News and Events
MHC launches employer engagement series
September 16, 2021
Medicine Hat College (MHC) is reaching out to employers in southeast Alberta to help shape advanced education and build the workforce to meet regional needs.
President & CEO Kevin Shufflebotham explains that increasing focus on work integrated learning, and delivery of new and existing programs based on the apprenticeship model, provides excellent opportunities for the college and employers to work together.
“We’re all familiar with internships and other opportunities that allow students to develop and hone skills and knowledge by spending time in the workplace,” he says. “Teachers, nurses, paramedics, as well as men and women in the skilled trades and many other programs, all know the benefit of learning on the job. MHC is building on our strengths in this area and dramatically expanding the number of students in work placements.”
He notes that partnership with employers is key.
"We need input from employers to be sure the entire process is mutually beneficial, and to make workplace learning a seamless part of a student’s experience.”
He adds that workplace learning has many benefits for employers from the opportunity to support short-term projects, find innovative solutions to challenges, find future employees, and shape the curriculum that students experience.
Chad Flinn, dean of trades and technology, is taking employer engagement to an ever higher level, spearheading efforts to build new programs based on the success of work integrated learning (WIL).
“As a dean, professional educator, and a person who has completed programs in the trades, I know first-hand the power of WIL,” he says. “The province of Alberta will help MHC create new, employer-focused programs that combine college learning with workplace learning, much like the apprenticeship model that works so well for the trades. We can meet the needs of employers by building new programs that put at least 51 percent of the learning in the workplace.”
To build partnerships, and tune programs to employer needs, college and academic leaders are inviting employers to participate in hour-long engagement sessions in the near future.
“We’ll explain the basic parameters,” Shufflebotham says, “but the whole point is to listen to employers. Expect collaboration and brainstorming.”
The engagement series will be promoted by direct email, on social media, and through partner organizations. More information is available at https://www.mhc.ab.ca/Engage.