Sustainable Development Goals put in action by UVic Co-op and Career

The Social Development Goals icons.

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a priority at the University of Victoria. At their core, the SDGs are about ending poverty and inequality and providing opportunity and support for all.

Here are the initiatives, programs and experiences facilitated through UVic’s Co-op and Career team that align with and contribute to the SDGs. We’ve also included hands-on learning opportunities that have taken place through the co-op program where SDGs have been addressed.

Additionally, we've reported on how co-op employers are engaging with the SDGs, as well as how many employers identify that co-op students working with their organizations are contributing to SDG goals. You'll find specific information for each SDG below. We've also included the overall report here.

Of 2,264 employer organizations who responded to our survey between May 2018 and December 2020, the following percentage of employers are actively working to support the 17 SDGs.

Employer chart

Within these organizations, the following percentage of employers believed that co-op students' work was contributed to projects related to the SDGs.

Student chart

SDG 1: No poverty

SDG 1 - No poverty

UVic Co-op and Career activities related to SDG 1 (May 2018 to December 2020)

Initiatives and programs facilitated by UVic Co-op and Career that support SDG 1

  • Goal 1.4: Community anti-poverty programs:
  • Goal 1.4.2: Local start-up financial assistance:
    • UVic's Strategic Framework Experiential Learning Fund (SF-ELF) is administered through UVic Co-op and Career and provides financial support to financially and socially sustainable businesses to hire co-op students. Funding for employers includes a wage subsidy for not-for-profits and Indigenous community organizations to cover a portion of the cost of hiring a co-op student for a work term (up to $5,000).

  • Goal 1.4.3: Programs for services access:
    • In 2020, Co-op and Career partnered with UVic's CanAssist team to launch the CanWork pilot program, an employment program that supports UVIC students who identify as having a disability or mental health challenges as they engage in meaningful, paid, degree-related work experience during their degrees and develop tools for long-term success. Through the program, job coaches support participants while on their work sites, helping students master their tasks, achieve independence and contribute to the workplace. As part of this program, participants’ employment readiness is measured pre- and post-employment. The pilot program has led to a full-time program for 2021.
    • The Indigenous Co-op Program at UVic is a partnership between Co-op and Career and the Office of Indigenous Academic & Community Engagement. This experiential learning program provides culturally relevant co-op work term opportunities to Indigenous students at UVic, which has resulted in an increase in the number of Indigenous students taking part. A dedicated Indigenous co-op coordinator works closely with students to support them through the process, including by coordinating mock interview clinics and career fairs for Indigenous students.
    • All students and employers are provided with information about Equity, Diversion and Inclusion in the workplace. Employers are required to provide support related to EDI in the workplace.

  • Goal 1.4.4: Policy making:
    • Co-op students work for municipal, provincial and federal government agencies, often contributing to research that informs social policy.

SDG 1 in the workplace

UVic co-op students work closely with employers in a range of industries each year. Co-op and Career surveys employers about how their work supports the UN SDGs. Of the 2,264 employer organizations who responded to the survey between May 2018 and December 2020, 163 employer organizations (or 7%) were actively working to support UN SDG 1. Within these organizations, 77 employers (or 3%) believed that co-op students' work contributed to projects related to the UN SDG 1.

UVic co-op student experiences actively addressing SDG 1

The following co-op students were profiled for their co-op work experiences that relate to SDG 1:

  • UVic's award-winning Indigenous International Work-Integrated Learning Exchance Program connects Indigenous students studying at UVic with co-op work terms with Indigenous centres at universities in Australia and New Zealand. This program was recognized by the Canadian Bureau of International Education (CBIE) in 2019, when it was awarded the Panorama Award. The program also received the 2019 British Columbia Council for Internaiontal Education (BCCIE)'s Award for Outstanding Program in International Education.
  • Indigenous studies major joins the team at the First Peoples' Cultural Council: When Kevin Perkins graduates next year, he will have more than a year of hands-on experience in his area of study—and a good chance of a full-time job offer. The UVic Indigenous studies major is wrapping up three co-operative education work terms with the First Peoples’ Cultural Council (FPCC), a First Nations-run Crown Corporation that supports the revitalization of Indigenous languages, culture and heritage in BC. Aligns with 1.4.2 as an example of programming that leads to improved access to culturally relevant hands-on learning as part of the post-secondary experience.
  • Lisa Schnitzler completed a co-op work term in Melbourne, Australia where she was a member of the Policy and Impact team within the Office of Indigenous Education and Engagement at RMIT. She conducted research in regards to reconciliation at the university and had the opportunity to sit in meetings focused on strategic planning at RMIT. This work term was facilitiated through UVic's award-winning Indigenous International Work-Integrated Learning Exchange program. Aligns with 1.4.2 as an example of programming that leads to improved access to culturally relevant hands-on learning as part of the post-secondary experience.
  • Co-op student Sydney Moore was hired as a visiting Métis scholar at Walanga Muru at Macquarie University on the territory of the Wattamattagal people of the Darug Nation. As part of her role, Moore was responsible for running cultural knowledge sharing workshops, completing administrative tasks, and assisting with the facilitation of mini-university camps. As a Métis person with Anishinaabe, Cree and French ancestry, who was born and raised on the unceded territories of Lekwungen and WSÁNEĆ peoples, Moore was excited to work with Indigenous communities on the other side of the world. This work term was facilitiated through UVic's award-winning Indigenous International Work-Integrated Learning Exchange program. Aligns with 1.4.2 as an example of programming that leads to improved access to culturally relevant hands-on learning as part of the post-secondary experience.
  • UVic Indigenous studies and environmental studies student Hannah Gentes put her double major to use while working as an Environmental and Social Analyst with Two Worlds Consulting. The Indigenous environmental and social consultancy provides impact assessment and community engagement services to government organizations, industry and Indigenous Nations. Aligns with 1.4.2 as an example of programming that leads to improved access to culturally relevant hands-on learning as part of the post-secondary experience.
  • Chloe, a third-year biology student, shared her experience of participating in CanWork in this Facebook post written by Co-op and Career. Aligns with 1.4.2 as an example of programming that leads to improved access to career development for students who identify as having a disability.
  • Several students are featured in this video about CanWork and TeenWork that speaks about the importance of supporting students who identify as having a disability to gain hands-on work experience. Aligns with 1.4.2 as an example of programming that leads to improved access to career development for students who identify as having a disability

The following co-op experiences were shared by UVic co-op students through the 2020 Co-op Photo Contest and include experiences that took place between September 2019 and August 2020. We are not able to share individual URLs here because of the gallery mechanism, but you can find the corresponding entries by using the numbering system that follows each bullet and matching it to the page and number in the 2020 photo gallery.

