For a long time now there has been a program called Co-op In Toronto, I’m here to give you a run down on how it works. The Toronto District School Board operates a program for high school students that allows them to learn new skills and gain experience in the workplace. When a student decides to take the Co-op course he or she has to decide whether to take a 2 credit or a 4 credit course. The difference between the two options is that the 2 credit course requires that the student take 2 regular classes in the morning and then goes to their Co-op work placement in the afternoon, and the 4 credit is a full day of co-op work placement with no regular classes. A student can to apply to any work placement; as long as the company isn’t unionized they will usually take co-op students. Of course the student still has to do well at an interview before the company will take them into their ranks and show them the ropes.
Any student that is interested in gaining practical work experience can enroll in the Co-op program. The program supports many different types of students. For example if the student is more interested in the arts they could apply at a museum or an art studio, or if the student is interested in cars or machines, they could apply at an auto shop or a factory. The possibilities are endless. Although some companies prefer students with high marks, it is not a requirement for the program. Any student can succeed in the co-op program as long as they have a drive to learn and work hard.
When the students finish the program at the end of their semester they have gained so much in terms of knowledge, experience, and even realizations. The student will have learned new skills which they will be able to use in their future career, and even on a day to day basis. Also, Co-op looks great on a resume as it demonstrates that the student has worked and succeeded in a real work environment. The Co-op also replaces credits like science that the student couldn’t have taken while completing their Co-op placement. In some cases the Co-op also helps a student realize that the career choice that they thought they were going to do just doesn’t fit them. For example, if the student aspires to become a doctor but finds out he can’t stand the sight of blood, or the student wants to become a teacher and finds out she can’t stand children.
At SoftCom we decided to hire a number of Co-op students because we wanted to teach the young minds of Toronto about our business, and help them learn different skills. There are lots of different activities that they can learn here like content writing, social networking, blogging, server administration, coding and much more. We also wanted to teach these bright students about our business, and expose them to some of the possibilities that may be open to them as a future career.
Next time you’ll be introduced to the many Co-op students we have here at the office working and learning with us a daily basis. They are all in different areas, but they’re here for two things: Knowledge and experience in the workplace.