As a result of the recent Government of Canada announcement of $9 billion to support post-secondary students during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Business + Higher Education Roundtable (BHER) will engage current post-secondary students and recent graduates to tackle the challenges posed by the pandemic. Students and industry will co-create meaningful and innovative solutions that will help guide Canada’s recovery from COVID-19.
The funding from the federal government will provide up to 10,000 new work-integrated learning (WIL) opportunities for college and university students. This support will also allow BHER to engage Canada’s small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) by connecting them with Canada’s next generation of talent.
“Work-integrated learning helps prepare Canadian students for the jobs of today and tomorrow. Our investment for BHER’s work placements will give students the skills they need to support Canadian businesses as they re-open while ensuring Canada’s economy continues to thrive,” said the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, BHER will launch a series of challenges for students across Canada to develop creative solutions in response to current and future industry needs. These challenges will address firm-specific and sector-level issues that will be defined by industry. Student teams that successfully complete phase one of the competition will move to the national finals where they will pitch their solutions to a panel of senior Canadian business leaders.
“We are thrilled to lead this national student challenge aimed at supporting Canadian businesses, particularly SMEs, who are experiencing unprecedented challenges due to COVID-19,” says Valerie Walker, Chief Executive Officer of BHER. “This competition will provide students with the opportunity to have a tangible impact on Canada’s economic and social recovery. In particular, we will fill the gap for students who have lost co-ops or internships this summer due to the pandemic by connecting their skills and energy with employers. We know this collaboration will move Canada’s recovery forward.”
BHER is proud to be trusted by the Government of Canada to steward funds to support student WIL opportunities in light of COVID-19. This investment will provide support to Canadian students facing economic hardships due to pandemic-related closures and pressures, as well as aid employers seeking access to student talent.
Media Contact: Brianna Workman – Associate, Communications – Business + Higher Education Roundtable – @email.