  • During the COVID-19 pandemic, many vulnerable populations were left without adequate support to keep safe, clean properly, and socially distance. One of those populations are local individuals who are homeless. On the frontline of a crisis like this, it is important to take all precautions and follow all recommended guidelines to keep you and the people you serve safe. Photo 1 of 12 on page 1. Aligns with 1.4.4 as an example of experiences that improve access to basic services for all.
  • This summer I have had the amazing opportunity as a co-op student to work as a community and youth support worker for Sci'anew (Beecher Bay) First Nation in Sooke. One of my roles was to teach the youth about the importance of food security and support them in maintaining and beautifying a community garden. Photo 10 of 12 on page 4. Aligns with 1.4.4 as an example of experiences that improve access to basic services for all.
  • This authentic made possum-skin cloak, is common amongst Indigenous Australia as the carvings burned on the inside of the skin share historical stories related to world creation, war, and morale in community. I was lucky to have the opportunity to work with the Indigenous community in Sydney, Australia. Photo 5 of 12 on page 4. Aligns with 1.4.2 as an example of programming that leads to improved access to culturally relevant hands-on learning as part of the post-secondary experience.

SDG 2: Zero hunger

SDG 1 - Zero hunger

UVic Co-op and Career activities related to SDG 2 (May 2018 to December 2020)

Initiatives and programs facilitated by UVic Co-op and Career that support SDG 2

SDG 2 in the workplace

UVic co-op students work closely with employers in a range of industries each year. Co-op and Career surveys employers about how their work supports the UN SDGs. Of the 2,264 employer organizations who responded to the survey between May 2018 and December 2020, 128 employer organizations (or 6%) were actively working to support UN SDG 2. Within these organizations, 71 employers (or 3%) believed that co-op students' work contributed to projects related to the UN SDG 2.

UVic co-op student experiences actively addressing SDG 2

The following co-op students were profiled for their co-op work experiences that relate to SDG 2:

  • Asiyah Robinson is a UVic co-op alumna who served as a World Partnership Walk Day volunteer and then a leader on the core team. As the Director of Youth Engagement with the Walk, Asiyah endeavoured to create a space for international students to feel welcome and engaged. “I love approaching other youth, helping them to feel settled, and empowering them to have an impact on a global scale.” Aligns with 2.5.1 as an example of work experience that provides access to students to develop food security knowledge.
  • At Topsoil Innovative Urban Agriculture, University of Victoria environmental studies and sociology student Jess Ash put her knowledge of food production and community-building to use. The co-op student worked as a production assistant and helped to grow and sell fresh, local produce at Topsoil’s downtown farm and market. As a UVic alumnus, TOPSOIL owner and operator Chris Hildreth is passionate about the community-building potential of the co-op program. “There are so many amazing young people like Jess who are eager to learn and work hard,” he says. “It’s up to the business community to provide opportunities for young people to pursue their career goals. Co-op helps to facilitate that.” Aligns with 2.5.1 as an example of work experience that provides access to students to develop food security knowledge.
  • Biochemistry co-op student Yunkun Li gained real-world experience at the Agassiz Research and Development Centre of Agriculture and Agri-food Canada, working with renowned research scientist Dr. Aimé Messiga. Together, they create soil and nutrient improvements leading to better crop yields, more sustainable practices and environmental protection. Aligns with 2.5.1 as an example of work experience that provides access to students to develop food security knowledge.
  • UVic professors Paul Schur, Amy Verdun and Merwin Engineer were the faculty champions of the 2018 World Partnership Walk, and UVic student volunteers were key coordinators of the event. Aligns with 2.5.1 as an example of work experience that provides access to students to develop food security knowledge.

The following co-op experiences were shared by UVic co-op students through the 2020 Co-op Photo Contest and include experiences that took place between September 2019 and August 2020. We are not able to share individual URLs here because of the gallery mechanism, but you can find the corresponding entries by using the numbering system that follows each bullet and matching it to the page and number in the 2020 photo gallery.

  • This summer I have had the amazing opportunity as a co-op student to work as a community and youth support worker for Sci'anew (Beecher Bay) First Nation in Sooke. One of my roles was to teach the youth about the importance of food security and support them in maintaining and beautifying a community garden. Photo 10 of 12 on page 4. Aligns with 2.5.1 as an example of work experience that provides access to students and community to develop food security knowledge.

SDG 3: Good health and well-being

SDG 3 - Good health and well-being

UVic Co-op and Career activities related to SDG 3 (May 2018 to December 2020)

Initiatives and programs facilitated by UVic Co-op and Career that support SDG 3

  • Goal 3.3.1: Collaboration with health institutions: UVic Co-op has built strong relationships with provincial government in the health information science sector to help address the health and well-being of our communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Goal 3.3.2: Health Outreach programs: UVic Co-op and Career supports the World Partnership Walk each year to engage the community to fight global poverty and educate about global food security. Thanks to the work of UVic faculty champions, the university raises more than any other post-secondary institution towards this goal. UVic students are able to volunteer to organize the UVic walk; through this experience they learn about Aga Khan Foundation Canada (the organization that facilitates the walk) programs that address food security. Volunteers are also able to gain Co-Curricular Record credit at UVic for this experience. Here's a profile of a faculty champion.

SDG 3 in the workplace

UVic co-op students work closely with employers in a range of industries each year. Co-op and Career surveys employers about how their work supports the UN SDGs. Of the 2,264 employer organizations who responded to the survey between May 2018 and December 2020, 641 employer organizations (or 28%) were actively working to support UN SDG 3. Within these organizations, 432 employers (or 19%) believed that co-op students' work contributed to projects related to the UN SDG 3.

UVic co-op student experiences actively addressing SDG 3

The following co-op students were profiled for their co-op work experiences that relate to SDG 3:

  • In the summer of 2020, UVic biology and psychology student Sarah Jones wasn’t afraid to get her hands dirty. As a hand hygiene ambassador for Island Health, the co-op student was hired to promote and analyze hand hygiene processes in Greater Victoria. Jones was part of the Infection Prevention and Control team, which has been working to improve patients’ quality of care and to support healthcare workers. She performed close to 1,500 hand hygiene observations at three different Island Health sites. Aligns with 3.3.1 as an example of an experience that demonstrates local collaboration related to improving health and well-being outcomes. Aligns with 3.3.2 as an example of an experience that actively supports health outreach programs.
  • UVic computer science and health information co-op student Yichun Zhao worked at AOT Technologies in Victoria, where he helped build a computer program used by Service BC to
    manage the complicated process followed by people who have returned to the
    province during COVID-19. Aligns with 3.3.1 as an example of an experience that demonstrates local collaboration related to improving health and well-being outcomes. Aligns with 3.3.2 as an example of an experience that actively supports health outreach programs.
  • Engineering co-op student Darian Langler was hired by Starfish Medical to help quickly design, develop and produce 30,000 reliable, cost-effective ventilators in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Aligns with 3.3.1 as an example of an experience that demonstrates local collaboration related to improving health and well-being outcomes. Aligns with 3.3.2 as an example of an experience that actively supports health outreach programs.

The following co-op experiences were shared by UVic co-op students through the 2020 Co-op Photo Contest and include experiences that took place between September 2019 and August 2020. We are not able to share individual URLs here because of the gallery mechanism, but you can find the corresponding entries by using the numbering system that follows each bullet and matching it to the page and number in the 2020 photo gallery.

