Selkirk College is filled with students possessing the talents and skills needed in today’s workforce. A new college online service now makes it easier for employers to connect with this deep pool of future employees.
The Co-Op Education & Employment Services (CEES) branch of Selkirk College launched the Career Portal earlier this year to help students and recent graduates search for jobs and employers find the skilled individuals they are seeking.
“The online Career Portal makes connecting students and employers easy,” says Brenda Smith, manager of CEES. “The way employers are hiring and students are searching for work has changed. The online Career Portal makes the hiring connection between student and employer much more efficient. This is really an exciting step for the college.”
Co-Op Education & Employment Services Manager Brenda Smith (left) and CEES Administrative Assistant Olga Sherstobitoff.
Filing an Important Need
It took two years to implement the portal that can be found on the Selkirk College website (selkirk.ca). The portal was launched as a pilot project with Selkirk co-op education students in February, 2013. Now fully operational and open to all students, so far 343 jobs have been posted and more than 450 people have viewed jobs posted in the last 30 days.
“We knew there was a real need for this service,” says Smith. “At Selkirk College we provide applied learning opportunities for students and the next step is having those students find related jobs. By facilitating the hiring process, Selkirk students are finding success in entering the job market.”
The portal is one way Selkirk College is furthering its Strategic Vision in preparing students for work and providing a skilled workforce as an integral component for the sustainability of the communities it serves.
“We have all been reading a lot about the impeding skills shortage,” says Cathy Mercer, Selkirk College’s Director of Student and Enrollment Services. “With more than 60 relevant programs, students can study in areas that suit their interest and when it comes time for them to enter the workforce our new Career Portal has proven itself effective in making the hiring connection between student and employer.”
Easy to Use, Effective Results
When students visit the site, the portal connects them to job postings and allows them to directly upload their resume and cover letter to employers. With a personalized student number, the portal helps keep track of the jobs applied for and interviews secured.
“Part of the employment challenge students face is that there are actually too many places to seek jobs,” says Smith. “Starting with this portal, there will be jobs related to their fields of studies. It provides a relevant job search for our students.”
Employers who use the portal are provided access to the site where they can directly upload job postings. They then receive access to the applicant’s resume and cover letter as they respond to the posting.
“We really want to make sure that local employers know about this service,” Smith says of the portal. “We see that the portal is quickly becoming the fastest and best way to connect our students to jobs. It is the employment hub.”
Sekirk’s online Career Portal has teamed up with the Going Global job search engine to provide international work and internship opportunities for students. This is another valued added for Selkirk students wishing to have an international work experience. Through the Going Global database, more than 600,000 internships and job listings are available daily from around the globe. Many of these jobs are available for viewing via Selkirk’s online Career Portal.
Finding the Right Path
Jobs can range from a part-time electrical entry shop helper in Castlegar to a full-time snow cat operator in Calgary to a GIS technician in Hawaii.
“The location doesn’t really matter as far as the portal is concerned,” says Smith. “It’s across Canada and internationally.”
The launch of the portal is part of a five-year plan to enhance employment services and support for Selkirk students and graduates. Selkirk’s entry into this service helps connect students and employers, making a significant contribution to the regional economy.
Selkirk College’s CEES has been in existence for over 20 years and currently provides six core services: the Co-op Education program, employment services, graduate services, aboriginal job opportunities, going global internship and the TeckServ summer internship. This fall, CEES is in the process of creating a physical space at the Castlegar campus called the College to Career Centre which will open in LLB-019 on November 14. This centre will welcome current students, graduates, and potential and existing employers.
The Career Portal can be launched at: www.selkirk.ca/cees