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TechWORKS! Mentorship Program

The Secondary/Post Secondary Co-op Mentorship Program matches selected secondary school students with post secondary co-op students undertaking their practicum in industry. Co-op students receive a half-day mentorship training program in advance of the secondary school student starting the placement. This model is working extremely well and demonstrates a number of benefits to participants.

Low impact on the employer's business activities - the co-op student develops the placement with TechWORKS! and provides the required supervision.

Employers have the opportunity to assess the co-op student's leadership, communication and planning skills as part of an evaluation for future employment.

The co-op student acquires additional skill sets.

The secondary student enjoys an exceptional work experience opportunity with someone just a few years ahead in their education.

Feedback

"Having co-op students act as mentors really worked well in our environment. The co-ops gained leadership and mentoring skills that they would not normally have gained in a co-op term - the high school students really enjoyed their experience in a high tech environment. It was a win-win for us."

Leigh Sue,
Manager, Human Resources,
Eclipsys Corporation

The following employer report describes how the program works.

We've participated in the TechWORKS! Secondary/Post Secondary Mentorship program for two cycles now and the feedback from our students has been very positive. Here are some comments from our co-ops on the impact of the program:

Helpful in understanding what my own supervisor's experience is with me.

I learned about the responsibilities acquired as a supervisor [as well as] organizational skills and communication skills.

Learned to let [the student] work on his own with a bit of help whenever he needed it

I learned to delegate and be a mentor.

The process at CreoScitex is relatively simple and driven by our co-op students. I am just an informational conduit as TechWORKS! takes care of most of the logistics.

TechWORKS! lets me know when the placement periods are and when the mentorship workshop will likely take place.

I e-mail all of our co-op students and their team leaders to tell them about the program and ask if they're interested in participating. I try to sell it a little by telling them how this is a good way to flex their leadership muscles, about the mentorship workshop, and how it just might be fun. If they are interested, I ask them to discuss it with their teams to make sure it fits into everyone's plans. The students that are interested usually let me know pretty quickly and once I know who they are, I ask them to fill out a Placement Profile. That gets e-mailed to TechWORKS! and from there TechWORKS! liaises directly with the student. TechWORKS! also takes care of arranging the mentorship workshop and getting the students there.

Once the high school students are selected, I have our co-ops pass along some forms (like the non-disclosure agreement) to the high school student and I'm just there in case they have any questions or need help.

After the placement, the students provide us with feedback on the placement, process and the workshop.

Our co-ops definitely get something out of it and I think the high school students do too. We've been lucky to have keen co-op students who have taken an interest in the program. I'd encourage other companies to give it a try and see if it works for them. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.

Marlene Jan
Human Resources CreoScitex

Interested in the TechWORKS! Secondary/Post secondary mentoship Program? Contact your local TechWORKS! representative.

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