  • I had an incredible experience working at a wheelchair manufacturing company for the past 8 months. Here, we are testing the drum brake components on a wheelchair. I have been working on the drum brake project for the last 4 months. It gives me immense joy to know that everyday I am working towards making some people's lives better! Photo 6 of 12 on page 1. Aligns with 3.3.2 as an example of an experience where students contribute to health outreach programs.
  • Before and after! My co-op has been with the Bike to Work Society, a non-profit in Victoria that works to encourage commuter cycling in the community and to teach cycling and traffic skills. This summer, the organization developed the ""Neighbourhood Rides"" Program, where cyclists are invited to try scavenger hunts and discovery rides in every neighbourhood around the Greater Victoria area. Photo 5 of 12 on page 6. Aligns with 3.3.2 as an example of an experience where students contribute to health outreach programs.
  • This summer, I had the privilege to work for the BC Mobility Opportunity Society (BCMOS) as a paddling coordinator. This photo was taken of myself and a client (who gave their permission to be photographed) during a paddling session at False Creek, Vancouver, while paddling on one of our adapted paddle boards. Our adapted paddling program offers modified kayaks and paddle boards with optimal support and balance for clients who have a disability. I have loved building close, meaningful connections with the clients and coworkers and hope to work with BCMOS again. Photo 4 of 12 on page 4. Aligns with 3.3.2 as an example of an experience where students contribute to health outreach programs.
  • I am a Support Worker - supporting a child with extra needs to integrate them into their summer camp. I have been very lucky to be able to explore many new places / activities during this co-op! This photo was taken at WildPlay, where the kids along with the staff were able to go through the ropes course one sunny afternoon. Because of this experience I have decided to change my career path to go into pediatric physiotherapy to work with kids! Photo 4 of 12 on page 6. Aligns with 3.3.2 as an example of an experience where students contribute to health outreach programs.

SDG 4: Quality education

SDG 4 - Good education

UVic Co-op and Career activities related to SDG 4 (May 2018 to December 2020)

Initiatives and programs facilitated by UVic Co-op and Career that support SDG 4

SDG 4 in the workplace

UVic co-op students work closely with employers in a range of industries each year. Co-op and Career surveys employers about how their work supports the UN SDGs. Of the 2,264 employer organizations who responded to the survey between May 2018 and December 2020, 418 co-op employer organizations (or 18%) were actively working to support UN SDG 4. Within these organizations, 296 employers (or 13%) believed that co-op students' work contributed to projects related to the UN SDG 4.

UVic co-op student experiences actively addressing SDG 4

The following co-op students were profiled for their co-op work experiences that relate to SDG 4:

  • Lauren Frost shares a blog post on MyUVicLife that highlights the advantages of attending a career-related event at UVic. Aligns with 4.3.3 as an example of an experience where students can take part in vocational training events.
  • Over the past five years, Used.ca has hired over a dozen UVic co-op students. Most recently, Used.ca welcomed commerce student Nick Head as a marketing assistant, and his background in information technology has proven to be extremely valuable to the company. Head's supervisor is a huge advocate for the co-op program. “At the end of each term, I’m amazed by how much I’ve learned from our students,” she says. “We mentor them in the early days of their careers and, in return, they help us become better leaders.” Aligns with 4.3.4 as an example of an experience that supports lifelong learning in the workplace.
  • Peek into the offices of The Downtown Victoria Business Association (DVBA) and you’ll feel the palpable energy. As a non-profit organization whose mandate is to support businesses in downtown Victoria, there’s always something going on. For the past two years, DVBA has been welcoming University of Victoria co-operative education (co-op) students to the team. At the DVBA, students contribute to marketing operations including social media, event and festival planning, writing, blogging and interacting with business owners. DVBA Marketing Manager Anne-Sophie Dumetz is a big advocate of the program. “It’s wonderful to work with co-op students who are interested in applying their studies and learning new things,” she says. “I was a co-op student and this is also my way of paying it forward.” Aligns with 4.3.4 as an example of an experience where students engage in community outreach.

Student experiences gained through the WACE Global Challenge

The WACE Global Challenge is an experiential learning project that connects student teams from across the world with organisations to create sustainable impact initiatives. In 2020, UVic students participated in team-based projects addressing several SDGs. This aligns with 4.3.4 as an example of educational outreach activities beyond campus.

SDG 5: Gender equality

SDG 5 - Gender equality

UVic Co-op and Career activities related to SDG 5 (May 2018 to December 2020)

Initiatives and programs facilitated by UVic Co-op and Career that support SDG 5

  • Goal 5.6.8: Policies protecting those reporting discrimination: All students and employers are provided with information about Equity, Diversion and Inclusion in the workplace. Employers are required to provide support related to EDI in the workplace
  • Goal 5.3.1: Women's access schemes: UVic Co-op and Career supports the World Partnership Walk each year to engage the community to fight global poverty and educate about global food security. Thanks to the work of UVic faculty champions, the university raises more than any other post-secondary institution towards this goal. UVic students are able to volunteer to organize the UVic walk; through this experience they learn about Aga Khan Foundation Canada (the organization that facilitates the walk) programs that address food security. Volunteers are also able to gain Co-Curricular Record credit at UVic for this experience. Here's a profile of a faculty champion.

SDG 5 in the workplace

UVic co-op students work closely with employers in a range of industries each year. Co-op and Career surveys employers about how their work supports the UN SDGs. Of the 2,264 employer organizations who responded to the survey between May 2018 and December 2020, 467 co-op employer organizations (or 21%) were actively working to support UN SDG 5. Within these organizations, 206 employers (or 9%) believed that co-op students' work contributed to projects related to the UN SDG 5.

SDG 6: Clean water and sanitation

SDG 1 - Clean water

UVic Co-op and Career activities related to SDG 6 (May 2018 to December 2020)

Initiatives and programs facilitated by UVic Co-op and Career that support SDG 6

SDG 6 in the workplace

UVic co-op students work closely with employers in a range of industries each year. Co-op and Career surveys employers about how their work supports the UN SDGs. Of the 2,264 employer organizations who responded to the survey between May 2018 and December 2020, 259 co-op employer organizations (or 11%) were actively working to support UN SDG 6. Within these organizations, 127 employers (or 6%) believed that co-op students' work contributed to projects related to the UN SDG 6.

UVic co-op student experiences actively addressing SDG 6

The following co-op students were profiled for their co-op work experiences that relate to SDG 6:

  • Geography student Nhan (Young) Nguyen spent a co-op term with the Comox Valley Project Watershed, working with a marine conservation project as a field and research assistant. “My role was to research, survey and identify potential spawning habitats of forage fish, namely Pacific Sand Lance and Surf Smelt in the northern Salish Sea,” he says. “On top of literature research, I developed a GIS predictive model to narrow down potential sampling sites, conducted survey sampling and coordinated volunteers.” Aligns with 6.5.5. as an example of experiences that cooperate with local, regional, national and global governments on water security.

The following co-op experiences were shared by UVic co-op students through the 2020 Co-op Photo Contest and include experiences that took place between September 2019 and August 2020. We are not able to share individual URLs here because of the gallery mechanism, but you can find the corresponding entries by using the numbering system that follows each bullet and matching it to the page and number in the 2020 photo gallery.

