The Haliburton Highlands Chamber of Commerce is bringing forward a new program to help local businesses tap into student and graduate talent from across the country.

Through the Chamber Partnership Initiative, the local chamber is partnering with Magnet, a Ryerson University digital job platform. With the program announced Nov. 11, businesses can access young talent from across the country. Also, the platform will allow businesses to access wage subsidies with the federal Student Work Placement Program (SWPP), offering up to $7,500 to organizations when they hire Canadian post-secondary students for integrated learning experiences.

Chamber executive director, Jennifer Locke, said the platform fills a need, allowing employers to easily search for workers with the right qualifications.

“It’s really quite all-encompassing,” Locke said. “The platform is really sophisticated in that it provides – when you submit the job – exactly how many qualified applicants will be personally invited (to apply).”

Besides enabling access to job seekers, the platform also provides employers with tools to make more diverse hires. It also offers business growth information from partners such as the Business Development Bank of Canada.

“The combination of a national recruitment platform and the SWPP wage subsidy will be an important lifeline for our members,” chamber president, Andrea Strano, said.

Locke said the platform helps build youth experience but can also get businesses qualified people from outside the community.

“Imagine getting someone out of a heavy-equipment operating course and they end up relocating to the area and they’re a 20-year employee,” she said. “It could be a significant way of getting an influx of people that are skilled.”

Locke said they plan to do a virtual walkthrough of the platform with members Dec. 8. She said the uptake has been strong so far, especially from local non-profits.

“Non-profits are excited because it will allow for them to have more hours than they would have been able to budget for,” Locke said. “They can see the value-add.”


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