FREDERICTON (GNB) – A new online resource has been launched by the provincial governments of the four Atlantic provinces to help students explore experiential learning opportunities.

The regional ministers of education, early childhood development and post-secondary education launched the initiative to celebrate Atlantic Canada Career Week, which takes place from Nov. 4-8, and to showcase all the best practices and models currently used in Atlantic Canada.

November is also Canada Career Month, which is organized by the Canadian Council for Career Development.

“Our goal is to inspire and encourage students to develop skills that will benefit them long after graduation, and experiential learning opportunities are essential to accomplishing this,” said Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Dominic Cardy. “Through this initiative, we hope students will be able to connect with their communities, establish networks, expand their opportunities, and explore career pathways by participating in hands-on learning opportunities.”

Experiential learning activities can help students overcome challenges by creating opportunities for mentoring and coaching, bridging the gap between theory and practice, increasing confidence and encouraging the development of new skills.

Resources on the new website aims to encourage students in schools, universities and colleges to learn from experience and become active participants in their growth and development as learners.

“Our provincial government, along with our partners in post-secondary institutions and the business sector, are well aware of the benefits of experiential learning,” said Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Trevor Holder. “FutureReadyNB has been a success in connecting students, eager for real-world job experience, with employers who will need to fill the 120,000 jobs expected to open up during the next 10 years. Experiential learning opportunities are crucial for energizing New Brunswick’s private sector, which is one of the government’s key priorities.”

Atlantic Canada Career Week and the launch of the website build on efforts undertaken by ministers in the area of career development and student transition in response to the goals outlined in Future in Focus – Atlantic Career Development Framework for Public Education: 2015–2020, released by the Council of Atlantic Ministers of Education and Training in June 2015.

The Council of Atlantic Ministers of Education and Training is an agency of the departments responsible for public and post-secondary education. Its purpose is to enhance co-operation in public (entry through Grade 12) and post-secondary education in Atlantic Canada by working together to improve learning, optimize efficiencies and bring added value to provincial initiatives.

Building a world-class education system and energizing the private sector are among government’s key priorities. More information about the government’s priorities and measurements is available online.