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June 26, 2012
For immediate release

Governments of Canada and Prince Edward Island help post-secondary students to benefit from Percé internships

Innovation and Advanced Learning

The Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of National Revenue, on behalf of the Honourable Bernard Valcourt, Minister of State for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) and La Francophonie, and the Honourable Allen Roach, PEI Minister of Innovation and Advanced Learning, today announced support for the 2012 PERCÉ program.

“Our Government understands that it is entrepreneurs who act as the spark to our economy’s engine, activating and stimulating economic activity,” said Minister Shea. “We are pleased to support this initiative which encourages youth to choose to live in Atlantic Canada and consider entrepreneurship as a career path.”

Through the PERCÉ program, 18 post-secondary students from across Prince Edward Island will soon have the opportunity to benefit from paid internships in their field of studies.

”The business people of Prince Edward Island are the builders of our economy and our communities. This is a great chance to help them show young educated Islanders that there are rewarding careers available in this province,” said Minister Roach.

In its ninth year, the PERCÉ program remains committed to repatriating young Island professionals studying mostly outside the province, to help them discover career and life opportunities that exist in their own field in their home province. The mission of the RDÉE-driven initiative is to encourage these young experts to settle in P.E.I. rather than beginning their careers outside P.E.I. or Atlantic Canada.

“We recruit young people who are in their final years of university or college studies and provide them with a summer work experience, usually about 10 weeks, to help encourage them to settle permanently in our province,” said bilingual coordinator Trevor Dunphy. “They have the opportunity to discover how things work in their industry and to establish valuable contacts that could help secure jobs in the future.”

This year’s participants include nine young Francophones and nine young Anglophones from P.E.I., who are studying in Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada. Their internships will cross fields such as engineering, education, culture and history, health, marketing, automobile mechanics, and biology.

The program kicks off in mid-June with a training and orientation week. Participants will take part in self-discovery exercises, learn interviews skills, work on preparing resumes and cover letters, meet key role models in various fields and visit several work sites.

Employers pay the interns a starting salary that is standard for their particular industry. The program reimburses the business five dollars an hour for up to 37.5 hours a week.

The Government of Canada, through ACOA’s Business Development Program, is investing $50,000 in the program, and the Provincial Government is contributing $33,000 from the Department of Innovation and Advanced Learning and the Department of Health and Wellness. Funds have also been provided to the Department of Health and Wellness through the Canada-PEI Agreement on French Language Services to support the PERCÉ program.

Media Contact: Ron Ryder
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