  • Using the Impact Method to measure the resonance of timber piles under a wharf in Sechelt. By measuring the resonance with natural audio receptors piles that are hollow (High Resonance) are identified and scheduled for replacement. Piles are a delicious snack for Marine Borers and are coated in Creosote to protect them from landing on the menu, however only the exterior of the pile is protected. The vulnerability of the core of the pile to hungry mollusks and crustaceans leads to piles becoming hollow and diminished structural capacity. Photo 9 of 12 on page 3. Aligns with 6.5.5. as an example of experiences that cooperate with local, regional, national and global governments on water security.
  • At Mowi Canada West I worked as a Sea Site Technician in the beautiful Phillips Arm. Our main focus at the farm is to ensure our fish are in good health. Here, I drove our boat up the inlet to collect water samples for conducting water quality, plankton, and dissolved oxygen tests. Photo 7 of 12 on page 1. Aligns with 6.5.5. as an example of experiences that cooperate with local, regional, national and global governments on water security.
  • Over the past 8 months I've had the privilege of working in Dr. Heather Buckley's Green Safe Water Lab at the University of Victoria. I have been working on a research project that explores the use of green chemicals to treat biofilms, a form of solid bacteria. This research is important because biofilms hamper the process of reverse osmosis in treating wastewater and brackish water. If reverse osmosis can be optimized, it would be able to provide clean drinking water to millions of people around the world. Here, I am working in the biological safety cabinet, which enables a sterile space to be made, and decreases the spread of high-risk organisms. Photo 7 of 12 on page 5. Aligns with 6.5.5 as an example of experiences that cooperate with local, regional, national or global governments on water security.
  • Hosing down a plankton net used to catch... You guessed it- Plankton! (Zooplankton). These critters tell us a lot about the current patterns and productivity of marine ecosystems and are a key component of many larval fish and seabird diets! Photo 6 of 12 on page 6. Aligns with 6.5.5 as an example of experiences that cooperate with local, regional, national or global governments on water security.
  • Working for the DFO science team on board Canadian Coast Guard vessels, we conduct oceanographic surveys to monitor the health and productivity of Canada's Northeast Pacific Ocean. Held in my hand is a 'niskin' bottle used to trap water at a desired depth of the water column for subsequent sampling and analyses of various dissolved compounds such as Oxygen! Photo 7 of 12 on page 6. Aligns with 6.5.5 as an example of experiences that cooperate with local, regional, national or global governments on water security.
  • This summer I've been working as a Summer Educator at the Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea in Sidney, B.C. Here, I am interacting with our giant pacific octopus, Henry, who we named after our provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry! As a Summer Educator at the aquarium, my role gives me the opportunity to connect and educate with visitors on the local species that reside in the Salish Sea Bioregion. I am constantly learning so much on every shift and have been loving this co-op! Photo 1 of 9 on page 7. Aligns with 6.5.5 as an example of experiences that cooperate with local, regional, national or global governments on water security.

SDG 7: Affordable and clean energy

SDG 7 - Affordable and clean energy

UVic Co-op and Career activities related to SDG 7 (May 2018 to December 2020)

SDG 7 in the workplace

UVic co-op students work closely with employers in a range of industries each year. Co-op and Career surveys employers about how their work supports the UN SDGs. Of the 2,264 employer organizations who responded to the survey between May 2018 and December 2020, 319 co-op employer organizations (or 14%) were actively working to support UN SDG 7. Within these organizations, 185 employers (or 8%) believed that co-op students' work contributed to projects related to the UN SDG 7.

SDG 8: Decent work and economic growth

SDG 8 - Decent work and economic growth

UVic Co-op and Career activities related to SDG 8 (May 2018 to December 2019)

Initiatives and programs facilitated by UVic Co-op and Career that support SDG 8

  • Goal 8.4.1: Proportion of students taking part in work placements for more than a month: In 2020, 4,108 co-op placements were completed by UVic students, who earned an average of $3,075 per month. 32.1% of placements were in the public sectory and 67.9% were in the private sector. 1,280 different employers hired co-op students. Approximately 43% of eligible UVic students took part in co-op work terms. Annual Report 2019/20, page 4.
  • Goal 8.2.3: Employment policy on discrimination: All students and employers are provided with information about Equity, Diversion and Inclusion in the workplace. Employers are required to provide support related to EDI in the workplace

SDG 8 in the workplace

UVic co-op students work closely with employers in a range of industries each year. Co-op and Career surveys employers about how their work supports the UN SDGs. Of the 2,264 employer organizations who responded to the survey between May 2018 and December 2020, 413 co-op employer organizations (or 18%) were actively working to support UN SDG 8. Within these organizations, 252 employers (or 11%) believed that co-op students' work contributed to projects related to the UN SDG 8.

UVic co-op student experiences actively addressing SDG 8

The following co-op students were profiled for their co-op work experiences that relate to SDG 8:

  • Co-op and Career partners with Camosun to promote co-op as a hiring strategy for local employers through agreements with the Victoria Chamber of Commerce, Saanich Peninsula Chamber of Commerce and WestShore Chamber of Commerce. Staff attend outreach events to encourage Chamber members to hire students and students contribute to the local economy and often find full-time employment with Chamber members after graduation. The following story is an example of work that UVic students do while working for Chamber of Commerce members who are also co-op employers. Aligns with 8.4.1 as an example of an experience where students gain hands-on work experience for more than a month.
  • As a non-profit organization whose mandate is to support businesses in downtown Victoria, the Downtown Victoria Business Association is a key connector to the local economy. For the past two years, DVBA has been welcoming University of Victoria co-operative education (coop) students to the team. At the DVBA, students contribute to marketing operations including social media, event and festival planning, writing, blogging and interacting with business owners. DVBA Marketing Manager Anne-Sophie Dumetz is a big advocate of the program. “It’s wonderful to work with co-op students who are interested in applying their studies and learning new things,” she says. “I was a co-op student and this is also my way of paying it forward.” Aligns with 8.4.1 as an example of an experience where students gain hands-on work experience for more than a month.
  • All of the co-op student stories and photo contest entries from SDG 1-17 (listed throughout this page) support goal 8.4.1.

Student experiences gained through the WACE Global Challenge

The WACE Global Challenge is an experiential learning project that connects student teams from across the world with organisations to create sustainable impact initiatives. In 2020, UVic students participated in team-based projects addressing several SDGs. This aligns with SDG 8 as an example of educational opportunities related to decent work and economic growth.

SDG 9: Industry, innovation and infrastructure

SDG 9 - Industry, innovation and infrastructure

UVic Co-op and Career activities related to SDG 9 (May 2018 to December 2019)

Initiatives and programs facilitated by UVic Co-op and Career that support SDG 9

  • Goal 9: Co-op and Career work closely with the Student Work Placement Program (SWPP) through the Government of Canada to help employers secure funding that allows them to hire UVic co-op students in a range of industries. These hands-on experience are vital for connecting students with innovative industries; the organizations in turn benefit from students' knowledge and skill

SDG 9 in the workplace

UVic co-op students work closely with employers in a range of industries each year. Co-op and Career surveys employers about how their work supports the UN SDGs. Of the 2,264 employer organizations who responded to the survey between May 2018 and December 2020, 601 co-op employer organizations (or 27%) were actively working to support UN SDG 9. Within these organizations, 416 employers (or 18%) believed that co-op students' work contributed to projects related to the UN SDG 9.

