News Release Archive

Eighty-seven per cent of students who participate in co-operative
education programs find employment within six months of
graduation according to statistics compiled by the Atlantic
Chapter of the Canadian Association for Co-operative Education.

"Those numbers are extremely encouraging," said Education and
Culture Minister Robbie Harrison, who commented as universities
and colleges celebrate National Co-operative Education Week from
March 24-28. "Helping students find jobs is one of our biggest
priorities and the co-op model has proven to be a model which
works. We will continue to build upon that model."

Mr. Harrison was also pleased that Nova Scotia has taken the lead
role among the Atlantic provinces in providing co-operative
education opportunities for its students. Last year, more than
3200 students were enrolled in 31 co-op programs at seven
universities and eight community college campuses in the

"Over 60 per cent of the students in co-op programs in Atlantic
Canada are enrolled in Nova Scotian institutions," said Mr.

Co-operative education is designed to give students an
opportunity to extend learning beyond the classroom. Students
participate in alternating paid work terms in which they gain
on-site work experience in their chosen field. This allows
participants to practice and develop their skills, explore career
options and make contacts with potential employers.

Employers also benefit from co-op education programs because they
gain access to well-qualified employees. Recruitment costs are
low and they can assess the capabilities of potential employees
without a long-term commitment.

As a further incentive, the province has programs in place which
provide eligible private sector businesses with wage subsidies to
employ co-op students. Programs include the Nova Scotia Links
Program administered by the Department of Education and Culture;
the Economic Renewal Agency's Co-operative Employment Program;
and the Nova Scotia Community College Co-operative Employment
Program which is funded through the Canada-Nova Scotia Agreement
for Economic Diversification.

Currently, over half of Nova Scotia's universities offer some
co-op education programs to their students. A wide range of
programs including arts, business, engineering, public relations,
tourism/hospitality and sciences are offered.

Last year the private sector accounted for 45 per cent of co-op
work terms. Government departments accounted for 39 per cent and
the not-for-profit sector accounted for the remaining 16 per cent
of the co-op placements. Almost 63 per cent of all co-op work
terms took place in Nova Scotia.


Contact: Doug Hadley  902-424-3999

trp                   Mar. 26, 1997 - 9 a.m.