“The main objective of this program is obviously to give an opportunity to students to have a valuable paid work experience in their field of studies right here in the home province to help them see that they don’t necessarily have to go to Toronto or Calgary to work in their field of studies,” explains Stéphane Blanchard, youth development officer with RDÉE Prince Edward Island, which has been managing this program for a dozen years.
The internship itself runs 10-12 weeks. In addition, participants get to benefit from a week of orientation and training.
“We get them to explore and rediscover their home province, we bring them on tours of businesses related to their field of studies and we help them establish important contacts,” he adds. “We help them to realize that it is quite possible to have a worthwhile life and career right here on PEI.”
Blanchard said surveys of former PERCÉ participants consistently show an enviable and impressive repatriation rate. “About 82 per cent of our former participants are currently settled on PEI or are about to move back,” he stresses.
The development officer therefore invites all qualifying young people who are interested in participating in the program to visit the website www.percepe.ca to obtain more details and to fill out an online application form. Application deadline is March 27. It should be noted that bilingualism will be considered an asset.
Program managers will evaluate all applications and, thanks to a predetermined scoring system, will choose the 25 most deserving candidates. Once the participants are chosen, the coordinator will help them find an appropriate work location. The intern will receive the same salary that any beginner in this field would be paid.
“We are also calling on parents of university and college students from PEI to relay the message to their children that we’re looking for participants,” adds Blanchard. “We are also inviting employers interested in hiring an intern to contact us at 902-370-7333, Ext. 402.”
CUTLINE: Aimee Gillis of Summerside, a recreation and leisure student who participated in the 2013 edition of the PERCÉ internship program, recently won an iPad after filling in a survey of former participants. This survey shows that about 82 per cent of program participants return to PEI to settle down and start a career.
For more information:
Youth Development Officer
Responsible for the PERCÉ program
RDÉE Prince Edward Island
(902) 370-7333, ext. 402