Recruiting new participants for summer of 2014
WELLINGTON, PEI – Jan. 9, 2014 – According to a survey conducted last year on the occasion of the PERCÉ program’s 10th anniversary, 82 per cent of former participants of this postsecondary internship program have returned to the Island or will return here shortly to start a career and a life.
“Who would have thought, 10 years ago, that we would attain such incredible results!” says Bonnie Gallant, executive director of RDÉE Prince Edward Island, the economic development council that hosts the program. “We have found a win-win formula that benefits our new generation that is seeking employment as much as our employers who are seeking qualified workers.”
She adds that when the RDÉE collaborated with the Baie Acadienne Development Corporation in establishing the program, the organizations were keeping their fingers crossed, hoping that the program would help convince at least a quarter of participants to settle on PEI. After five years, the retention rate had already reached 64 percent, and now, 82 per cent.
Gallant believes the reason for the incredible success of the program is the fact that participants get to work for 10-12 weeks in their own field of studies and to meet all kinds of people working in their industry. This opens lots of doors for them.
A brand new booklet, all about the program’s first decade of success, has just been launched. At the same time, the RDÉE launched its own call for other college and university students to participate in the 11th edition of the program this summer.
The booklet notes that over the past decade, 198 youth from the Atlantic Provinces, including 153 from PEI, participated in the program. More than a third (37%) did their internships in the health and social services fields. Other popular sectors are administration and finance (18%), sciences (17%) and education (12%).
“We have to admit that it was a lot of work to try to locate all the former participants to survey them and to then produce this attractive booklet, which contains testimonials from a student from each year of the program,” says Stephane Blanchard, youth economic development officer from the RDÉE.
“We’ll be sending a paper copy of the booklet to every former participant, our board members, our funders and our other partners. The public can also ask for free copies of the booklet, which is available in both French and English since the program is open to youth of both languages. As well, the electronic version of the booklet, available in PDF format, can be downloaded from our website at www.rdeeipe.net, in the Documents tab.”
The RDÉE truly appreciates the funders of the program, the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and various provincial departments. It also wants to recognize the fact that employers play a huge role in this program and its success.
“But it is our young postsecondary students who impress us the most each year with their enthusiasm and their desire to succeed in their specialized fields and to contribute to their community,” adds Blanchard.
This summer, the RDÉE hopes to again be able to deliver the PERCÉ program to another 20 youth from one end of the province to the other. It therefore invites interested students to consult the program’s website at www.percepe.ca. Online registration forms can be accessed on the site. The registration deadline is March 28.
Blanchard noted that last year, 112 youth asked to participate in PERCÉ, proving once again the enormous popularity of the program. “Regrettably, we are incapable of accommodating all of these requests since we only receive funding for 20 participants per year.”
CUTLINE: Catherine Rioux, who wrote most of the text for the PERCÉ 10th anniversary booklet, officially launches the booklet with the help of former participant Germain Arsenault, centre, and Stéphane Blanchard, youth economic development officer with RDÉE PEI.
For more information:
Youth economic development officer
RDÉE Prince Edward Island
(902) 370-7333, Ext. 402