Enhancing alignment and communication between industry and post-secondary to increase work-integrated learning opportunities.
Manitoba’s future success depends on its people. Our province has been blessed with many natural advantages, yet we must be strategic, collaborative, and forward-looking if we are to succeed in a world faced with increasing levels of disruption, competition, and uncertainty. Considering our best economic strategies and how we can align our efforts to ensure that we are graduating people with the right mix of experience, current and relevant knowledge, skills, and abilities is the best way to ensure our continuing prosperity.
Post-secondary graduates are driving the Manitoba economy forward by creating the jobs and industries of tomorrow. The next generation of Canadian entrepreneurs, researchers and innovators require a broad set of skills to contribute and succeed in the global economy. To meet this need, the post-secondary sector is equipping students with career-boosting learning experiences, such as paid co-ops and internships, research projects, and mentorship programs. However, there is an opportunity to do more. Known collectively as ‘work-integrated learning’— where students learn outside the classroom — is an enhancement to the “traditional” class-based learning model. These experiences give students a greater understanding of the procedures, conduct, knowledge, and practices that are required for participating effectively in the workforce. Complementing research excellence, work-integrated learning opportunities further enhance the student experience, benefit industry, and ultimately drive increased economic competitiveness.
Work-integrated learning will provide tangible benefits to Manitoba’s businesses by providing them with increased access to energetic, knowledgeable and innovative talent from PSIs. A successful work-integrated learning program would match students with hands-on work experience opportunities, while also supporting employers by creating a framework that will enable them to find, hire, and further develop qualified employees. In pursuit of greater alignment between industry needs and PSIs, businesses will enhance their ability to acquire talents, pivot and augment their workforce.