Douglas Weekly – March 25


The Student Advantage

How hiring a co-op student can benefit your business.

The University of Victoria is known for its co-op department. Founded in 1976, it has helped some 100,000 students find co-op placements related to their degree. Placements provide students with real-world experience, industry connections and a salary. This is one of the reasons UVic ranked first among Canadian comprehensive universities for preparing career-ready students. But students aren’t the only ones who benefit from co-op — employers do, too. 

“One of the things I hear often is students can be transformational in a workplace,” says Andrea Giles, UVic’s executive director of co-operative education and career services. “Students bring a fresh perspective. Sometimes they can invigorate and liven up the workplace. They can help long-term staff get involved and feel youthful again. Sometimes it’s bringing new concepts from our university into the workplace, and new technologies and ways of thinking. ” 

Every year, the co-op department hands out “co-op student of the year” awards to students who make outstanding contributions to their employer. Recipients include commerce student Lauryn Orme, who helped cloud applications company Workday tackle supply chain challenges and changing client needs, and law student Camas Ussery, who worked with the South Island Indigenous Authority to develop child and family wellbeing legislation.

“There’s also a social capital concept of giving back to community,” says Giles. “Many of our employers are past co-op students or alumni and they understand the value of being able to give back, provide opportunities and mentor young people.” These co-op employers include commerce grad Lachlam Shum, who founded online booking platform software Focal. Since 2020, the company has hired 12 commerce, writing and visual arts students.

Because most placements only last four months, hiring co-op students is low-commitment compared to hiring a permanent employee. “Co-op is known informally as a four-month interview,” says Giles. “You get to know the student and, at the end of the day, you might be able to hire them permanently.”

Find out more about hiring UVic co-op students here.


The 15 Most Sought-after Jobs in B.C.

While B.C.’s economy may remain flat in 2024, there are plenty of businesses facing a talent scarcity. Their loss could be your gain.

According to Statistics Canada, WorkBC and recruitment company Randstad Canada, technology, health care and professional services are among the top fields looking for workers right now.

There are also opportunities in construction and skilled trades. “Since the 1970s, high schools have not encouraged the trades as a career path, resulting in decades of shortages of skilled young people — especially women — in the sector. It’s interesting to see that a degree isn’t the only path to steady employment and a secure income,” says Nick Montesano, executive vice president at Randstad Canada.

Here are the top 15 in-demand jobs in B.C. in 2024, the education and skills they require, the average salary and the number of positions open in the province, according to WorkBC.

Read the full article here.


Coming up:  


March 27: Hiring Foreign Worker Opportunities Webinar

March 28: Tech Social



April 3: Designers Mixer

April 8: Introduction to Coding Workshop

April 10: Intro to VIATEC 101

April 11: Victoria Chamber Emerge Connector

April 13: Kidovate Youth Entrepreneurship Experience

April 16: Victoria Chamber of Commerce Annual General Meeting

April 16: Thriving Non-Profits Revenue Diversification Workshop

April 17: Business Transformation Roadshow

April 18: Saanich Peninsula Chamber April Mixer

April 23: Advanced AI: Friend of Foe — UVic Lecture

April 30: Breakfast with Premier David Eby Presentation 

April 30: Breakfast with Premier David Eby Presentation 


May 7: Greater Victoria Business Awards Ceremony

May 27-28: Agile Open Canada Technology Un-conference


June 1: Principles for Responsible Management Education Chapter North America Biennial Meeting

June 11-13: Local Government Management Association Conference