Handbook for Employers

Hire OC   

Benefits to Hiring an OC Student

    Employment Services provide:
  • a proven cost-effective method of meeting both immediate and long-range human resource needs.
  • reduces future recruiting costs – student employment aids in the vetting of students for future hiring of motivated and skilled employees.
  • a source of innovative year-round help.
  • access to a diverse pool of screened, motivated temporary employees for special projects, peak periods, vacation relief, or maternity leave coverage without costly advertising and dozens of unsuitable resumes to wade through.
  • flexible start dates.
We invite you to post your employment opportunities and utilize the services offered by OC’s Student, Graduate and Co-operative Employment Centre.
We are committed to meeting the needs of your student recruiting initiatives.

A Message to Employers

Okanagan College offers a broad range of programs to help you meet your need for well-trained employees. We recognize the value of Co-operative Education in combining classroom and work experience, and in providing opportunities to develop and maintain essential links between today's employers and tomorrow's employees. Our instruction standards are high, and we endeavour to maintain close contact between our students and faculty. We know from experience that our strong classroom learning environment is enhanced by the on-the-job training and practical experience that our students can gain from Co-op work terms in your work place.

We are pleased to provide an opportunity for you to work with our highly qualified students and graduates; while you evaluate and augment their capabilities, they will offer you their talents and enthusiasm.

We are committed to meeting the needs of business and industry and invite you to make Okanagan College your Co-operative education of choice.

This short video shows how companies and students benefit from hiring Co-op students, Okanagan College is a member of the Association for Co-operative Education, British Columbia and Yukon. 





      Contact the Co-op Department for student availability and program information.

      Provide a job description and salary for the position you want filled.

      The Co-op Department will post the description for students.

      Students will apply with a resume and covering letter that will be forwarded to the employer.

      Employers will select students they want to interview and contact the Co-op Office to make interview arrangements. Interviews can be conducted on campus, at the employer's business or by telephone.

      Employers make a job offer to the successful student through the Co-op Office.


The success of any organization is dependent upon the calibre of the people within the organization. You can build a better work force and achieve a higher degree of success in the business world by proper utilization of a Co-op program.

    Co-op provides...

      An opportunity to evaluate potential career employees without obligation or commitment to permanent employment.

      A proven cost-effective method of meeting both immediate and long-range human resource needs.

      Can reduce future recruiting costs – Co-op employment aids in the vetting of students for future hiring of motivated and skilled employees.

      A source of innovative year-round help: January-April, May-August, and September-December.

      Access to a pool of screened, motivated temporary employees for special projects, peak periods, vacation relief, or maternity leave coverage without costly advertising and dozens of unsuitable resumes to wade though.

      A means of contact with OC providing the opportunity to become involved and to be an influence in the education process.


    Co-op students require shorter training periods than might be anticipated for two reasons:

      Co-op programs provide students with specific job skills prior to their work terms.

      Co-op students are motivated, eager to learn, and make a productive contribution to their employees.


    A key factor in operating a successful Co-op program is the hiring of first term Co-op students. The advantages are:

      The availability of students is significantly better for the first work term. Due to the tendency of students to return to first work term employers, as many as 50% may not be available for 2nd and 3rd work term interviews. Those who are available are generally students who have chosen to change employers to broaden their experience.

      It offers the possibility of experienced students returning for successive work terms.

      It provides an opportunity to train a "new" person to the employer's own standards.

What is the going rate for hiring a Co-op student?

      Salaries are established by the employer. Aspects to consider are: the industry, the experience (work and prior coop work terms), the number of years of study, and the economic conditions.


What are my responsibilities as an employer?

    To maximize the benefit of a Co-op work term, an employer will be expected to provide:

      Offer 12 to 16 weeks of full time paid employment.

      Employment that is related to the student's field of study.

      Accurate, informative job descriptions.

      An orientation to familiarize the incoming student with the employer's situation and expectations.

      Supervision of students by individuals who understand and are interested in Co-op.

      Increasing responsibilities in successive work terms for returning students.

      An exit interview to discuss the student's performance and future plans.


How do students prepare for work terms?

    All students participating in Co-operative Education prepare for their work terms through a series of pre-employment information sessions and classroom instructions. The content of this information is based on information obtained from employers regarding what they expect from students during work terms.

      Resume and cover letter writing.

      Interview preparation.


      Typical first day orientation.

      Office protocol.

      Tips for succeeding in the workplace.


How are student work terms evaluated?

      All students and their employers are contacted and visited/monitored at least once during each work term. The co-ordinator completes an evaluation form based on the student's job duties and performance, quality of work, attendance and punctuality.

      Satisfactory completion of work terms is required for Co-op designation on the student's diploma. Work terms are assessed on the rating earned on a work term report and on the employer evaluation form.

      At the end of each work term, the supervisor is asked to complete an Employer Evaluation of Co-op Student form provided by OC. The employer is encouraged to discuss this final evaluation with the student and then return the form to the Co-op office.

      Students must complete a written work report for submission to the Co-op office.


How does OC Benefit?

      Opportunity to build closer ties with employers through more direct communication.

      Student work placements provide opportunities to enhance program curricula. Co-operative Education programs attract motivated and enthusiastic students to the College.


What are OC’s responsibilities?

      To develop and maintain a relevant curriculum reflecting the needs of employers.

      To prepare Co-op students for their work terms with appropriate skills and attitudes.

      To provide an effective mechanism for the placement of Co-op students.

      In summary, the Co-op office will, if at all possible, provide any information or service that will enhance the educational and employment benefits for both students and employers.


    OC Co-op Program Guidelines include the following criteria:

      Each work term is developed and/or approved by the institution as a suitable learning situation.

      Students are engaged in productive work rather than merely observing.

      Students receive remuneration for work performed.

      Students' progress on the job as monitored by the institution.

      At least 30 percent, and normally 50 percent, of a student's total co-operative education experience is spent engaged in career-related work terms.


For information on hiring a Co-op student or about the programs in general, please contact:

Student, Graduate & Co-op Employment Centre

Room A104, Student Services Building

Okanagan College

Main 250-862-5412

Fax 250-862-5600

Website: www.okanagan.bc.ca/coop