CHARLOTTETOWN – Oct. 1, 2015 – The 2015 edition of the PERCÉ postsecondary internship program, which has just wrapped up, has already generated concrete results: two of the 25 interns have already been hired in full-time, permanent jobs at the locations they worked this summer, and another four have been promised jobs as soon as they finish their studies.
As well, a majority of the young adult participants have said they are 75 per cent sure that they will one day return to PEI to settle down.
Rachel Chappell, who coordinates this paid internship program for RDÉE Prince Edward Island, says she is extremely pleased with this year’s results. “Our objective is specifically to convince our young Islanders, especially those who are studying out of province, to permanently return to PEI to contribute their talents and new expertise to the local economy,” she explains. “Our preliminary results indicate that we are already well on our way to attaining our objective for the 2015 group.”
She said surveys of former program participants show that in the medium and long term, 82 per cent of them eventually settle permanently on PEI.
This year’s interns, from one end of the province to the other, worked in sectors related to their field of studies. They had jobs such as early childhood educator, legal consultant, pharmacy clerk, researcher, actor, tourist guide, physiotherapist, events coordinator, medical intern, business manager, conservationist, lab technician, children’s counsellor, tutor, daycare worker, IT trouble-shooter, assistant guest services manager and marketing director. Internships mostly ran 10-12 weeks.
“The interns told us they had very beneficial work experiences and discovered many new and interesting things, which in turn motivated them to keep on studying and mostly to want to get started working in their career,” said Chappell. “They also said they would gladly recommend our program to their friends.”
The employers also said they are very satisfied with the output of their student employees; most would be ready to hire another PERCÉ student-intern in the future.
The coordinator said at the start of the program, participants were given a week of orientation and training. They were reminded how to prepare a résumé, how to undergo a job interview, how to give first aid and how to better understand and use their personality traits.
They were also given an opportunity to visit several work sites related to their field of studies. “That was the biggest hit of the week,” said Chappell. “Some of the students visited non-profit charities, such as the Alzheimer Society of PEI; several said they would readily do some volunteer work for these organizations.”
The coordinator, in her second year with PERCÉ, finds that the program is becoming more and more popular. Each contact she establishes with an employer is worth its weight in gold since these people have a tendency of speaking with their colleagues about their positive experiences with programs such as PERCÉ.
The 2015 PERCÉ group was composed of 20 young bilingual students and five unilingual Anglophone students. About 100 youth had applied to participate in this 12th edition of the program.
Again this year, the PERCÉ program is funded in part by the province’s Office of Immigration, Settlement and Population.
PHOTO 1: Thanks to the PERCÉ program, Emily Jensen was able to serve as a research intern for the PEI Legislative Assembly.
PHOTO 2: Joel Arsenault says he is extremely pleased with his PERCÉ internship as a conservationist with the Bedeque Bay Environmental Management Association.
PHOTO 3: Morgan Wagner had a great summer as a PERCÉ intern, acting in the Anne & Gilbert show in Charlottetown.
For more information:
(902) 370-7333, Ext. 401