Student Work Placements

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The Benefits

A work experience provides an experiential learning opportunity that integrates a student’s classroom studies with recognized on-the-job work experiences.

Co-ops and work placements let secondary school students:

  • investigate a variety of career opportunities.
  • gain practical experience as they apply and expand their knowledge and skills.
  • make wiser, more informed decisions about their future.
  • have a smooth transition from school to work and/or post-secondary institutions.

These opportunities require a partnership involving the school, the parents or guardians, the student and the employing organization. Each partner shares the responsibility for student growth and learning.

Using the expertise, talent and resources of community service organizations and agencies, and of business, industry, citizen groups and parents or guardians, schools can enrich the educational experiences of students.

Regardless of the model used, a well-planned program will involve the community in such a way that out-of-school experiences reinforce, extend and motivate student learning.

Each provincial ministry of education uses a set of planned educational experiences designed to let students gain work-related knowledge, skills and attitudes by participating in out-of-class study, observation and/or performance in community-based work. In some situations, this may involve volunteer activities rather than paid employment.

The FIT program encourages these types of experiences and credits students who meet the work experience provincial guidelines by awarding the Work Experience seal on their FIT certificate.

Note: As Education policies and guidelines fall under provincial ministries of education and jurisdiction, each school authority must ensure that all staff adhere to the procedures and guidelines as defined and delineated in each province.

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Prepare Students for the Workforce

Educators must ensure their students are fully prepared to meet the challenges of the workforce before they set out; this includes knowledge of workplace culture, safety and well-being.

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Connect to Employers

A concise guide for educators interested in finding co-op or work placements opportunities and how they can connect to employers.

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Resources by Region

Throughout Canada, provincial ministries of education allow school authorities to develop student cooperative learning and off-campus education programs. Find out more about how this works in your region.

View Resources by Region