FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MARCH 3, 2021
HALIFAX – The 2021 BEST conference (Building Employment Skills for Successful Transitions) is taking on a new look this year—it will be held virtually in keeping with provincial safety guidelines around COVID-19. The conference provides pre-employment services, supports, and training for international students, giving them the tools, resources, and contacts needed to build successful careers in Nova Scotia.
On March 6, the 2021 conference will host upwards of 500 international students and feature remarks from the Government of Canada and the provincial Department of Labour and Advanced Education. “International students bring new ideas and perspectives that strengthen the cultural diversity of our communities and complement Atlantic Canada’s skilled workforce. We are committed to providing students with tools, knowledge and connections that will help them as they transition from student to professional,” said René Arseneault, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages.
Quality e-learning and online content delivery take a massive amount of upfront planning and work. Guided by data gathered from needs assessments, the conference will incorporate workshops, networking opportunities, interactive online chats, gamification, and student-centred breakout sessions. “A key to delivering effective online education is creating means for engagement and inclusivity. We find relevant topics and themes that are of interest to international students and allow them to share their own experiences and listen to those of others,” explains Jennifer Wesman, Retention Manager for the Atlantic Canada Study and StayTM Program.
Retaining international students after graduation is a priority for the province. This year 1,018 international graduates who have chosen to live in Nova Scotia after their studies have been approved, a significant increase from 35 in 2014. “Nova Scotia values the different perspectives, new ideas, and important contributions international students bring to our province. A growing number of international graduates are choosing to stay and build their lives here, and the BEST conference is an excellent support as they transition from study to work. I wish the participants great success,” says the Honourable Lena Metlege Diab, Q.C., Minister of Nova Scotia’s Departments of Labour and Advanced Education, Immigration & Population Growth, and Ministre des Affaires acadiennes et de la Francophonie.
Preparing students for the labour market increases their likelihood of securing a job in Nova Scotia and ultimately staying in the province post-graduation. The 2021 virtual BEST conference demonstrates EduNova and Nova Scotia’s ongoing commitment to building a province where newcomers are welcomed, celebrated and supported.
Date: March 6, 2021
Time: 9:00 am – 5:30 pm AST
The BEST conference is supported by the Government of Canada through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), the Province of Nova Scotia, the Halifax Partnership, EduNova, Acadia University, Dalhousie University, Mount Saint Vincent University, Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) and Saint Mary’s University.
EduNova Co-operative Ltd. is a non-profit association of Nova Scotia education providers focused on collaborative recruitment, student retention and the internationalization of the student experience.
Nicole Johnson Morrison