Coop et stages

Notre position

La prochaine génération d’entrepreneurs, de chercheurs et d’innovateurs canadiens devra posséder un large éventail de compétences pour contribuer à l’économie mondiale. Pour répondre à cette demande, les universités offrent aux étudiants des expériences d’apprentissage – programmes coopératifs et stages rémunérés, projets de recherche et programmes de mentorat – qui les aideront à bien démarrer leur carrière.

Mais il faut faire davantage. Les universités appuient les revendications de la Table ronde sur l’enseignement supérieur et les entreprises concernant l’accès à des expériences d’apprentissage intégré au travail pour tous les étudiants canadiens de niveau postsecondaire.

« L’apprentissage intégré au travail améliore aussi l’accès à l’équité économique pour les groupes minoritaires, particulièrement les Autochtones et les nouveaux Canadiens. […] C’est un égalisateur socioéconomique. »

La valeur de l’apprentissage intégré au travail


David McKay, président et chef de la direction de la Banque Royale du Canada :

I was significantly impacted by my co-op experience, my work integrated learning experience, as a math student at the University of Waterloo. It allowed me to join the great institution that I’ve had the honour of working for for 30 years, at RBC. But it also helped me find my way. I went back to that class after every work term, and I learned differently. I had learned things in those four months. And when a professor – the sage on stage, as we call them today – tried to teach me, I said well, that’s not exactly how it works out there. And yeah, that’s the theory, but no one puts it into practice that way. And I was a lot more critical of how I was being taught, the content I was being taught, and that just grew year over year.

So the benefits of work integrated learning are as co-op students vastly improve the classroom. They teach each other. It levels the playing field. It democratizes access to jobs. Work integrated learning improves economic access for minority groups. So I often I see that first job goes – those great jobs go to someone who knows someone in society, who already has pull and influence. And new immigrants trying to break in, Indigenous people trying to break into those big jobs, don’t have a chance. Co-op and integrated learning levels the playing field. Work integrated learning helps build networks. Doing two, three, four co-ops, you build a network, you meet customers, you interview for the job over time. You build credibility and confidence in yourself, and you’re a completely different person when you enter the workforce. There’s so many powerful benefits inside the classroom, outside the classroom. It helps us get a much greater return on our investment in our students and our taxpayer dollars.

What’s RBC’s role? We’re kind of a unique organization. We’re Canada’s largest company. We have 80,000 employees. We have the budgets to hire, as I went through the numbers, a number of co-ops. But we have to challenge ourselves to use our co-ops and our summer students and our internships a lot better than we have. First, I think we need to set an audacious goal. Why shouldn’t 100 percent of graduating students have access to work integrated learning? Everybody should have access to an internship, apprenticeship, co-op in this country. It’s going to make us better. So with that goal in mind, how do we get there? We do need more government funding. We need tax change. There are tax credits, obviously, but I couldn’t think of a better way to spend some of our infrastructure dollars that we’re targeting for mass transit or other things that the taxpayer can see physically on your campuses to create opportunities for them to innovate, to learn, to continue the dialogue as students when they’re – to help fund some of these apprenticeships to get our students into the workplace. It will pay back multiples to the government. I can’t think of a better investment for our government to make than in the youth. They will get that back ten times over.

Businesses need to invest more in developing co-op programs. RBC needs to do more, our sector needs to do more, other sectors need to do more. We need to find a way to encourage small businesses and commercial businesses to be a big part of this. It can’t just be large corporations. Universities need to do a better job of marketing their co-op strength. It’s an incredible asset. It takes decades to build a core co-op program – as Ferridan (ph) knows,  more than decades; 20, 30 years – but it’s a great investment. We need real-time labour market information systems, something that LinkedIn’s talking about, trying to source every job in the world, just create a map. High school students are crying for it. University students are crying for it. Where are jobs going? How should I think about my curriculum and how it feeds into that labour market? How is it changing over time? What insights can we provide?

We have very little. We’re flying blind right now. We are competing in a very sharp-elbow, difficult world, where the world wants to take our jobs, they want to take our prosperity for themselves. And I fundamentally believe that our universities are essential in helping us compete and producing the next generation of leaders that’s going to maintain our prosperity and our competitiveness across the country. And what I offer is my commitment as a leader of RBC to be out in front, to lead by example – financially to lead by example; publicly to say work integrated learning can be that bridge that I believe will create decades of prosperity for Canada if we get it right.

Les chiffres

  • 80 %
    des employeurs

    Quatre employeurs interrogés sur cinq affirment que les étudiants de programmes coops sont un atout pour leur entreprise, car ils représentent une source de nouveaux talents et d’employés potentiels.

    Source : Sondage auprès des employeurs de Léger Marketing pour Universités Canada, 2014.
  • 55 %
    des étudiants bénéficient de l’apprentissage sur le terrain

    Plus de la moitié des étudiants au premier cycle bénéficient de l’apprentissage par l’expérience – stages, programmes coops, et apprentissage par le service – dans le cadre de leur formation universitaire.

    Source : Consortium canadien de recherche sur les étudiants universitaires, Graduating Students Survey, 2015.
  • 25 %
    de croissance dans les programmes coopératifs

    Les effectifs des programmes coopératifs universitaires ont bondi de 25 pour cent dans les dernières années, passant de 53 000 étudiants en 2006 à 65 000 en 2013.

    Source : Base de données de l’Association canadienne de l’enseignement coopératif, 2006-2013.

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