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Co-op Program Gives Young Ontarians A New Start

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Co-op Program Gives Young Ontarians A New Start

McGuinty Government Helps Youth Get Back On Track And Graduate High School

Miranda Desmarchais knew that dropping out of high school was a step in the wrong direction, but the Hamilton teenager is back on track now.

Desmarchais is one of 48 students who will receive high school diplomas in Hamilton today after successfully completing a challenging 21 weeks in the Ontario Public Service (OPS) Learn and Work Program.

The program helps young people aged 16-19 complete their high school education and gain valuable work experience through 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 six schools in Toronto, Ottawa, Windsor, Thunder Bay and Hamilton.

Quick Facts

  • Since 2006, the OPS program has averaged an 80-per-cent student completion rate.
  • Students give Learn and Work a 96-per-cent satisfaction rate.
  • Students who leave school early are more likely to be unemployed and earn less money.

Background Information

Additional Resources


“Students like Miranda are proof of the resounding success of the program and I'm pleased we can give young people a chance to step up and succeed.”

Ted McMeekin

Minister of Government Services

“The OPS Learn and Work program is helping more young people graduate and achieve a brighter future. Through the co-op experience, students learn many new skills while having the unique opportunity of serving the citizens of Ontario.”

Kathleen Wynne

Minister of Education

“The OPS Learn and Work Program helps young people realize their potential. Providing meaningful work opportunities for our 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



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