in workload, or special projects and research. Employers can reduce the costs associated with recruiting through traditional media sources or third party vendors.
• Employing co-op students is a cost-effective and low-risk means of recruiting and evaluating potential permanent hires.
• Employers will establish an enhanced presence and image with the best students.
• Energetic, highly motivated and creative students can offer fresh perspectives and solutions to the issues challenging an employers business.
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