(Baddeck, Cape Breton Island) – Over 80 high school students and 30 business representatives from across Cape Breton met in Baddeck today for the 2019 Business Youth Symposium.

Hosted by the Cape Breton Partnership, in collaboration with the Business Education Council and Nova Scotia Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, the 2019 Business Youth Symposium is a day-long event meant to expand Cape Breton youth’s awareness about career opportunities on the Island.

“When I was a high school student in Cape Breton, the message was that once you graduated you would have to go off island to further your education or career.  I am happy to say that times are changing and this is no longer the case,” says Carla Arsenault, Cape Breton Partnership President & CEO. “There is tremendous opportunity in Cape Breton for training, programming and establishing viable careers.  Our hope is that after attending the Symposium, the students are motivated to explore post-grad options here at home.”

Through a number of panel and roundtable discussions, networking opportunities and some healthy high school competitive spirit, topics covered included strong work ethic, resume skills, attention to detail, industry specific requirements, portfolio building, and managing your online presence.  

“For me today was about thinking differently about what to do after I graduate,” says Max Moller, Rankin School of the Narrows student. “Today I met some great people, had a chance to network with companies and will be looking at how I can find training and career options for me in Iona.”

For the Symposium to be a success, businesses and government departments volunteer their time and expertise to talk about what employers are looking for in future employees and the labour market. Those represented during the 2019 Symposium included 45 Drives, Protocase, The Canadian Armed Forces, Cabot Discovery Tours, Cabot Links, the Canadian Coastguard College, Cape Breton Regional Municipality, Cape Breton University, the Centre for Distance Education, Common Good Solutions, East Coast Credit Union, Island Employment, Learnability Cape Breton, MacLeod Lorway Insurance, Nova Scotia Business Inc., Nova Scotia Community College, Parks Canada, Port Hawkesbury Paper, Sara Rankin Creative, Securicy, Stantec, The Municipality of the County of Victoria, Victoria County Creates, and Victoria Co-operative Fisheries.

Youth retention is a priority for the Cape Breton Partnership; Unama’ki – Cape Breton’s private sector-led economic development organization that supports companies and entrepreneurs by promoting our island as a great place to live and invest; growing a culture that values and celebrates creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship; and connecting entrepreneurs and companies to the resources they need to succeed. 

The Business Education Council was established in 2015 to create a link between government and business leaders and provide more positive and productive career exploration opportunities for students. This includes career awareness and the promotion of entrepreneurship. The council is made up of business leaders, entrepreneurs, government and post-secondary representation, and education.


Media contact:

Jeremy Martell

Cape Breton Partnership