VICTORIA, B.C – Post-secondary students in B.C will get more co-op opportunities with new provincial funding.

A $9 million investment in co-op and work-integrated learning will help students gain real-life and relevant work experience.

Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training, Melanie Mark announced the funding Monday, and says it will play an important role in getting students a foot in the door.

“Last year’s investment of $75,000 to all 25 public-post secondary institutions went a long way,” said Mark.

“This $9 million investment will substantially increase the number of opportunities for students to get the experience they need for in-demand careers close to home.”

The government says funding will support better opportunities for students who are currently under-represented in co-op and work integrated learning, including Indigenous students and students with disabilities.

The B.C. Labour Market Outlook forecasts that over the next decade, there will be more than 900,000 job openings that will need to be filled.

Of those job openings, 77 per cent of them will require some level of post-secondary education or training.