UBCO launches arts career apprenticeship with local businesses

With many university graduates ready to hit the labour market running, UBC Okanagan is aiming to make that first job an especially meaningful one through the creation of an apprenticeship initiative together with local businesses and organizations.

The new Arts Career Apprenticeship Program will focus on new arts, humanities and social sciences graduates and will consist of a salaried career apprenticeship in the Okanagan for at least one year. Student participants receive mentorship, networking opportunities and a chance to contribute to the growth and development of a local business.

For businesses, the program offers direct access to highly-skilled recent graduates, as well as a grant of up to $4,000 per month for four months’ salary of the hired candidate.

“The time after graduation can be an exciting but also stressful for students as they navigate the transition from university to their first jobs,” says Ananya Mukherjee Reed, provost and vice-president academic at UBC Okanagan. “This program is designed to bring local businesses into that transition process, and provide real-world experience to help jumpstart their careers and to help foster talent right here in the Okanagan.”

The grant funding is made possible by the donation from Ottawa-based philanthropist Alan Rottenberg, who approached the university after successfully piloting the concept in Ontario.

“This is an opportunity for students to launch their career in a field related to their studies and work with local industry partners,” he says. “Businesses will receive direct access to a talented pool of new arts and humanities graduates—with an added funding incentive to help establish meaningful and long-term career opportunities in their organization. It is an inspiring program for everyone involved.”

Mukherjee Reed says she knew instantly that UBC Okanagan and its partners were the perfect fit for an apprenticeship program like this one.

“UBC Okanagan produces incredible graduates, many of whom want to stay and develop their careers in the region,” she explains. “At the same time, Okanagan businesses are well known for their innovative ideas and entrepreneurial spirit. We have an incredible opportunity to bring the two together in exciting new ways.”

The university is currently inviting employers and students to sign up for the program, which will pilot in the spring with up to 10 graduates in the first round.

“We have a connection to community that runs deep,” says Mukherjee Reed. “This new program will help create new links and exciting opportunities for students, employers and the local economy.”

For details about the Arts Career Apprenticeship Program, visit: provost.ok.ubc.ca/initiatives/experiential-learning/ubco-arts-career-apprenticeship-program


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