Co-operative education students

Co-operative education is a win-win—students gain relevant work experience, while employers benefit from students' energy, fresh ideas, knowledge and skills.

Co-op programs are offered at most of B.C.’s public post-secondary institutions. They are available across a range of program areas, including business, science, arts, applied science and technology.

Co-op education benefits the employer:

  • Bring in a new perspective and fresh ideas to your organization.
  • Assess new talent for future recruitment after graduation.
  • Supplement existing staff during peak periods and temporary leaves.
  • Market your organization to potential future employees.
  • Receive support and assistance from Co-op staff at every stage of the process.

If you are interested in recruiting a co-op student, visit the Association for Co-operative Education and Work-Integrated Learning, BC / Yukon (ACE-WIL) for further information.

You may also be eligible for funding support.  For example, the BC Tech Co-op Grants Program provides grant incentives to small technology firms to recruit and train co-op students.

Employers Recognized for Co-op Success

Carmanah Technologies
The Association for Co-operative Education and Work-Integrated Learning BC / Yukon (ACE-WIL) awarded Carmanah Technologies with its 2015 Industry Partner of Year Award.

Since 2011, Carmanah Technologies has worked with 18 co-op students. These placements have resulted in eight of these students being hired on a full-time basis after graduation. The company is a strong supporter of the University of Victoria’s Co-op + Career program, participating in on-campus events such as interview clinics and the “What can you do with your degree?” panel series.
Carmanah Technologies incorporates co-op students in a wide range of positions: facilities coordination, inside and outside sales, business development, communications, project development and product design.
The company fosters exceptional experiences for co-op students by:

  • Fully integrating them into the company’s open and inclusive culture.
  • Welcoming them as valued members rather than temporary employees.
  • Encouraging ownership of projects.
  • Giving them freedom to make key decisions related to their departments, such as identifying target markets and suggesting new products.
  • Including them in team discussions around budgeting, forecasting and decision-making.

Carmanah Technologies earns enthusiastic kudos from its co-op students:
“Carmanah is a great place to develop critical thinking and communication skills, all which are essential when entering the business world. The team at Carmanah makes it a fun and exciting environment with never a dull moment.” – Chris M.
“You will grow very fast with the help of a great number of intelligent, friendly colleagues. I was assigned an interesting project and a dynamic team. The passion of the staff just made me love working there. What’s more, people care about YOU!” – Chao W.
“Carmanah works hard to challenge and inspire all employees, and the spirit and camaraderie in the building are most excellent. Even after almost three years of employment I am still motivated, engaged and excited for what my future at Carmanah will look like.” – Alison K. 

Island Health
The Association for Co-operative Education and Work-Integrated Learning BC / Yukon (ACE-WIL) awarded Island Health with its 2014 Industry Partner of Year Award.
Island Health has demonstrated an ongoing commitment to hire University of Victoria co-op students. The organization has hired across many disciplines, from anthropology to software engineering and studies in policy and practice. They have also employed co-op students at both the undergraduate and master`s level, as well as UVic graduates who have become professionals in their fields. As of March 2014, Island Health had hired 356 co-op students.
Over the years, UVic co-op students have worked in a variety of Island Health sites and programs. These include occupational safety, surgical informatics, policy and business analysis, communications, human resources, biomedical engineering, telehealth, hygiene, contract analysis, leadership in summer camps for children with disabilities, and more.
Island Health has provided students with the opportunity to develop both core and discipline-specific competencies in a myriad of ways. Co-op positions offer the chance to apply academic learning directly with clients, understand the need for managing one’s time to complete projects, realize the role that disability plays in quality of life, learn how practitioners use their skills to meet client needs, and much more.  Students are able to see the impact of their work first-hand and carry that experience forward.
In addition to its stellar role as a co-op employer, Island Health has had a significant long-term presence on campus. It has participated in speaker panels, information sessions, mock interview clinics, advisory boards, joint initiatives and other activities.
A number of Island Health employees have provided mentorship, career guidance and exemplary leadership to students through experiential learning opportunities. ACE is proud of Island Health’s ongoing support and shared commitment to excellence in experiential learning. The association looks forward to many more years of co-operative education partnership.