Running a small business or organization means you’re no stranger to constantly juggling tasks, to-do lists, and managing operations while also trying to plan for the future. Many small organizations note that they struggle with a lack of resources and capacity, which hinders them from planning for long-term growth; instead, the majority of resources may be focused on what needs to get done right now. This could mean projects on the side of your desk you can never seem to get to, staff that have overstretched workloads, and budget constraints restricting your ability to increase capacity for future development.
With the imminent need for talent in BC, building capacity and bringing on new staff members to fulfill your operational and planning needs can seem daunting. However, there is a pathway that can assist in increasing your capacity, so that you can more efficiently and effectively tackle projects, problems, or fill short-term gaps within your organization. Work-integrated learning (WIL) students are ambitiously seeking opportunities to work in small organizations such as yours to increase productivity, utilize technology, and create new and innovative ideas; all while utilizing your mentorship to develop the skills necessary for the future of BC’s workforce. WIL students can support through many different structured learning programs, including but not limited to: co-operative education, community service learning, and work study to name a few.
The Interior & Northern Work Integrated Learning Initiative (INWIL) is a collaboration between Thompson Rivers University, the University of British Columbia Okanagan, and the University of Northern British Columbia to ensure small businesses and organizations throughout the province can easily gain access to thousands of students with a diverse set of skills and specialties. The initiative aims to support small businesses and organizations in more efficiently accessing student talent from throughout Interior and Northern BC. Providing locally available opportunities to students already engaging in the regional economy can provide the increased exposure, industry-ready skill development, and career connections to encourage these students to consider their long-term career within the region.
Below you will discover the top 3 ways engaging with and hiring student talent can benefit your small business or organization:
Top Student Talent Brings Creativity and Innovation to Your Organizations’ Goals
Through WIL programming, academic engagement and community involvement, students develop the skills that employers desire, and employers gain skilled, top talent. As an example, Co-op is a competitive program where students are pre-screened, required to have a competitive GPA, and as a part of their pre-employment training are coached on developing their soft skills for the workplace such as communication, teamwork, problem solving, and more. By connecting with the INWIL initiative, you gain access to students from diverse academic programs, that are energetically seeking to dive into new projects, and infuse their fresh perspective and expertise in their area of study to help you creatively and innovatively approach your goals and objectives.
Whether you’re seeking hands-on support for a community project or event, creativity through marketing and design, systems development or integrations through computer software, research support, engineering, and more, students trained across our three institutions come with the most relevant training and in-demand skills that are sure to best-support your growth and development.
Aligns with Your Budget: Hiring Incentives Can Fund a Large Part of Your Student’s Wages
Grants and funding opportunities are available to you as an employer to help subsidize the cost of training and integrating students into positions across all industries and sectors. Experiences are paid at an appropriate salary for the industry and level of responsibility, and current available funding programs offer the opportunity to subsidize up to 50% or more of your student’s wages. As there are many funders and grant programs available, we recommend you visit the INWIL resource hub to view our grants and funding guide for the most up-to-date information. You may also connect with our team to learn about which funding options are best for your organization and the role for which you would like to hire.
Fill Your Short-Term Needs While Contributing to BC’s Future
Engaging with student talent means your organization gains access to top emerging talent, while having the opportunity to help shape and develop the future contributors and leaders within your industry. Through the Co-op program you may engage a student for 4, 8, or 12 months at a time to contribute to a project, research development, or fill any short-term gaps you may have in your organization. This opportunity allows you to make a short-term commitment, have a university student work with you on projects and in roles that are in-demand, while contributing to the development and mentorship of that student for their future career growth. With a growing number of organizations engaging WIL students within the province, students are being provided the opportunity to explore career pathways in their backyard, contributing to a stronger regional talent pool and BC’s future workforce.
If you’re interested in engaging a student in your organization, but aren’t quite sure where to start, connect with us. Engaging students through the Interior & Northern Work Integrated Learning initiative (INWIL) allows you the opportunity to connect with a large student talent pool that spans across all three post-secondary institutions, and over 100 different programs and specialties. Our team will work with you through the process to ensure you explore WIL pathways that are suitable to your needs and goals, curate job postings that entice candidates to apply, and work to connect you directly with students so that you can recruit with confidence while contributing to developing talent for the future.
If you’re interested in getting to know more about the types of student talent you can access by partnering with the INWIL initiative, click here,