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Canada 2004

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Canada France 1604-2004
Canada France 1604-2004
Canada a space for imagination

Reports From the Youth Mobility and Exchange Round Table Workshops
Paris, February 5, 2004

WORKSHOP 2
On-the-Job Training Placements and Employment With Companies

Chair: Jean-Paul Charié, Deputy for Loiret and Chair of the Commission sur l’économie numérique
Recorder: Léa Soussana-Amar

Exchanges between Canada and France have always generated a great deal of interest from the perspective of the social, economic and cultural discoveries they represent. Crossing borders, learning more about ourselves, and exploring the various opportunities open to today’s and tomorrow’s young people all lead to a better understanding of the richness of both our countries.

A number of questions were raised during the workshop concerning the internships and employment with companies:

- What are the best partners likely to offer internships?
- What should the process be for finding interns and companies willing to take them on?
- Is alternative training the best option (academic training or trade schools with weeks of interning in the program)?
- Should there be “remuneration” for employment and “incentives” for internships?
- Do financial considerations play a part in the decision of young people from both countries to seek work or an internship abroad?

The various workshop participants suggested answers to all of these questions.

Participant suggestions

To find more interns, it would no doubt be necessary to create a network such as those of consular chambers and federations of chambers of commerce that would have a data base. This would make it possible to ensure the quality of the internships offered to young people. The participants all noted that there are many French young people opting for internships in Canada, but few Canadians choosing to do internships in France.

Why?
It was suggested that the prospect of internships in France be made more attractive to Canadians to motivate them to go to France. It will of course be necessary to ensure that there will be equal treatment (as regards hosting structures and financial considerations) for Canadians who go to France and French young people who arrive in Canada. Participants also suggested that the French authorities simplify access to France by facilitating the administrative requirements for Canadians wishing to go there.


Summary

Giving young people access to the other country also means making exchange opportunities known through such means as:
1) creating an Internet site, an information portal on the internships available in both countries;
2) recruiting young people on university campuses to participate in internships by setting up information booths to make internship opportunities known in both countries;
3) disseminating information on the existence of such exchanges through student, university and consular organizations.
The various participants in the workshop suggested that we demonstrate how much this agreement on youth exchanges between the Government of Canada and the Government of the French Republic means to us all.
Promote, guarantee and simplify are without doubt the key terms that came out of the discussion.

The "1604-2004 Canada-France" pins that we received and wore on our left lapels showed how dear these two countries are to our hearts.


PS: By way of a personal suggestion, we could create an Info-Internship phone line (like the 1 800 lines used in Canada).