The soon-to-be grads of Red River College look forward to the future as the end of semester fast approaches./AIMEE SOUKA

HOW RRC’S CO-OP EDUCATION PROGRAM IS HELPING GRADS GET JOBS

By Aimee Souka

We’re fast approaching the end of the winter term. You’ve almost done it; you’re so close now. Soon enough, you get to go out and make some money, a chance for you make a name for yourself in your industry. But, the question remains.

How on earth are you supposed to do that?

“Well, the college helps a lot with getting our foot into the door in whatever area we’re looking at, especially if it’s somewhere in the city.” Said Madyson Olson, 19, a second-year graphic design student from RRC.

“I’m at a great work placement right now, there’s a good chance I’ll stay here after I graduate.” She said.

Many programs within the college take part in Co-op Education. RRC’s website defines Co-op Education as a program that “integrates a student’s academic studies with work experience in co-operative education employer organizations.” More often than not, this puts students somewhere they want to be, giving them the chance to make their mark.

For many trades workers who go through RRC, it isn’t so much of a work placement as it is a “school placement”. Employers will send their apprentices back to school every few months, so they have the chance to advance apprenticeship levels.

“You really learn so much in the few weeks that you’re at school. Then you go back to work with more knowledge and you’re a more valuable member of your work team.” says Seth Joyal, 20, a carpentry apprentice from RRC, working on his second level.

A report from the National Centre for Universities and Business in 2014 showed that there are benefits for the students, the institutions, and the employers involved in the placement. Students gain knowledge and confidence, institutions gain a positive reputation and build their network, and employers gain resources and find potential employees.

Whether or not you have the opportunity to go through Co-op Education depends on the RRC program that you’re enrolled in. RRC’s website recommends getting in contact with the Co-op coordinator for more information on becoming a Co-op student.