Laying Off Co-Op Students – Pretty Low

Last modified on February 19th, 2008

So a friend of mine pinged me online the other day and told me he had been laid off from a local company. I didn’t ask too many details because I was a bit busy at the time, but since then a larger picture has emerged.

Apparently the local company decided to pack up and head south of the border. And while a lot of permanent employees were laid off, they also slaughtered the co-op students as well. As someone who used to be involved in the co-op program, I can tell you that this is a pretty low blow. These students have precisely four months to earn enough money to get them through another full year of school. It would be next to impossible for a co-op student to get another job at another company half-way through their term.

There’s a certain responsibility you take on by hiring a co-op student. You are there to enrich their working experience and provide them knowledge they probably do not have access to at school. In addition, you are there to help fund their next term of school. To lay off a co-op student is just outright wrong, and if that story is 100% accurate, I hope that future co-op departments within the universities outright ban that company from being a part of their programs.

One response to “Laying Off Co-Op Students – Pretty Low”

  1. Karen says:

    That’s horrible! In the grand scheme of things, really, how much would a couple months of co-op salaries cost them? Probably a minuscule percentage of their overall salary budget.

    Co-op helped me pay for my undergrad education. I was lucky enough to be in school during the big boom of the late 90’s and early 2000, when we really had our pick of jobs as long as we were willing top relocate to Ottawa (or Fort McMurray!) for 4 months. I had a couple friends who got reassigned to wildly different areas at Nortel when things started going sour over there around 2000, but no one ever got laid off while on their work term.

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