Online event - The future-ready workforce series: Converting & retaining the next generation of talent

HRPA accredidation

Far sooner than anyone predicted, COVID-19 changed the world of work.

 Watch this free online event from the University of Waterloo’s Work-Learn Institute and discover how employers are converting and retaining young talent in today’s challenging market.

As today’s workforce changes, organizations face increased competition to invest in young talent. As demographic shifts see large pools of talent nearing retirement, and declining birth rates shrinking the available workforce, there’s never been a more important time to bring Gen Z into your organization. Strong recruitment and engagement strategies will get young talent through the door...but you must figure out how to keep them. It’s time to consider how your conversion and retention strategies can help transition short-term employees or co-op students into full-time team members to build a future-ready talent pipeline. 

Join us for the third event in a multi-part Future-Ready Workforce Series from the University of Waterloo's Work-Learn Institute and discover how employers are converting and retaining young talent in today's challenging market. Access new research insights from Waterloo experts, as well as student and employer guest speakers, that highlight what is changing in our workforce. You'll also learn how organizations can use their values to motivate young talent at work, build a supportive, connected and loyal company culture and encourage meaningful contributions.


During this online event, we'll share how you can improve your strategies for converting and retaining young talent by:

  • aligning your organizational values with the values of your young talent; 

  • creating a supportive and connected company culture; and 

  • providing meaningful work and development opportunities. 

Plus, hear student and employer perspectives about how they're adapting to today's conversion and retention trends and experiences! 

UWaterloo's Work-Learn Institute

Did you know? The Work-Learn Institute is the only institute in the world dedicated to research on co-operative education and other forms of work-integrated learning.

Founded in 2002 (as WatCACE) on the basis that, with the largest co-operative education program in the world, UWaterloo has the largest dataset to study, understand and continue to advance its practice.


Watch this presentation!

This program has been approved for Continuing Professional Development (CPD) hours under Category A of the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Log of the Human Resource Professionals Association (HRPA). You may manually log this webinar in your CPD Log.

Presentation slides (PDF)

Breakout sessions 

As part of this online event, University of Waterloo subject matter experts hosted two breakout sessions to further explore the key topics covered in our keynote presentation.

Formula for converting & retaining next gen talent: student panel discussion
Career coaching for supervisors: guiding professional development conversations with your student talent

Meet the host, Judene:


Judene Pretti headshot

Dr. Judene Pretti, Director of the Work-Learn Institute, University of Waterloo.

Dr. Judene Pretti leads the only research unit of its kind in the world investigating the practice of co-op and work-integrated learning (WIL) in the development of talent.


Guest speaker:

Margaret McBeath headshot

Margaret McBeath

Director of Corporate Strategy, Nuclear Promise X

Margaret is a co-founder and Director, Company Strategy/People & Culture of Nuclear Promise X (NPX) a nuclear innovation company. Margaret has worked in the nuclear industry for over 10 years and is also a researcher and PhD Candidate at the University of Waterloo in the field of Public Health and Health systems – with a specialization in mental health. Her research examines school to work transitions and how variables such as learning environments, skill acquisitions, learning outcomes, and overall mental health lead to or impede success in the labour market. She is currently working on research related to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and remote learning on students.

Guest speaker:

Jonathan Lee headshot

Jonathan Lee

Political Science & Business Student, University of Waterloo

Jon is a consultant at the Daisy Group, a national public affairs firm located in Toronto. His main practice areas include government relations, public relations, and strategic communications. Jon is a political science and business student and will enter his final undergraduate term in the Fall.