More than 20 years of job matching students in their field of study!

We’re very proud to announce the 21st edition of the PERCÉ program for the summer of 2024.

Managed by RDÉE Île-du-Prince-Édouard, PERCÉ is an internship program designed to help postsecondary students in Prince Edward Island become more aware of the employment, economic and cultural opportunities available in their region, and to show them that it’s possible to make a life and career right here in their home province.

The PERCÉ program selects 35 postsecondary and high school graduate students on their way to postsecondary to take part in a 12-week paid work placement with an employer working in their field of study. This opportunity allows students to gain work experience in their field of study and to discover employers and jobs available in their home province.

In addition to work experience in their field, students benefit from 5 days of workshops designed to help them acquire new professional skills and improve their employability.

For more information, click on the Participants’ page.


Given the tendency of many young people to leave the Island to pursue postsecondary education and then pursue careers outside the province, the PERCÉ program was established as a pilot project in 2004 by the Baie Acadienne Development Corporation, in partnership with RDÉE Prince Edward Island. Its overall objective was to help repatriate young Islanders.

In the early years, the target clientele consisted of Acadian and francophone students from the province. 8 students participated in the first year, 10 students in the second year and 8 students in the third year. With time, the PERCÉ program began attracting the attention of the Island’s English-speaking community. Resources West Inc. from the West Prince region agreed to form a partnership, so in 2007 we began an English-language component of the program, which ran until 2014. During this period, we accepted 10 French-speaking participants and 10 English-speaking participants. We continued with 20 participants per year up to and including 2014.

Over the years, notably from 2010 to 2012, the other Atlantic provinces also had the opportunity to participate.

In 2015, we made two major changes. First, we opened the program to a larger number of participants. We went from 20 participants to a possible 30 participants. The second change was in the participants’ language. We decided to return to our mandate and help participants who can express themselves in French, yet without eliminating the English-speaking participant. For example, in that first year, we had 22 French-speaking or bilingual participants and 3 English-speaking participants.

Finally, in 2022, we increased the number of participants from 30 to 35 per year.
With all this being said, after 20 years, we successfully placed 287 PERCÉ participants in their field of study.

In addition to these impressive numbers, employers are also able to benefit from a wage subsidy. In the beginning, employers received a wage subsidy of $5/hour. Over time, we were able to increase this amount to $7/hour. We intend to continue our efforts and develop this great program!


When his father Albert lost his leg in an industrial accident a few years ago, Gabriel Arsenault had no idea that he would one day have the opportunity to make him a new artificial leg, or that he would one day make a career in the field of prosthetics and orthotics. But this is what fate had in store for him.

In the spring of 2005, Gabriel graduated from the Université de Moncton with a degree in kinesiology, but he wasn’t sure what he wanted to do next. He was considering continuing his studies in physiotherapy. But then it occurred to him that he should explore the field of prosthetics and orthotics, since it was one that touched him personally.

Gabriel met with the managers and technicians of the Prosthetics and Orthotics Department at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Charlottetown. He was then granted permission to do his PERCÉ work placement there.
Gabriel can’t believe how much he learned during his summer placement. “The people who worked with me were very good at teaching me new things. Every day, I learned something new,” he says.

He had the opportunity to modify shoes for people with diabetes, then work on prostheses and other orthopedic devices. He also got to meet a few patients.

Gabriel explains how he was able to witness the progress of one of the patients. He had worked on a 70 year old lady’s artificial leg. “At first, she couldn’t walk at all with her new leg, but in just three weeks, she was able to walk from one end of the department to the other using a walker.”

He is at a loss for words, when he tries to talk about the work he was able to do, to his own father. “It’s an experience I can’t explain, to see my father walk with the help of an artificial leg I made myself. It was truly incredible.”

Gabriel points out that he was able to meet several people working in his field during his placement. “I even had the chance to speak with the provincial Minister of Health to introduce myself and express my interest in working in this field on the Island.

He considers the PERCÉ program to have been of great benefit to him, as it exposed him more fully to the field of his future career. “It opened a lot of doors for me and made my studies easier and more profitable. The work I did that summer really reinforced the fact that I want to work in this field.”

In fact, it was the hospital staff who told him that George Brown College in Toronto offered a program in his field. He applied and was accepted into the college’s technical program, called the Orthotic and Prosthetic Clinical Program. After graduation, he was hired full-time at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, where he eventually became Chief Prosthetist. None of this would have happened without the PERCÉ program!

Gabriel Arsenault

Josée Gallant’s work placement in the summer of 2005 was an eye-opener on several levels. Firstly, she realized that many people on the Island are living a difficult life, and that there is still a long way to go to eliminate poverty and ensure that everyone can live in safety and good health.

She has also seen with her own eyes, thanks to the PERCÉ program, that her province offers many job opportunities. “On the Island, there’s a place for me in my field,” she says. “I want to travel for a few years, but I certainly want to come back to the Island.”

Josée first studied social work at La Cité collégiale d’Ottawa. She then went to the University of Ottawa to complete her master’s degree in social work.

During the summer of 2005, thanks to her participation in the PERCÉ program, she had the opportunity to collaborate with the Association des femmes acadiennes et francophones de l’Î.-P.-É. (AFAFIPE), which works extensively in the field of social justice for women and the general population. Through this work, she was able to learn about and work with several other organizations, including the P.E.I. Rape Crisis Centre, the Canadian AIDS Society and Cap enfants in Wellington.

“During my time at AFAFIPE, I helped develop and carry out a study among francophone women, at the provincial level, on working conditions and how to promote a balance between family and professional life,” explains Josée. “I also worked on the issue of domestic violence and health. The whole thing was really interesting.”

She accompanied then-executive director Colette Arsenault to meetings of various groups, including the P.E.I. Council on the Status of Women, the Cooper Institute and the Decent Income Task Force. “Through these committees, I was able to meet many people in my field. I got to know several organizations and learned about potential work opportunities, which opened many doors for me. It also gave me the chance to learn about my own skills and motivate myself to progress.”

She had the opportunity to discuss many topics in the field of social justice with the executive director. “It gave me the chance to develop critical thinking and to be more aware of the real events that women and the general population are going through. Basically, it confirmed to me that the field I’m studying is the right one.”

In July 2007, she landed a job with the Prince Edward Island government, working in the Child and Family Services division in the West Prince region as a child protection investigator.

“It was a good place to start my career because I got to really experience a range of services that families can benefit from. I was also really well situated to get to know all the other services and partners we worked with.”

“PERCÉ gave me good hands-on experience working in my field of interest,” she explains. “This program connected me with key partners. My placement also gave me an opportunity, with AFAFIPE, to get to know several organizations that fight poverty and violence against women and children.”

The work placement also gave her the opportunity to do an interview project, so she learned working techniques to facilitate this kind of task. While she was developing these skills, little did she realize how important they would soon be in her working career. “With my work with the province, I was doing a lot of interviewing with children and families, so I was using the skills I learned during my placement on a daily basis.”

The PERCÉ experience also allowed her to explore the Island job market. “It was a good way to see, to realize that there really are jobs in my field on the Island.”

Today, Josée is the owner of the Elm Grove Centre, which offers equine therapy and a variety of other mental health support services. In fact, for the past few years, she has been offering a workshop on mental health to today’s PERCÉ participants during their training days.

Josée Gallant-Gordon