Project Équi-T-É

Work-Study Balance


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735, rue Notre-Dame, bureau 101 Lachine (Québec) H8S 2B5
CA Canada


About the project Edit

Inspired by the approach developed by Partenaires pour la réussite éducative des Laurentides (PREL), Monseigneur-Richard High School and the Youth Employment Centre in Verdun initially reached a partnership agreement to focus on work-study balance issues in order to promote staying in school among young people in the district.

In 2010, a partnership among five Youth Employment Centres, along with the Marguerite-Bourgeoys and Lester B. Pearson School Boards, spread Project Équi T-É to Lachine, LaSalle, Saint-Laurent, Verdun and the West Island.

In order to deploy Équi T-É across the entire territory of Montreal, Montreal Hooked on School took over regional coordination of the program in 2011. Équi T-É is now active 17 Youth Centre Employment territories.

In addition, five Montreal-area school boards are now participating in Équi T-É: the Commission scolaire Marguerite-Bourgeoys, the Commission scolaire de la Pointe de l’île, the Commission scolaire de Montréal, the Lester B. Pearson School Board and the English Montreal School Board.

Équi T-É centres have been set up at the Marquette, Pointe-aux-Trembles and CJE Sud-Ouest Youth Employment Centres to expand the program throughout the Island of Montréal. Each has a dedicated agent to work with the school boards on their territories.


Project Équi T-É:

Projet Équi-T-É is addressed to young people in high school who work part-time. Équi-T-É inform students and make them aware of the issues related to work-study balance, lead workshops that promote staying in school and meet at-risk students on an individual basis to help them balance work and school

Équi T-É mobilizes business people using a certification that promotes management approaches that respects young employees and encourages employers to be aware of the issues related to balancing work and school.

Équi T-É provides personalized support for young people holding down jobs while attending school, defines and supports the influential role of employers, and promotes positive contributions from various stakeholders.


Équi T-É certifications:
There are three types of Équi T-É certifications for business people

This certification is for companies who hire high school students
Équi T-É certified employers agree to pay particular attention to the following:

- number of hours worked
- shift work
- uniqueness of the school calendar
- recognize and appreciate the need for study

Équi T-É certified professionals like as doctors and dentists are committed to the special requirements of young patients and, therefore, offer their services outside of school hours.

Although Équi T-É supporters do not hire high school students, they still support Équi T-É initiatives in their region. This certification means that businesses promise to respect Équi T-É values should they ever decide to hire students still in high school.

Any business can, therefore, be certified Équi T-É for free.


In what ways is this project unique and creative? Edit

The greatest strength of Project Équi T-É is its desire to encourage the various players to fight against the dropout rate in Montreal. Students, parents, school teams, employers and business people in the region meet to ensure that staying in school remains a social concern. The Équi T-É team itself is the result of several players who mobilized. Community involvement remains crucial in the project’s success.

In the same vein, Équi T-É sets itself apart precisely because of the strong collaboration in the Montreal business world. By offering a certification that is completely free of charge, Équi T-É shows real dedication that costs nothing thereby making is a strictly moral commitment. By creating the Supporters category, any organization or business can now show its support for staying in school.

Proud of its community involvement, Équi T-É is committed to showcasing certified businesses to the population through various media. There is also a sticker that businesses can put in their windows. This sticker is a visual sign that lets clients and young people know of their involvement to keeping kids in school. The youth employment centres involved also propose a support tool for hiring for certified employers.

What is the social value of this project? Edit

For businesses:
Équi T-É benefits from participating companies in addition to: the positive visibility in the project’s communications, improving the certified companies’ images with their clients, community affairs in the region, young people and their parents. Certified employers notice greater stability in staff, improved relations with employees and the work environment in general. This stability means lower staff turnover and, as a result, training costs.

For young people:
In terms of benefits for young students, work-study balance has several:

Balance allows young people to:
- develop a sense of responsibility
- improve time management skills
- gain financial independence
- take the initiative and be resourceful
- increase chances of success
- build a network of contacts
- increase confidence and self-estime
- develop social skills and professional qualifications

In contrast, imbalance can lead to:
- increased fatigue
- lack of time
- difficulty concentrating
- lower grades
- lower quality of work
- problems of self-estime
- increased stress
- lack of motivation at work and at school
- lateness and absenteism
- increased risk of conflict

For the community:
Young educated people will gain access to skilled jobs that provide attractive salaries and professional stability. As a result, they will have more disposable income to contribute to the local economy. In the long run, the community as a whole wins.

What is the potential of this project to expand and develop? Edit

In the last three years, the project has been refined and its very rapid expansion across the Island of Montreal is the result of various partners working together. We hope eventually that all the youth employment centres and high schools in Montreal get involved with Project Équi T-É. If the project’s reputation crosses the Montreal borders, the initiative could easily be implemented on the south shore of the city.

What was the triggering factor of this project? Edit

Studies have established a correlation between working while studying and the likelihood of dropping out of school (HRDC, 2002).

Subsequently, the dropout rate is higher among young people who don’t work than those who work within reason. As well as providing an income, part-time work allows young people to develop their independence and acquire skills.

However, the dropout rate increases when the number of hours worked in a week passes a certain threshold. This threshold has been established to be about 20 hours per week, but we believe that the ideal would be between 10 and 15 hours per week (McMillan, 2007). We must always keep in mind the need for sleep, studying and leisure time for young people. It is, therefore, the balance between these factors that is the key to graduating.

Knowing that close to one in three young people will work during their studies has made it crucial to introduce ways that promote work-study balance for employee students. Project Équi T-É is in Montreal in order to ensure that employees still in school have working conditions that encourage their academic success.

What is the business model of this project? Edit


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