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This week we are expanding on an article from the globe and mail about attracting and recruiting talent in Canada. When it comes to the automotive industry, specifically in BC, we are and will be experiencing a labour shortage, moreso than other industries which are also experiencing the same issues.

This week we are exploring and expanding on the five strategies as outlined in the article – with the first being: Increasing opportunities for students.

Why a co-op can be beneficial.

The best way to do so is to become an employer who hires co-op students. Many universities, colleges, and other post-secondary institutions offer co-op programs. Co-ops are an innovative way to help students alternate studying with gaining hands on learning and real world experience in their chosen field. The benefits? Co-ops gain valuable experience while the employers gain a students energy, enthusiasm and also fresh ideas or knowledge.

Co-ops provide a flexible and cost-effective way to hire new employees while gaining short term help on a potentially important business project or add another pair of hands during a busy time. You also get the ability to conduct a four-month interview of a potential job candidate. Additional Benefits include:

  • Flexibility: Students can help you initiate new projects, complete existing projects or provide relief during peak periods
  • Higher retention: Many employers hire former co-op students in full-time positions—this translates to lower recruitment and training costs, as well as higher employee retention
  • Energy and ideas: Co-op provides you with a year-round supply of enthusiastic student employees who are excited to bring new ideas to your workplace
  • Community relations: Co-op employers are encouraged to exchange and innovate new ideas

Your role as an employer. 

To start, explore the post-secondary institutions that offer co-op programs, and look at those which may be beneficial to your business. This can include auto repair, collision repair, or even students in business, which could help with your organizational goals such as sales, HR and more. You can review all the available co-op programs in B.C. at the Association for Co-op Education in Yukon BC.

Your role as an employer will be to develop work term goals with the student, help him or her to achieve their learning objectives and evaluate the student’s progress at the middle and end of the work term.

When can you get started?

Most co-op students are available year-round, however, work terms generally begin in January, May, and September, but job descriptions are accepted at any time during the year. A co-op typically lasts four months long, however, some students may work for one employer for more than just one work term.

What does it cost?

Co-ops are much like any other job, the cost (salary) is based on the students skills, industry standards and also your businesses resources / financial range. When determining a salary, research online for industry standards – like Payscale or WorkBC, or talk to your co-op coordinator and they can suggest a salary.

There’s no doubt that becoming a co-op employer is a win-win: you’ll nurture students’ education and welcome enthusiastic students who excel in your workplace.

Specifically for the Automotive Industries, we have outlined a selection of post-secondary institutions that offer co-cop programs to benefit automotive companies in BC. Programs + Universities

Automotive Service Technician