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Job shortage sparks co-op interest

October 22, 2009

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A depressed student job market is sparking extra interest in the SFU co-op program, with 855 students applying for co-op jobs this semester, up 13 per cent over last fall.

"Students who may never have considered co-op before may now be looking into the possibilities of joining the program," as their job searches produce limited results, says Adam Brayford, SFU’s Work Integrated Learning (WIL) communications and marketing coordinator.

The co-op program supports students in their job search and has a long roster of co-op employers who hire students. But with the recession, many of those employers are limiting their co-op work placements.

That’s why SFU Co-op began offering a new self-directed employment initiative last January: co-op students who land a job with an employer they find on their own receive a $100 SFU Bookstore gift certificate. To date, the bookstore has given out more than 200 of the certificates.

Notes Brayford: "This process not only helps SFU co-op expand its database of employer contacts, but more importantly it provides students with the skills and experience needed to obtain a position—valuable skills for post-graduation."

www.sfu.ca/coop

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