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Co-op program provides youth with future opportunities

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Co-op program provides youth with future opportunities

McGuinty Government Helps Youth Get Back On Track

After a challenging and rewarding 21-week period, 32 students are receiving their high school diplomas today thanks to an Ontario Public Service (OPS) education program.

Taniya Thompson is one student success story. The Toronto teenager quit school for a year but didn't want to give up on her future. The OPS Learn and Work Program gave her the opportunity to get back on track.

The program helps young people aged 16-19 who want to complete their high school education and gain valuable co-op work experience through the OPS and its agencies.  Over a 21-week period, students have the opportunity to work in two paid co-op work terms in government ministries and related community agencies. Students are enrolled in high school co-op programs with the opportunity to earn up to nine credits including a summer co-op opportunity.

The OPS Learn and Work Program is currently available in four schools in Toronto, Ottawa and Windsor. The program is planning to expand to Hamilton and Thunder Bay in February 2009.

Quick Facts

  • Since 2006, the OPS program has averaged an 80 per cent student completion rate.
  • Students give Learn and Work a 93 per cent satisfaction rate.
  • Students who leave school early are more likely to be unemployed and earn less money.

Background Information

Additional Resources


“Taniya Thompson is living proof of the resounding success of the OPS Learn and Work Program, and I’m pleased we’re giving even more young people like her the chance to succeed.”

Ted McMeekin

Minister of Government and Consumer Services

“It was a wonderful opportunity and a valuable experience. I’m sure many other young people would also benefit from this terrific program.”

Taniya Thompson

2008 OPS Learn and Work Program participant.

“We know that students who have the right opportunities and support to overcome challenges will acquire the skills needed for success in school and in life”

Kathleen Wynne

Minister of Education

“The OPS Learn and Work Program helps young people realize their potential. Expanding opportunities for our children and youth, especially those from high-needs neighbourhoods, is the key to helping Ontario grow stronger for years to come.”

Deb Matthews

Minister of Children and Youth Services



Education and Training Children and Youth