'There's never been a greater need to provide young people with practical work experience and skills to help them prepare for the jobs of tomorrow'
RBC is hoping to make the school-to-work transition a little easier for many students. The financial institution is set to welcome more than 1,400 students for summer internships throughout its business functions starting in May.
"Students have been profoundly impacted by the loss of job opportunities and co-op placements throughout this pandemic," says Dave McKay, president and CEO of RBC. "There's never been a greater need to provide young people with practical work experience and skills to help them prepare for the jobs of tomorrow and succeed in a fast-changing economy."
Previously, the federal government extended the application period for the Canada Summer Jobs (CSJ) program.
The RBC program will be largely virtual for the students and include:
- an RBC Virtually Together Hub where students can connect with leaders, colleagues and each other
- interactive learning programs such as hackathons, leader speaker series and custom micro-learning experiences, to provide development opportunities beyond their day-to-day work
- informal mentoring and collaboration opportunities with RBC Cafe, the company’s virtual networking platform.
Our first-ever virtual student cohort taught us what being agile and resilient is all about," says Helena Gottschling, CHRO of RBC. "Within RBC, teams quickly came together to replicate the in-person experiences we know help students build confidence and skills. And students embraced our new, virtual workplace and shared their ideas that truly drive innovation across RBC."
In March, P.E.I. announced it is providing employers with wage support to create summer job opportunities for students in the province.
Online is the way to go
In many cases, students’ internships just cannot be done in-person because of safety restrictions amid the pandemic. Luckily, an internship course may be relatively easy to transform to an online modality, and this has its benefits, according to the Centre for Research on College-Workforce Transition (CCWT).
“They can provide students with a safe, work-based learning experience that is grounded in an authentic task or project for a firm or organization. Depending on the nature of the project, students can also develop skills – either technical, interpersonal or intrapersonal – by successfully completing one or more professional assignments on behalf of a professional organization.”
“Additionally, an online internship can provide students experience with engaging in online project management and communications, which are common modes of project- and task-performance in many organizations.”
Last year, TD saw success in going virtual with its internship and co-op placements.