Student experiences gained through the WACE Global Challenge

The WACE Global Challenge is an experiential learning project that connects student teams from across the world with organisations to create sustainable impact initiatives. In 2020, UVic students participated in team-based projects addressing several SDGs. This aligns with 4.3.4 as an example of students working to support industry, innovation and infrastructure.

SDG 10: Reduced inequalities

SDG 10 - Reduced inequality

UVic Co-op and Career activities related to SDG 10 (May 2018 to December 2020)

Initiatives and programs facilitated by UVic Co-op and Career that support SDG 10

  • Goal 10.6.3: Support for underrepresented groups AND Goal 10.6.8: Disability support services AND Goal 10.6.10: Disability accommodation policy. 
    • Co-op and Career works closely with the Centre for Accessible Learning to ensure that students, alumni and employers who attend our in-person and virtual events have access to accessible support, including American Sign Language interpreters. See an example of this messaging.
    • In 2020, Co-op and Career partnered with UVic's CanAssist team to launch the CanWork pilot program, an employment program that supports UVIC students who identify as having a disability or mental health challenges as they engage in meaningful, paid, degree-related work experience during their degrees and develop tools for long-term success. Through the program, job coaches support participants while on their work sites, helping students master their tasks, achieve independence and contribute to the workplace. As part of this program, participants’ employment readiness is measured pre- and post-employment. The pilot program has led to a full-time program for 2021.
  • Goal 10.6.3: Support for underrepresented groups:

SDG 10 in the workplace

UVic co-op students work closely with employers in a range of industries each year. Co-op and Career surveys employers about how their work supports the UN SDGs. Of the 2,264 employer organizations who responded to the survey between May 2018 and December 2020, 340 co-op employer organizations (or 15%) were actively working to support UN SDG 10. Within these organizations, 175 employers (or 8%) believed that co-op students' work contributed to projects related to the UN SDG 10.

UVic co-op student experiences actively addressing SDG 10

The following co-op students were profiled for their co-op work experiences that relate to SDG 10:

  • Indigenous studies major joins the team at the First Peoples' Cultural Council: When Kevin Perkins graduates next year, he will have more than a year of hands-on experience in his area of study—and a good chance of a full-time job offer. The UVic Indigenous studies major is wrapping up three co-operative education work terms with the First Peoples’ Cultural Council (FPCC), a First Nations-run Crown Corporation that supports the revitalization of Indigenous languages, culture and heritage in BC. 
  • Aligns with 10.6.2 as an example of programming that provides experience to underrepresented groups.
  • Lisa Schnitzler completed a co-op work term in Melbourne, Australia where she was a member of the Policy and Impact team within the Office of Indigenous Education and Engagement at RMIT. She conducted research in regards to reconciliation at the university and had the opportunity to sit in meetings focused on strategic planning at RMIT. This work term was facilitiated through UVic's award-winning Indigenous International Work-Integrated Learning Exchange program.
  • Aligns with 10.6.2 as an example of programming that provides experience to underrepresented groups.
  • Co-op student Sydney Moore was hired as a visiting Métis scholar at Walanga Muru at Macquarie University on the territory of the Wattamattagal people of the Darug Nation. As part of her role, Moore was responsible for running cultural knowledge sharing workshops, completing administrative tasks, and assisting with the facilitation of mini-university camps. As a Métis person with Anishinaabe, Cree and French ancestry, who was born and raised on the unceded territories of Lekwungen and WSÁNEĆ peoples, Moore was excited to work with Indigenous communities on the other side of the world. This work term was facilitiated through UVic's award-winning Indigenous International Work-Integrated Learning Exchange program.
  • Aligns with 10.6.2 as an example of programming that provides experience to underrepresented groups.
  • UVic Indigenous studies and environmental studies student Hannah Gentes put her double major to use while working as an Environmental and Social Analyst with Two Worlds Consulting. The environmental and social consultancy provides impact assessment and community engagement services to government organizations, industry and Indigenous Nations. Aligns with 10.6.2 as an example of programming that provides experience to underrepresented groups.
  • Chloe, a third-year biology student, shared her experience of participating in CanWork in this Facebook post written by Co-op and Career. Aligns with 10.6.2 as an example of programming that provides experience to underrepresented groups.
  • Several students are featured in this video about CanWork and TeenWork that speaks about the importance of supporting students who identify as having a disability to gain hands-on work experience. Aligns with 10.6.2 as an example of programming that provides experience to underrepresented groups.

The following co-op experiences were shared by UVic co-op students through the 2020 Co-op Photo Contest and include experiences that took place between September 2019 and August 2020. We are not able to share individual URLs here because of the gallery mechanism, but you can find the corresponding entries by using the numbering system that follows each bullet and matching it to the page and number in the 2020 photo gallery.

  • This summer I have had the amazing opportunity as a co-op student to work as a community and youth support worker for Sci'anew (Beecher Bay) First Nation in Sooke. One of my roles was to teach the youth about the importance of food security and support them in maintaining and beautifying a community garden. Photo 10 of 12 on page 4. Aligns with 10.6.2 as an example of programming that provides experience to underrepresented groups.
  • This authentic made possum-skin cloak, is common amongst Indigenous Australia as the carvings burned on the inside of the skin share historical stories related to world creation, war, and morale in community. I was lucky to have the opportunity to work with the Indigenous community in Sydney, Australia. Photo 5 of 12 on page 4. Aligns with 10.6.2 as an example of programming that provides experience to underrepresented groups.

SDG 11: Sustainable cities and communities

SDG 10 - Reduced inequalities

UVic Co-op and Career activities related to SDG 11 (May 2018 to December 2020)

Initiatives and programs facilitated by UVic Co-op and Career that support SDG 11

  • Goal 11.4.2: Promote sustainable communiting: Co-op and Career staff support the Bike to Work Week initiative several times per year, with staff forming teams to encourage sustainable commuting. During the first 18 months of the pandemic staff were encouraged to work from home and in doing so contributed to a leap forward in sustainable commuting. Staff are now able to work from home 1 day from week, again contributing to sustainable communiting goals.
  • Goal 11.4.3: Allow remote working: By allowing staff to work from home 1 day a week, Co-op and Career is helping to reduce employee commuting.

SDG 11 in the workplace

UVic co-op students work closely with employers in a range of industries each year. Co-op and Career surveys employers about how their work supports the UN SDGs. Of the 2,264 employer organizations who responded to the survey between May 2018 and December 2020, 449 co-op employer organizations (or 20%) were actively working to support UN SDG 11. Within these organizations, 300 employers (or 13%) believed that co-op students' work contributed to projects related to the UN SDG 11.

