NBSA accepts integral role in SEED program

Fredericton, NB – Postsecondary students in New Brunswick are pleased with the recent changes to the Student Employment Experience Development (SEED) program announced last Friday.

The NBSA has been engaged with the PETL team responsible for the SEED program since the Fall and recommended improvements to the program. Almost all were adopted and have been implemented for the 2017 season.

“Changes, particularly to the marketing and communication of the voucher program, were necessary and we are delighted that the Department was willing to take student and stakeholder concerns on board and make welcomed improvements,” added Robert Burroughs, executive director. “The Minister’s commitment to keeping SEED a student-focused employment program is also greatly appreciated.”

Proposed in these changes include a draw for student vouchers. NBSA staff will serve as third-party validators to certify the independence of the draw.

“We are pleased to have a strong working relationship with the civil servants at PETL,” said Travis Daley, NBSA Board Chair, “and will be working with them over the coming weeks to flesh out the NBSA’s role as a validator and how we can help our membership better understand the voucher process.”

Effective immediate, the NBSA will also voluntarily exempt itself as an employer in the SEED program and its Board Directors will henceforth recuse themselves as voucher recipients for as long as the NBSA is involved in the validation process.

Students can apply for the SEED program through NBjobs.ca here.

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NBSA Welcomes New Executive Director

Fredericton, NB – The New Brunswick Student Alliance is pleased to announce the selection of Robert Burroughs as its new executive director. Burroughs began his term today in Fredericton.

Burroughs returns to New Brunswick following a year abroad in France, where he worked as the deputy executive director of Girls Health Ed and as a global youth ambassador for Grassroot Soccer. He has previously worked for the CDA Institute, the Centre for International Policy Studies, and the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade, and Development.

“I’m delighted to be back in New Brunswick, and to be working on issues so fundamental to all New Brunswickers,” said Burroughs.

“There are challenging times ahead, and the NBSA will have a key role to play in ensuring an accessible, affordable, and sustainable post-secondary education system. I look forward to building upon the incredible job that Lindsay, Annie, and the rest of the Board have done on behalf of New Brunswick students.”

Burroughs is a graduate of Mount Allison University’s international relations department and of the University of Ottawa’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs.

“The NBSA has had a banner year in terms of our development as an advocacy organization and participation in critical discussions of the post-secondary education system here in New Brunswick,” said Annie Sherry, NBSA Board Chair.

“We believe that Rob’s experience in policy development and external relations will only help the NBSA to grow, and are delighted to welcome him on board.”

The Board of Directors would like to thank Lindsay Handren, outgoing executive director, for her service and high level of commitment. They wish Lindsay the best in her future endeavours.

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Students Pleased With Changes To SEED Program

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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