Symposium brings together youth and employers

 

Western Nova Scotia, May 7, 2018

Spoiler alert: There are great opportunities in Western Nova Scotia. There are also plenty of young people who want to stay in the region.

Dispelling many of the narratives that youth must leave to find opportunities and that employers cannot rely on young workers; the Business Education Symposium was hosted May 2nd by the Western Regional Enterprise Network (Western REN), in partnership with Nova Scotia’s Business Education Council and the Department of Education & Early Childhood Development.

“Western Regional employers continue to face chronic labour challenges,” explains Western REN CEO Angélique LeBlanc, “Working with the Business Education Council, this event provided an intentional networking opportunity and fostered an open dialogue between employers and high-school students throughout the region. This is a part of a long-term solution to the labour challenges.”

Chair of the Business Education Council, Calvin Gosse, says, “It is extremely important for the future economic growth of our province that the business community actively engage with students to create a two-way understanding of what each requires.” Mr. Gosse, Atlantic Public-Sector Client Executive at IBM continues, “That is what makes opportunities such as these symposiums so important.”

“What an amazing day for students, teachers and employers in the Western Region.” Lynn Hogan Gillespie, Director Career Exploration and Experiential Learning from Nova Scotia’s Department of Education. “Conversations were rich and impactful giving everyone the chance to learn what employees are looking for but also what our students have to offer. Kudos to the Business Education Council and the Western REN for their leadership and partnering on this initiative.”

The event was aimed at engaging business and youth in a meaningful dialogue to best prepare for success in the workplace, and to highlight the opportunities for youth seeking careers in Western Nova Scotia. Fifteen regional employers shared their experiences and insights with 42 students from 9 of the region’s high schools.

Claudia Winterhalter, Recruitment Advisor for the Nova Scotia Health Authority, participated on the employer panel. “I was very impressed with the caliber of students and it was great for employers to meet them in this environment. It will be exciting to see where their career paths take them. I feel our future is in good hands!”

The Symposium is the first business event hosted by the Western REN that provided a platform specifically designed to engage youth.