UVic co-op student experiences actively addressing SDG 11

The following co-op students were profiled for their co-op work experiences that relate to SDG 10:

  • For 24 seasons Theatre SKAM has been welcoming University of Victoria co-operative education (co-op) students like Brendan Agnew into the production company. Agnew joined the team as a co-op student and is organizing and executing the SKAMpede festival and Concord Floral site-specific play. “I’m involved in the management of the festival, including working with artists, preparing site maps and permits and scheduling the weekend,” says Agnew. “My work includes overseeing the production schedule, organizing site infrastructure and managing relations with the venue owners.” “Students gain insight into our day-to-day operations and learn skills for producing professional live events,” says Matthew Payne, a founding member who took over as artistic producer in 2007. “They bring energy and enthusiasm and often improve on our ideas.” Aligns with 11.2.5 as an experience that suports contributions to local arts, theatre groups, etc. 
  • This summer at Winchester Galleries, University of Victoria art history and visual studies student Anahita Ranjbar (centre) is applying her academic knowledge to the professional art market. As a gallerist, the co-operative education (co-op) student is responsible for curating, documenting and advertising exhibitions. Anahita, an international student from Iran, is grateful for the experience Winchester Galleries has given her. “I’ve learned a lot about Canadian art history, different approaches to art in Canadian culture and the role of artists in Canadian society,” she says. Aligns with 11.2.3 as an experience that supports public access to museums, exhibition spaces, galleries, works of art and artefacts.

The following co-op experiences were shared by UVic co-op students through the 2020 Co-op Photo Contest and include experiences that took place between September 2019 and August 2020. We are not able to share individual URLs here because of the gallery mechanism, but you can find the corresponding entries by using the numbering system that follows each bullet and matching it to the page and number in the 2020 photo gallery.

  • This summer, I had the privilege to work for the BC Mobility Opportunity Society (BCMOS) as a paddling coordinator. This photo was taken of myself and a client (who gave their permission to be photographed) during a paddling session at False Creek, Vancouver, while paddling on one of our adapted paddle boards. Our adapted paddling program offers modified kayaks and paddle boards with optimal support and balance for clients who have a disability. I have loved building close, meaningful connections with the clients and coworkers and hope to work with BCMOS again. Photo 4 of 12 on page 4. Aligns with SDG 11 generally Sustainable Cities and Communities.
  • I worked as a Mechanical Designer co-op in a wheelchair manufacturing company during Spring and Summer 2020. Here, we were outdoor testing the seat belt components of a bariatric wheelchair (wheelchair designed for obese people) and the interactions with an endomorphic back with our bariatric functional testing dummy, Bob the bear. Note: Bob the bear gave his consent to upload this photo. Photo 2 of 12 on page 5. Aligns with SDG 11 generally Sustainable Cities and Communities.
  • I am a Support Worker - supporting a child with extra needs to integrate them into their summer camp. I have been very lucky to be able to explore many new places / activities during this co-op! This photo was taken at WildPlay, where the kids along with the staff were able to go through the ropes course one sunny afternoon. Because of this experience I have decided to change my career path to go into pediatric physiotherapy to work with kids! Photo 4 of 12 on page 6. Aligns with SDG 11 generally Sustainable Cities and Communities.

SDG 12: Responsible consumption and production

SDG 12 - Responsible consumption and production

UVic Co-op and Career activities related to SDG 12

Initiatives and programs facilitated by UVic Co-op and Career that support SDG 12

  • Goal 12.2.6: Policy for minimisation of disposable items: Co-op and Career has been actively reducing the number of printed publications and materials and shifting to digital whenever possible. This has included:
    • Creating QR codes to direct stakeholders to visit the Co-op and Career website for audience-specific information, rather than printing and distributing specialized publications.
    • Revising 200+ PDF resources and migrating the content to a web-based, user-driven digital widget that delivers information based on the stakeholders' program of interest, rather than printing and distributing printed versions.
    • Creating accessible versions of all remaining PDFs to encourage digital access.

SDG 12 in the workplace

UVic co-op students work closely with employers in a range of industries each year. Co-op and Career surveys employers about how their work supports the UN SDGs. Of the 2,264 employer organizations who responded to the survey between May 2018 and December 2020, 301 co-op employer organizations (or 13%) were actively working to support UN SDG 12. Within these organizations, 190 employers (or 8%) believed that co-op students' work contributed to projects related to the UN SDG 12.

SDG 13: Climate action

SDG 13 - Climate action

UVic Co-op and Career activities related to SDG 13 (in place by 2020)

SDG 13 in the workplace

UVic co-op students work closely with employers in a range of industries each year. Co-op and Career surveys employers about how their work supports the UN SDGs. Of the 2,264 employer organizations who responded to the survey between May 2018 and December 2020, 419 co-op employer organizations (or 19%) were actively working to support UN SDG 13. Within these organizations, 241 employers (or 11%) believed that co-op students' work contributed to projects related to the UN SDG 13.

UVic co-op student experiences actively addressing SDG 13

The following co-op students were profiled for their co-op work experiences that relate to SDG 13:

  • Andrea Kyfiuk (environmental studies) worked 2 back to back work terms with Environment Canada (EC) in Yellowknife from Sept 2018-May 2019 as a Northern Climate Services Analyst with the Canadian Center for Climate Services (CCCS) which is dedicated to providing Canadians with the information they need to adapt to climate change. That includes providing information and tools to local decision makers, academics, the public etc. She worked to aid in northern aspects of climate change, like permafrost maps, community planning, and climate monitoring. She participated in conferences, forums and meetings,  did research to help answer questions that were written to the CCCS website, and developed documents for Safety, and climate monitoring such as a best practices guide for weighing rain gauges. See the story here (under 2019).
  • Kate McKeown (biology) worked in the greenhouse at UVic watering and fertilizing plants and in Dr. Hawkins’ lab weighing and grinding plant tissue. My co-op time was also split with a soil scientist, Dr. Kranabetter, from the Ministry of Forests. I helped Dr. Kranabetter collect soil from several locations across southern Vancouver Island, run enzyme assays, core trees, count tree rings, and grind tree cores for nutrient analysis. See the story here (under 2019)
  • Natasha Moroz (geography and environmental studies co-op student) worked as a marketing and business development specialist for Nature Bee Beeswax wraps, a Victoria-based company that was founded by UVic alumna Katie Gamble. Born out of Gamble’s passion to reduce the amount of single-use plastic waste, Nature Bee produces a planet-friendly alternative that is reusable, contains antibacterial properties and helps keep food fresher for longer. “Having a co-op student has been incredible, says Gamble. “As a former co-op student myself, I saw the value of bringing in a new and unique perspective to Nature Bee—Natasha is making such a difference to my business.”

SDG 14: Life below water

SDG 14 - Life below water

UVic Co-op and Career activities related to SDG 14 (May 2018 to December 2020)

SDG 14 in the workplace

UVic co-op students work closely with employers in a range of industries each year. Co-op and Career surveys employers about how their work supports the UN SDGs. Of the 2,264 employer organizations who responded to the survey between May 2018 and December 2020, 176 co-op employer organizations (or 8%) were actively working to support UN SDG 14. Within these organizations, 112 co-op students (or 5%) believed that co-op students' work contributed to projects related to the UN SDG 14.

UVic co-op student experiences actively addressing SDG 14

The following co-op students were profiled for their co-op work experiences that relate to SDG 14:

  • Geography student Nhan (Young) Nguyen spent a co-op term with the Comox Valley Project Watershed, working with a marine conservation project as a field and research assistant. “My role was to research, survey and identify potential spawning habitats of forage fish, namely Pacific Sand Lance and Surf Smelt in the northern Salish Sea,” he says. “On top of literature research, I developed a GIS predictive model to narrow down potential sampling sites, conducted survey sampling and coordinated volunteers.” Aligns with 14.2.2 as an example of experiences providing educational or outreach for local or national communities on sustainable management of fisheries, aquaculture or tourism.

