Developing a highly skilled workforce through co-op

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Developing a highly skilled workforce through co-op

As organizations quickly shifted from conducting business in person to adopting a remote-first approach, ensuring students could access work-integrated learning opportunities and hands-on training remained critical.

To help students and employers continue to leverage its co-op program and adapt to remote work, the University of Waterloo developed resources to support students who were experiencing their first virtual work term. Co-op students were offered free courses in collaboration with industry partners, such as Shopify, Vidyard and Kiite Academy, to equip them with the in-demand digital skills needed to make significant contributions in their co-op placements.

Waterloo also supported businesses by introducing flexibility in its recruitment process to allow for quicker hiring cycles and the capacity to “bulk hire” hundreds of students to adapt to changing business needs. The university also expanded its employer network by connecting with smaller businesses that needed additional support to pivot their services online.

By adapting to the challenges brought on by COVID-19, Waterloo reached a record high number of employed students through its co-op program, more than 23,700, and supported regional economic development across the province.

For more information, visit the University of Waterloo.