WELLINGTON – Aug. 6, 2019 – Many Prince Edward Island employers say they are very relieved this summer to have access to the 30 postsecondary interns from Prince Edward Island’s PERCÉ program, which is already in its 16th year.
« Our employers – francophone early childhood centers located throughout the Island, several departments and research centers at the University of Prince Edward Island, various health institutions, charities, a municipality, a laboratory, environmental protection organizations and private businesses – tell us that they sometimes face challenges in recruiting people to fill positions that are open, » says Stéphane Blanchard, RDÉE PEI’s youth development officer who oversees the program. « They really appreciated the fact that RDÉE PEI offered them an intern and a salary incentive to help cover their student’s pay. »
He therefore considers that all of this is « proof that there are many jobs on the Island for our young graduates, that they can really return to their home province after their postsecondary studies to launch their careers in their field of study. »
Blanchard said that the interns are also very pleased to be able to obtain a great work experience, lasting eight to 12 weeks, in their own field on PEI, thanks to PERCÉ. This summer, they are working across the province in areas of high demand, such as education (including early childhood), health, engineering, information technology, science and environmental protection. Others study and work in history, social sciences, administration and finance, tourism and pharmacology.
ENVIABLE SUCCESS RATES
In the past, young people who went to college or university outside of the province rarely returned to the Island. But since the introduction of PERCÉ 16 years ago, more than 80 percent of young participants have returned to PEI after their studies. « We are therefore very proud of this magnificent rate of repatriation and retention of our young people, » added the supervisor.
Another dimension of the program that encourages these young adults to return to the Island is the training and orientation week, offered at the start of the summer. During this week, they not only get to know themselves better and prepare themselves for the workplace, but they also have the opportunity to visit various job sites from their field of study. They also establish very important contacts in their sector.
Julie Gallant and Caleb Gallant are coordinating the program this summer; they have prepared the training week, matched trainees with workplaces and will ensure, throughout the summer, that trainees and employers remain happy with their employment arrangement. The duo, who will visit each internship site during the summer, will also be responsible for overseeing the evaluation of the program by both the students and the employers.
The PERCÉ program, considered a national best practice for the repatriation of young workers, is funded by the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) and the provincial Department of Economic Growth, Tourism and Culture.
Last year, the program generated direct contributions of $121,740; a similar amount is anticipated for this year as well.
CUTLINE 1: PERCÉ intern Abigail Craswell, coordinators Julie Gallant and Caleb Gallant, and intern Nick Scott are proud to be able to actively contribute to the development of Island employment through this program, already in its 16th year.
CUTLINE 2: Pharmacology student Bray Smallman is carrying out her PERCÉ internship at PharmaChoice in O’Leary.
CUTLINE 3: Joselyn Jelley is working in the physiotherapy department of the hospital in O’Leary this summer, thanks to her PERCÉ summer internship.
For more details:
Youth development officer
RDÉE Prince Edward Island
902-370-7333, ext. 402