The following co-op experiences were shared by UVic co-op students through the 2020 Co-op Photo Contest and include experiences that took place between September 2019 and August 2020. We are not able to share individual URLs here because of the gallery mechanism, but you can find the corresponding entries by using the numbering system that follows each bullet and matching it to the page and number in the 2020 photo gallery.

  • Using the Impact Method to measure the resonance of timber piles under a wharf in Sechelt. By measuring the resonance with natural audio receptors piles that are hollow (High Resonance) are identified and scheduled for replacement. Piles are a delicious snack for Marine Borers and are coated in Creosote to protect them from landing on the menu, however only the exterior of the pile is protected. The vulnerability of the core of the pile to hungry mollusks and crustaceans leads to piles becoming hollow and diminished structural capacity. Photo 9 of 12 on page 3. Aligns with 14.2.2 as an example of experiences providing educational or outreach for local or national communities on sustainable management of fisheries, aquaculture or tourism.
  • At Mowi Canada West I worked as a Sea Site Technician in the beautiful Phillips Arm. Our main focus at the farm is to ensure our fish are in good health. Here, I drove our boat up the inlet to collect water samples for conducting water quality, plankton, and dissolved oxygen tests. Photo 7 of 12 on page 1. Aligns with 14.2.2 as an example of experiences providing educational or outreach for local or national communities on sustainable management of fisheries, aquaculture or tourism and 14.3.3 for working directly with researchers to maintain and extend existing ecosystems and their biodiversity.
  • Over the past 8 months I've had the privilege of working in Dr. Heather Buckley's Green Safe Water Lab at the University of Victoria. I have been working on a research project that explores the use of green chemicals to treat biofilms, a form of solid bacteria. This research is important because biofilms hamper the process of reverse osmosis in treating wastewater and brackish water. If reverse osmosis can be optimized, it would be able to provide clean drinking water to millions of people around the world. Here, I am working in the biological safety cabinet, which enables a sterile space to be made, and decreases the spread of high-risk organisms. Photo 7 of 12 on page 5. Aligns 14.3.3 for working directly with researchers to maintain and extend existing ecosystems and their biodiversity.
  • Hosing down a plankton net used to catch... You guessed it- Plankton! (Zooplankton). These critters tell us a lot about the current patterns and productivity of marine ecosystems and are a key component of many larval fish and seabird diets! Photo 6 of 12 on page 6. Aligns with 14.3.3 for working directly with researchers to maintain and extend existing ecosystems and their biodiversity.
  • Working for the DFO science team on board Canadian Coast Guard vessels, we conduct oceanographic surveys to monitor the health and productivity of Canada's Northeast Pacific Ocean. Held in my hand is a 'niskin' bottle used to trap water at a desired depth of the water column for subsequent sampling and analyses of various dissolved compounds such as Oxygen! Photo 7 of 12 on page 6. Aligns with 14.3.4 as an experience engaging with technologies aimed towards aquatic ecosystem damage prevention.
  • This summer I've been working as a Summer Educator at the Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea in Sidney, B.C. Here, I am interacting with our giant pacific octopus, Henry, who we named after our provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry! As a Summer Educator at the aquarium, my role gives me the opportunity to connect and educate with visitors on the local species that reside in the Salish Sea Bioregion. I am constantly learning so much on every shift and have been loving this co-op! Photo 1 of 9 on page 7. Aligns with 14.3.3 for working directly with researchers to maintain and extend existing ecosystems and their biodiversity.

SDG 15: Life on land

SDG 15 - Life on land

UVic Co-op and Career activities related to SDG 15 (May 2018 to December 2020)

SDG 15 in the workplace

UVic co-op students work closely with employers in a range of industries each year. Co-op and Career surveys employers about how their work supports the UN SDGs. Of the 2,264 employer organizations who responded to the survey between May 2018 and December 2020, 226 co-op employer organizations (or 10%) were actively working to support UN SDG 14. Within these organizations, 136 employers (or 6%) believed that co-op students' work contributed to projects related to the UN SDG 15.

UVic co-op student experiences actively addressing SDG 15

The following co-op students were profiled for their co-op work experiences that relate to SDG 15:

  • Civil engineering student Kirsten Krajnc spend a federal government co-op work term with Indigenous Services Canada in their Community Infrastructure Department. Her responsibilities included pulling historic data from the Environment Canada website near different First Nation reserves across the province and analyzing it to discover patterns in years that had major weather events, such as flooding, and seeing which factors lead to that event to see if it would be possible to predict future events. Aligns with 15.2.3 as an experience that provides learning around maintaining and extending current ecosystems and their biodiversity, especially ecosystems under threat.

The following co-op experiences were shared by UVic co-op students through the 2020 Co-op Photo Contest and include experiences that took place between September 2019 and August 2020. We are not able to share individual URLs here because of the gallery mechanism, but you can find the corresponding entries by using the numbering system that follows each bullet and matching it to the page and number in the 2020 photo gallery.

  • I spent my summer working at the Skimikin Seed Orchard in the Okanagan. A big part of my job was pest management, including checking pheromone traps, doing come dissections, and surveys for insects. Here’s a picture of me pinning insects for my collection! Photo 6 of 12 on page 2. Aligns with 15.2.3 as an experience that provides learning around maintaining and extending current ecosystems and their biodiversity, especially ecosystems under threat.
  • Couldn't pass up the chance to hop up on the hay bales whenever I had the chance during my coop term working for Agriculture and Agro-foods Canada in Swift Current, Saskatchewan. This picture was taken during a soil sample collection trip. My group studied microbial communities in agricultural soil to better understand how to maintain healthy and sustainable cropping systems. Photo 12 of 12 on page 2. Aligns with 15.2.3 as an experience that provides learning around maintaining and extending current ecosystems and their biodiversity, especially ecosystems under threat and 15.2.5 on the topic of sustainable management of land for agriculture and tourism.
  • A photo taken during one of our days harvesting cherries for our field trials. I worked in a soil chemistry lab for agriculture and agri-food Canada this summer in Summerland, BC. After collecting yield data we were able to take home the cherries we picked. My group focused on the implementation of organic practices in viticulture and how it effects soil chemistry and nutrients. Photo 3 of 12 on page 3. Aligns with 15.2.3 as an experience that provides learning around maintaining and extending current ecosystems and their biodiversity, especially ecosystems under threat and 15.2.5 on the topic of sustainable management of land for agriculture and tourism.
  • This summer, I am working as a Vegetation Management student in Waterton Lakes National Park. As part of my work, I am able to explore remote areas of the Park, looking for, controlling, and mapping invasive species. Photo 5 of 12 on page 3. Aligns with 15.2.3 as an experience that provides learning around maintaining and extending current ecosystems and their biodiversity, especially ecosystems under threat and 15.2.5 on the topic of sustainable management of land for agriculture and tourism.

