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July 8, 2011
For immediate release

Program helps post-secondary graduates find jobs

Innovation and Advanced Learning

A pilot program wrapping up this week is helping university and college graduates to enter jobs related to their field of study, says Innovation and Advanced Learning Minister Allan Campbell.

"Today we have our first pilot group, ten well-educated young Islanders, completing the Collaborative Solutions program and coming out with business contacts, hands-on jobs experience and a better sense of the career possibilities where their learning can be applied," said Minister Campbell.

The Collaborative Solutions program was run by Careers Development Services in partnership with the Charlottetown and Summerside chambers of commerce. It was supported by SkillsPEI through the provision of career experience credits.

Career Development Services also received $76,065 in federal Youth Awareness funding to help link post-secondary graduates with local business through workshops and roundtable events. This funding also supported a labour market and career resource website designed to connect young job seekers with local employers and available job opportunities.

"Participating in Collaborative Solutions has shown me skills I never realized I had, and given me the confidence to keep pursuing a career change. I have had the privilege to meet local employers one on one and participate in events that I would never had the opportunity to do without being part of this project. I definitely feel better prepared to start the next phase of my career knowing that everyone involved in this project is there to support me," said youth participant Valerie Cole.

Graduates of the program will also be provided with a provincially-funded 50 per cent wage subsidy for 13 weeks for Island employers offering work related to their field of study.

Results of the program will be evaluated before a decision is made to extend or re-offer the Collaborative Solutions program, the minister said.

BACKGROUNDER

Collaborative Solutions Program

There are two parts to the Collaborative Solutions project:

Career Gateway

Local employers provide company profiles and information on educational and skill requirements to a research team based at the Greater Charlottetown Area Chamber of Commerce. These employers realize the value of being highlighted in an online resource tool specifically designed to help post-secondary graduates research and find their fit in the Prince Edward Island labour market. The tool also has the potential to attract future talented professionals to their organization. Each employer will be featured online at www.careergateway.ca.

This website serves as a tool for post-secondary graduates and others planning their career path by allowing them to search for potential employers related to their field of study. Career Gateway is the first and only of its kind in the Maritimes. Its search engine uses a visitorís degree or diploma and area of interest to search for local businesses who hire in these areas.

Workshops & Roundtable Events:

Currently, a group of post-secondary graduates is participating in events and workshops through Collaborative Solutions. Ten graduates are being awarded career experience credits through Skills PEI on June 28 at a wrap-up event.

The graduates had the opportunity to learn about effective resume building, job searching, professional appearance and networking. Career planning and exploration provided them with a focussed job search and career goal. A chance to enter a work place of interest for a day of job shadowing will give them something tangible to build future decisions and goals on. Guest speakers have addressed image and professional conduct to increase their confidence as an educated and professional individual. They met with local employers at two facilitated breakfast meetings and at business mixers to hear first hand their experiences and expectations.

Youth Awareness program

The federal Youth Awareness program provides financial assistance for projects designed to address specific labour market issues facing communities, and aims to promote youth as the workforce of the future among recipients, employers, communities and young Canadians. Youth Awareness is part of the Government of Canadaís strategy to create the best educated, most skilled and most flexible workforce in the world.

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Media Contact: Ron Ryder
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