|Calgary Work Integrated Learning Pilot Project Lifts Off with New Federal Investment Through PrairiesCan.|
(Calgary, Alta.) Calgary Work Integrated Learning (Calgary WIL) is pleased to introduce TalentED YYC, a new online platform to help Calgary employers navigate engaging with students, offering them valuable practical work experiences in the employers’ organizations. 10 partners with Calgary Economic Development as the lead make up the Calgary WIL pilot project. The partnerships work together to offer their product, TalentED YYC, to Calgary employers.
“Calgary WIL is the largest work-integrated learning collaboration in Canada. The TalentED YYC platform will help ready our workforce by connecting students with local employers, enabling them to gain the on-the-job experience they need to jumpstart their careers in Calgary,” said Brad Parry, President and CEO, Calgary Economic Development (CED).
As the operational partner of Calgary WIL, CED is driving this innovative pilot project forward as a priority for the attraction, retention, and development of skilled talent; a key economic strategy pillar in the Calgary in the New Economy initiative.
Statistics Canada’s research shows that students with WIL experience are more likely to find work in a field related to their education. Their research also indicates that employers who offer WIL are more likely to access the talent they need and find strong future candidates to join their organization.
“The TalentED YYC platform provides an important avenue for post-secondary students to access the hands-on training and skills they need to thrive in our high-tech economy,” said the Honourable Dan Vandal, Minister for PrairiesCan. “Our partnership with Calgary Economic Development on this innovative initiative will help connect Calgary’s technology sector with a new generation of talented workers to drive the growth and competitiveness of local businesses for years to come.”
“I’m proud to see our government investing in real-life learning opportunities for Calgary’s diverse post-secondary students,” said George Chahal, Member of Parliament for Calgary Skyview. “With their ingenuity and ideas, they are well-equipped to meet the growing demand for talent in our city’s technology sector. This investment will help prepare them for rewarding careers and a bright future here in Alberta.”
WIL opportunities provide students with program-relevant experiences that develop their professional skills. These opportunities include internships, co-ops, practicums, community service learning, field placements, and projects.
Calgary employers offering student opportunities face the challenge of navigating each school and program individually. However, the new TalentED YYC platform is stepping in to simplify the process. TalentED YYC equips employers with valuable resources, templates, and a centralized job posting portal to effortlessly share WIL opportunities with students across all seven post-secondary institutions in Calgary. Additionally, employers now have access to a dedicated support team that provides personalized guidance to effectively bring on student talent.
The Calgary WIL pilot project kicked off in 2022. Today, the Government of Canada through PrairiesCan, announced an investment of $1.2 million into Calgary WIL. PrairiesCan’s funding is building on the Future Skills Centre’s $2.9 million funding and the Government of Alberta Ministry of Advanced Education’s $2.5 million funding.
The pilot project is set to run until Spring 2025. In this time, TalentED YYC will continue to evolve with more programs and services for employers and students to expand WIL opportunities in Calgary. Calgary WIL’s partners include Ambrose University, AU Arts, Bow Valley College, Mount Royal University, SAIT, St. Mary’s University, the University of Calgary, the Calgary Chamber of Commerce, the Calgary Chamber of Voluntary Organizations, and Calgary Economic Development as the project champion. Through these partnerships, TalentED YYC will support the growth of Calgary’s highly skilled talent pool.
The new platform for employers and students can be found at www.talentedyyc.com.