A Win-Win-Win Proposal for Employers, Students, & Institutions

 devin-kreugerBy Devin Kreuger

The GTA is home to world-class post-secondary educational institutions, so local businesses have numerous low-risk options for recruiting top-notch personnel. No doubt you already know about campus-based Career Centres, but have you considered taking on an internship or co-op student?

Experiential learning opportunities have been growing in popularity with students. They offer a taste of real-world experience and provide students with an opportunity to showcase their skills for a potential employer. ‘Learning by doing’ fits well with the mind-set of the younger generation, who tend to be open to learning from others and keen to prove their value. Such experiential learning positions can be paid (co-operative) or unpaid and can take the form of community service, internship or practicum placements, or engagement on an industry or community based research project.

 For an employer, the benefits for free or low-cost yet highly-skilled and motivated temporary workers seem obvious. The required commitment to these students rarely lasts longer than an academic year, and mentoring opportunities of only one day a week are an attractive option for busy supervisors. If assigned to a specific work project aligned with their studies, the time and expense of training can be minimized. Bringing on board some temporary student assistance can add diversity to the work place, boost workplace productivity and help get long-gestating projects off the back-burner.

But the benefits to the employer aren’t limited to the direct impact of having an extra set of hands available. Employers also get an early opportunity to gauge the talents of prospective permanent candidates and to sell themselves as quality places for students to begin their careers upon graduation. Upon returning to campus from an unpaid internship with a favourable impression of the employer, those experiential learning students can become instant on-campus advertisements promoting the benefits of an employer.

 As an extra bonus, collaborating with a post-secondary institution by taking on experiential learning students can help a business or community organization to build a relationship with its local post-secondary institution. Taking on an internship student once a year can quickly turn into even greater collaborative opportunities, such as research initiatives with world-class faculty and/or active engagement in program development.

Experiential learning provides a valuable forum for learning and academic, professional and personal growth for students; close relationships between motivated students and faculty and mentoring supervisors; and new platforms for collaboration and access between the university and the community. All in all, it’s a win-win-win, for the employer, the student and the educational institution.

Devin Kreuger is Director of the Office of the Vice-Principal Research at the University of Toronto Mississauga. He can be contacted at [email protected] Visit

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Sep 17

Extending Minimum Wage Implementation Will Slash Job Loss Risk by 74%: Economic Analysis Final analysis of Bill 148 reveals $12 billion economic problem that the Ontario Government must resolve

Wednesday, September 27, 2017: Today the Mississauga Board of Trade, in partnership with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) and the Keep Ontario Working (KOW) Coalition, released two major reports that broadly capture the challenges associated with Bill 148 and the concerns of the employer community. The first report is the final economic impact analysis of Bill 148 by the Canadian Centre for Economic Analysis’ (CANCEA), which was peer-reviewed by Professor Morley Gunderson of the University of Toronto. CANCEA’s analysis reveals that if Government were to do nothing other than implement the minimum wage increase over five years instead of in the next 15 months, jobs at risk would decrease by 74 per cent in the first two years. The analysis also indicates that while the proposed changes will see $11 billion in wage stimulus flow into the economy in the next two years, a remaining $12 billion problem exists which will lead to jobs lost, added costs, and general damage to the Ontario economy. “Today’s final report by CANCEA is clear, while the Government is correct to say that there will be a stimulus from Bill 148, it does not cover the $23 billion cost challenge for business in the first two years – a substantial amount that poses great risk to our economy and cannot be resolved through offsets alone,” said Karl Baldauf, Vice President of Policy and Government Relations at the Ontario Chamber of Commerce. “More must be done. The Ontario Government must resolve the economic challenges presented in Bill 148 through a combination of slowing down the implementation period, amending the legislation, and offsets. Business and Government must work together to avoid unintended consequences and protect our most vulnerable.” “This report should be a great concern to Mississauga businesses,” said David Wojcik, President & CEO, Mississauga Board of Trade. “We call on our MPPs to heed this advice and slow down the pace of change through Bill 148.”
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