Fredericton, NB – Post-secondary students in New Brunswick are commending government for modernizing the Student Employment Experience Development (SEED) program by eliminating its partisan system of grant distribution.

The SEED program provides grants to employers that in turn allow for the hiring of summer students for an average of eight weeks. In years past, elected officials have been responsible for deciding where grants were distributed, with those in government receiving twice as many weeks to allocate as their counterparts in the opposition.

“The value of experiential learning cannot be understated,” said Lindsay Handren, NBSA Executive Director. “The SEED program was designed to provide post-secondary students with on-the-job experience in their field of study, and to improve their employment prospects at graduation.“

“There is absolutely no reason for such a program to be partisan.”

Co-ops, internships, and work placements such as those funded through the SEED program help post-secondary students to develop their skills, identify career direction, and grow their professional networks. Students who complete one or more of these opportunities are more likely to find a job at graduation.

Studies have shown that those who take part in experiential learning in New Brunswick are also more likely to remain in the province long-term.

“We took our concerns over the partisanship in the SEED program to the legislature back in December, and are very pleased to see changes being made,“ said Annie Sherry, NBSA Board Chair.

“New Brunswick’s post-secondary students believe that experiential learning opportunities should be diverse and non-partisan, and that politics should never get in the way of student success. This is a good move by government. As more details become available, we hope to also see an increase in the number of SEED grants in reflection of government’s commitment to a job-ready generation.”

The SEED program funded 1,115 placements in 2015-16.

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