CHARLOTTETOWN – July 20, 2021 – Thirty post-secondary students from across the Island, but mainly studying at out-of-province institutions, are benefiting from a 10-to-12-week internship in their field of study, thanks to the 18th edition of RDÉE Prince Edward Island’s PERCÉ program.
« This great work experience will undoubtedly give them a considerable advantage over other candidates when the time comes, after their studies, to find a permanent job, » points out PERCÉ coordinator Julie Gallant. « We spend a lot of time and energy matching these young adults with relevant employers who will give them the opportunity to get hands-on work experience, gain new knowledge and practical skills and meet other key people in their industry. We are investing all of this effort because we hope that the vast majority of these young people will one day return to the Island permanently to make a life and career here. »
The program was created to address the Island’s labour shortage and to reverse the so-called “brain drain” crisis, in which many of our brightest young people moved to larger Canadian cities to find work. Fortunately, the program has a repatriation rate of over 80%.
Again this year, the RDÉE has given preference to students wanting to work in priority areas and essential services. The main sectors of the 2021 participants are: health (occupational therapy, physiotherapy, psychology and dental sciences), engineering, early childhood, business administration, finance, pure sciences, social sciences, marketing, arts, law and social justice.
Employers hosting interns this year include health care facilities, manors, provincial ministries, community organizations, charities, private businesses, amusement parks, childcare centers and post-secondary institutions.
Many of these employers are happy to take on interns year after year as they recognize the value of these university or college interns. All employers appreciate the financial incentive that the program offers to help pay the students’ salaries.
In June, the interns began their participation in the program by attending a few days of training and orientation (some sessions delivered virtually, others in person). Topics included: first aid, mental health in times of pandemic, « DépasseToi » session, Insights Discovery session, resume and job interview, Ô Chalet youth conference and rally on the Acadian and francophone community of the Island.
For the first time, the RDÉE also delivered an in-person mid-term training day on July 16 to give participants the opportunity to meet again to evaluate and discuss their impressions of the first half of their internship and to equip themselves with other important skills and knowledge. These included networking training (via the Insights Discovery program) and an information session on the rights and responsibilities of workers and employers with respect to occupational health and safety.
PHOTO 1: Jessica Turbide, left, is doing her PERCÉ internship at the office of her dentist Dr. Janice Stewart. They are seen working together on a patient.
PHOTO 2: PERCÉ intern Tanner MacKinnon, a diversity and social Justice student, is working this summer at the Department of Justice and Public Safety through the PERCÉ program.
PHOTO 3: The 2021 PERCÉ interns (minus a few who are missing from photo).
For more information, please contact
(902) 854-3439, ext. 227
Youth Development Officer
Responsible for the PERCÉ program
RDÉE Prince Edward Island