SDG 16: Peace, justice and strong institutions

SDG 16 - Peace, justice and strong institutions

UVic Co-op and Career activities related to SDG 16 (May 2018 to December 2020)

Initiatives and programs facilitated by UVic Co-op and Career that support SDG 16

  • Goal 16.2.3: Identify and engage with local stakeholders: Co-op and Career actively engages with local employer stakeholers through a partnership with Camosun to promote co-op as a hiring strategy for local employers through agreements with the Victoria Chamber of Commerce, Saanich Peninsula Chamber of Commerce and WestShore Chamber of Commerce. Staff attend outreach events to encourage Chamber members to hire students and students contribute to the local economy and often find full-time employment with Chamber members after graduation. The following story is an example of work that UVic students do while working for Chamber of Commerce members who are also co-op employers.
  • Goal 16.2.4: Participatory bodies for stakeholder engagement: Co-op and Career staff invite employers to share their experiences within the co-op program as well as the needs of their industries and hiring trends as part of the Employer Advisory Panel, which meets several times per year.
  • Goal 16.3.3: Participation in government research: Students from across academic program areas complete co-op work terms conducting research for municipal, provincial and federal government, including contributing to policy development.
  • Goal 16.3: Co-op and Career partners with the Government of Canada to facilitate the Federal Student Ambassador Program on campus. We work with the office of the Deputy Minster University Champion John Ossowski, who is President of the Canada Border Services Agency, which provides two part-time Federal Student Ambassadors that support campus-wide recruitment for federal career development. These two students work with the CBSA and PSC, to promote the Canadian Government as an employer of choice to UVic students. They provide drop-in hours and support for UVic students that want help preparing applications for government of Canada jobs and more.

SDG 16 in the workplace

UVic co-op students work closely with employers in a range of industries each year. Co-op and Career surveys employers about how their work supports the UN SDGs. Of the 2,264 employer organizations who responded to the survey between May 2018 and December 2020, 226 co-op employer organizations (or 10%) were actively working to support UN SDG 16. Within these organizations, 124 employers (or 5%) believed that co-op students' work contributed to projects related to the UN SDG 16.

UVic co-op student experiences actively addressing SDG 16

The following co-op students were profiled for their co-op work experiences that relate to SDG 16:

  • As a non-profit organization whose mandate is to support businesses in downtown Victoria, the Downtown Victoria Business Association is a key connector to the local economy. For the past two years, DVBA has been welcoming University of Victoria co-operative education (coop) students to the team. At the DVBA, students contribute to marketing operations including social media, event and festival planning, writing, blogging and interacting with business owners. DVBA Marketing Manager Anne-Sophie Dumetz is a big advocate of the program. “It’s wonderful to work with co-op students who are interested in applying their studies and learning new things,” she says. “I was a co-op student and this is also my way of paying it forward.” Aligns with 16.2.3 as an example of an experience where students engage with local stakeholders.
  • For Yamini Iyer, a business student whose passions are working with students, event planning and marketing, a co-op term with the Government of Canada followed by a role as a Federal Government Student Ambassador was a natural path for her time at UVic. By hosting events for up to 900 students, Yamini connected with students and other stakeholders in her role. This included guiding students through the Federal Government application process, as well as providing feedback on résumés and cover letters. Federal student ambassadors also provide feedback to the federal government partners on student engagement and outreach. Aligns with 16.3.1 as an experience that allows students to provide advice to government.
  • For Alex McKay and Nick Saar, two third-year students in UVic’s engineering program, the chance to spend a co-op term working with the CFB Esquimalt Fire Rescue meant an opportunity to gain invaluable experience and skills. As Pre-Incident Plan Developers, the students spent their term designing and creating a brand new pre-incident fire plan for the base – a project that went so well, they were awarded commemorative coins from the base for their efforts. Aligns with 16.2.3 as an example of an experience where students engage with local stakeholders and with 16.3.1 as an experience that allows students to provide advice to government.

SDG 17: Partnerships for the goals

SDG 17 - Partnership for the goals

UVic Co-op and Career activities related to SDG 17 (May 2018 to December 2020)

Initiatives and programs facilitated by UVic Co-op and Career that support SDG 17

  • Goal 17.2.1: Relationships with NGOs and government for SDG policy:
    • UVic Co-op and Career supports the World Partnership Walk each year to engage the community to fight global poverty and educate about global food security. Thanks to the work of UVic faculty champions, the university raises more than any other post-secondary institution towards this goal. UVic students are able to volunteer to organize the UVic walk; through this experience they learn about Aga Khan Foundation Canada (the organization that facilitates the walk) programs that address food security. Volunteers are also able to gain Co-Curricular Record credit at UVic for this experience. Here's a profile of a faculty champion.
    • Co-op and Career actively engages with local employer stakeholers through a partnership with Camosun to promote co-op as a hiring strategy for local employers through agreements with the Victoria Chamber of Commerce, Saanich Peninsula Chamber of Commerce and WestShore Chamber of Commerce. Staff attend outreach events to encourage Chamber members to hire students and students contribute to the local economy and often find full-time employment with Chamber members after graduation. The following story is an example of work that UVic students do while working for Chamber of Commerce members who are also co-op employers.
    • Students from across academic program areas complete co-op work terms conducting research for municipal, provincial and federal government, including contributing to policy development.
    • Co-op and Career partners with the Government of Canada to facilitate the Federal Student Ambassador Program on campus. We work with the office of the Deputy Minster University Champion John Ossowski, who is President of the Canada Border Services Agency, which provides two part-time Federal Student Ambassadors that support campus-wide recruitment for federal career development. These two students work with the CBSA and PSC, to promote the Canadian Government as an employer of choice to UVic students. They provide drop-in hours and support for UVic students that want help preparing applications for government of Canada jobs and more.
    • UVic's Strategic Framework Experiential Learning Fund (SF-ELF) is administered through UVic Co-op and Career and provides financial support to financially and socially sustainable businesses to hire co-op students. Funding for employers includes a wage subsidy for not-for-profits and Indigenous community organizations to cover a portion of the cost of hiring a co-op student for a work term (up to $5,000).
  • Goal 17.2.1 and 17.2.2: Cross sectoral dialogue about SDGs: Co-op and Career staff invite employers to share their experiences within the co-op program as well as the needs of their industries and hiring trends as part of the Employer Advisory Panel, which meets several times per year.

SDG 17 in the workplace

UVic co-op students work closely with employers in a range of industries each year. Co-op and Career surveys employers about how their work supports the UN SDGs. Of the 2,264 employer organizations who responded to the survey between May 2018 and December 2020, 272 co-op employer organizations (or 12%) were actively working to support UN SDG 17. Within these organizations, 169 employers (or 7%) believed that co-op students' work contributed to projects related to the UN SDG 17.

UVic co-op student experiences actively addressing SDG 17

The following co-op students were profiled for their co-op work experiences that relate to SDG 17:

  • Asiyah Robinson is a UVic co-op alumna who served as a World Partnership Walk Day volunteer and then a leader on the core team. As the Director of Youth Engagement with the Walk, Asiyah endeavoured to create a space for international students to feel welcome and engaged. “I love approaching other youth, helping them to feel settled, and empowering them to have an impact on a global scale.” Aligns with 17.2.5 as an example of experiences where students collaborate with NGOs for SDGs.
  • UVic professors Paul Schure, Amy Verdun and Merwin Engineer were the faculty champions of the 2018 walk, and UVic student volunteers were key coordinators of the event. Aligns with 17.2.5 as an example of experiences where students collaborate with NGOs for SDGs.