The Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal

Businesses mobilizing against early school leaving: inspirational programs!

Businesses mobilizing against early school leaving: some inspirational programs!

According to Emploi-Québec, young people now in school will account for 56% of the labour pool for 2015-2024. The success of these students is not only essential for them personally; it is also fundamental for the development of society and business.

Many members of the Québec business community want to contribute to the academic success of young people and ensure we have skilled workers for the future, so they have decided to get involved.

How are they going about it?

In the coming weeks, we will present different ways to take action for this important issue for our society:

  1. Creating business-driven intervention programs.
  2. Forming partnerships to support organizations that educate young people.
  3. Taking direct, simple action in schools (e.g.: volunteering, speaking, etc.).

We hope that the cases we present will inspire companies to follow suit and support students. This week, we present two companies that have developed their own programs, with very promising results.

Cirque du Soleil’s Arts Nomades

For the past 10 years, this community program, created by Cirque du Soleil, has been running in Saint-Michel, where it now has every primary school involved. Using arts and culture, the program fosters well-being, integration, the sense of belonging to a school, school retention and academic success among over 900 students and their teachers.

Arts Nomades offers students a chance to express themselves through fine arts, circus and dance workshops. It also lets them experience the stage through arts events and explore cultural venues. This program will be enhanced this year: it will offer arts activities to all students.

According to Anik Couture, Cirque du Soleil’s head of social action, over the years we have seen the arts make a significant impact on relationships between young people, teachers and families from participating schools.

Osedea programming school

Saint-Henri is booming, but it still has one of the highest dropout rates in the Montréal area. Martin Coulombe and his team from the start-up Osedea wanted to change that.

To do so, the custom web and mobile app development firm founded a programming school in partnership with the École polyvalente Saint-Henri. It hosts students for 12 weeks, and Osedea provides all the equipment necessary. The company’s employees volunteer their time as trainers.

The results are promising, according to Ivana Markovic, marketing and operations manager. Fifty percent of participants have decided to study multimedia at CÉGEP. Since 2015, there have been two editions of the Osedea programming school, and the company wants to see its initiative grow in the coming years.

Other examples of businesses getting involved coming soon

In next week’s newsletter, you can learn about other companies that have decided to take action for school retention through programs developed by youth organizations.

As Confucius said, “The man who moves a mountain, begins by carrying away small stones.”