TalentED YYC aims to connect students with Calgary employers

New online platform helps university students jumpstart their careers in the city.

A new online platform has been launched to help connect Calgary employers with student talent.

TalentED YYC is a pilot program from Calgary Work Integrated Learning (WIL), with federal investment from PrairiesCan. The platform is a collaboration of 10 partners, led by Calgary Economic Development, to build the city’s skilled talent pool.

“The TalentED YYC platform will help ready our workforce by connecting students with local employers, enabling them to gain the on-the-job experience they need to jumpstart their careers in Calgary,” said Brad Parry, president and CEO of Calgary Economic Development, in a statement.

The Calgary WIL pilot project kicked off in 2022. The government of Canada, through PrairiesCan, has invested $1.2 million into the project, building on previous funding of $2.9 million from Future Skills Centre and $2.5 million from Alberta’s Ministry of Advanced Education.

The pilot project is expected to run until spring 2025, and will continue to evolve with more programs and services to expand WIL opportunities in Calgary. Pilot partners include Ambrose University, AU Arts, Bow Valley College, Mount Royal University, SAIT, St. Mary’s University, the University of Calgary, the Calgary Chamber of Commerce, the Calgary Chamber of Voluntary Organizations, and Calgary Economic Development.

The new platform for employers can be found at www.talentedyyc.com.

“The TalentED YYC platform provides an important avenue for post-secondary students to access the hands-on training and skills they need to thrive in our high-tech economy,” said Dan Vandal, minister for PrairiesCan. “Our partnership with Calgary Economic Development on this innovative initiative will help connect Calgary’s technology sector with a new generation of talented workers to drive the growth and competitiveness of local businesses for years to come.”

As the operational partner of Calgary WIL, Calgary Economic Development said it is driving this innovative pilot project forward as a priority for the attraction, retention, and development of skilled talent; a key pillar in its economic strategy.

“Research from Statistics Canada demonstrates that students with WIL experience are more likely to find work in a field related to their education. Employers who offer WIL are more likely to access the talent they need and find strong candidates to join their organization in the future,” the organization said in the release.

It said work-integrated learning opportunities offer relevant experiences for skills development specifically related to a student’s program of study. Placements include internships, co-ops, practicums, community service learning opportunities, field placements, and projects. Currently, employers offering student positions need to navigate each school and program individually.

TalentED YYC offers resources, templates, and a centralized job posting portal to share WIL opportunities with students at all seven post-secondary institutions in Calgary. It also offers access to a team that can provide one-on-one support to help employers navigate how to work with student talent.