Insurance Business Toronto Financial Services Alliance launches initiative to create work opportunities

Toronto Financial Services Alliance launches initiative to create work opportunities A new pilot program spearheaded by the Toronto Financial Services Alliance (TFSA) aims to help post-secondary students find and secure jobs in the financial sector, including in insurance.

The ASPIRE initiative hopes to create 10,000 new work-integrated learning opportunities for students by the end of 2020. It has been designed by the TFSA with the cooperation of 10 financial services employers  (Aviva Canada, BMO, CIBC, Intact Financial Corporation, OMERS, RBC, Scotiabank, Sun Life Financial, TD Bank Group, and TMX Group) and seven academic institutions across Ontario (George Brown College, Northeastern University – Toronto campus, Queen’s University, Ryerson University, Seneca College, University of Toronto, and University of Waterloo).

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“As the financial services sector continues to reinvent itself in response to dramatic technological disruption, our employer members are telling us that there is an increasing number of new positions waiting to be filled,” TFSA president and CEO Janet Ecker said at the event. “At the same time, our academic members tell us that bright, highly-skilled graduates are finding it hard to find jobs.  It’s our job to help bridge the gap.  ASPIRE can do that by giving students opportunities to become more work-ready through actual hands-on experience.”

“Our sector has led the charge for work-integrated learning for many years,” added RBC president and CEO Dave McKay. “And this initiative will see an acceleration in our support at a time when young people need access to experiential learning more than ever. Work-integrated learning improves the value of education and it increases innovation. Above all, it is a huge social leveler, building networks and providing access to students from all backgrounds to the world of work.”

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“Blending higher education and practical work experience prepares the next generation and accelerates career growth.  Students are exposed to new ideas and job opportunities and companies gain new thinking and talent,” commented BMO Financial chief talent & learning officer Mona Malone.

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