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Future Ready Premium Program creates new opportunities for Mohawk College students

“Recently, a prominent local employer told my class that his organization was not interested in hiring people who lacked the soft skills to work and grow with the team regardless of their capabilities.  My students responded to this message and are appreciating and enjoying the training that they are getting.” 

Professor Joe Varrasso

College career program offers career-prep training and employment opportunities for students

The pathway to employment will be easier to navigate for Mohawk College students with the help of new career-preparation resources recently introduced through the Future Ready Premium Program (FRPP).

36594_FRPPBadgeFRPP, the college’s career-ready skills development program, recently launched a series of online resources, focused on specific employers, providing students with a sense of the work culture, opportunities, and employee experience at each company. This series represents Module 6 in the Future Ready Premium Program Student Micro-Certificate – a free program on MyCanvas for Mohawk College students and recent alumni who want to develop important career skills ahead of job interviews and starting their careers.

“These modules were developed in collaboration with our Future Ready Premium Employers and are sure to provide students with key insights into what a career at each organization might look like,” said Jim Vanderveken, Dean of the Centre for Community Partnerships and Experiential Learning. “Working with our valued partners, these modules can help students be better-prepared graduates and ready to contribute positively to strong organizations and pursue fulfilling careers.”

Launched in 2019, FRPP involves a select group of 16 industry partners in exclusive projects to enhance the learning experience for students while helping to address the employment priorities of the companies involved. The Future Ready Premium Program Student Micro-Certificate is a co-curricular program with five initial training modules that offer students professional skills to help them successfully manage their job search and navigate in the workplace: Employability Skills; The Job Search; Professional Communication; Professional Brand; and Professional Competencies.

“When an employer sees the FRPP Student Micro-Certificate on a resume, they can be confident that the applicant is committed to professionalism and positive career development,” said Vanderveken. “It will undoubtedly be part of the conversation during an employment interview, opening a door for the Future Ready graduate to demonstrate their suitability for a position with the employer.”

Students who complete all five modules will receive a micro-certificate that can be promoted within their ePortfolio or on LinkedIn.

Module 6 resources have been developed for a number of key FRPP Employers: Gerrie Electric, Hamilton Health Sciences, KF Aerospace, L3Harris, Lawrie Insurance Group, Mohawk College, Stelco, Thrive Group, and Walters Group. More employers will be added to the Module 6 library, as they become available.

PXL_20230209_201732282FRPP in the classroom

Many of the “soft skills” being addressed by the FRPP student career modules are important elements of successful work performance in many careers and a growing number of professors have recognized the benefit this training can have. Elements of the FRPP Student Micro-Certificate have been incorporated into a number of programs in the college.

Students in programs from Early Childhood Education and the Digital Health Degree are now learning key elements of these important skills in their classes.

“Employers regularly stress the importance of soft skills in their hiring choices”, said Joe Varrasso, a professor in the Digital Health programs at Mohawk College. “Recently, a prominent local employer told my class that his organization was not interested in hiring people who lacked the soft skills to work and grow with the team regardless of their capabilities.  My students responded to this message and are appreciating and enjoying the training that they are getting”

More than 1500 students have enrolled in the micro-certificate, and over 110 students have completed the entire program and received their micro-certificates. With greater awareness and more integration in different college courses, the hope is that most students will explore the modules and thousands more will pursue the micro-certificate.

Student-Employer Networking Opportunities

FRPP event 2In addition to the co-curricular Future Ready Premium Program Student Micro-Certificate, FRPP provides students with opportunities to meet in person with participating employers at special events.

In February, for example, more than 90 people gathered in The Arnie at Fennell Campus to learn The Art of Career Networking with keynote speaker Fatima DiValentin. The students and alumni who attended heard an engaging presentation from a respected presenter and were then able to put that advice to the test, spending time meeting representatives from 10 FRPP employers. It created a unique opportunity for one-on-one conversations with potential employers who were keen to find talented new employees.

FRPP employers regularly attend Mohawk College-hosted job fairs and Meet the Grad events and post co-op and placement opportunities. Many also have representatives on the Program Advisory Committees at the college, helping to keep the courses current and job-focused.

Each event allows students to learn more about potential employers and better understand what it would be like to work for them. At the same time, many of those employers are actively seeking talented employees to join their teams.

Across the region and far beyond, employers need professional, motivated workers who can smoothly settle into their organizations.

The FRPP Student Micro-Certificate provides Mohawk College Future Ready graduates with sought-after skills to help them stand out in their fields.

And the Future Ready Premium Program paves a direct pathway from college to career, benefiting everyone involved.

Learn more about the Future Ready Premium Program and how students can get involved with the FRPP Student Micro-Certificate program.