Talent recruitment can be a challenge, especially outside major metropolitan areas. Our partners at Innovation Island, in collaboration with Vancouver Island University (VIU), are aiming to bridge the gap between students and organizations in the Central Island region through their new VI Solutions program.
VI Solutions gives students a chance to solve problems and generate new ideas for Island employers. If you’re a mid-Island company looking to recruit and has a business opportunity or challenge to solve, the program is currently accepting applications. Successful applicants will be paired with students from several different disciplinary backgrounds who will then explore solutions over the next year.
The initiative was inspired by feedback from organizations during the 2018 Labour Roundtable Discussions. Central Island employers expressed concern and shared challenges with recruiting and retaining talented employees. They wanted better connections with students for the purpose of succession planning, recruitment and idea generation.
Both employers and students need to apply to be part of the program. Once all the challenges are in, VI Solutions will help organize multi-disciplinary teams of students to tackle each challenge. Up to two teams will be selected per challenge and teams will be paired with mentors as they work through the challenge.
“It’s very much like a case competition, giving students valuable, hands-on, real-world work-integrated learning experiences, while employers gain creative solutions or innovative ideas that could help them develop opportunities,” says David Woodward, Work Integrated Learning Coordinator with VIU’s Centre for Experiential Learning. “The hope is that – at the end of this process – employers have some solutions that can be implemented for their benefit as well as generating co-op, internship or regular employment opportunities for VIU students.”
VI Solutions hopes to select the challenges and pair student teams with each challenge over the fall semester. In April, the teams will present their findings to the organization, the greater community and a panel of judges, and winners will be selected. The top three teams will receive a prize.
If you’re a company in Central Vancouver Island and are looking for creative solutions to enhance operational efficiencies or are facing recruitment issues this initiative may be for you. Learn more about VI Solutions and apply to participate.