Ottawa, ON

The Business + Higher Education Roundtable (BHER) and Co-operative Education and Work-Integrated Learning Canada (CEWIL Canada) are thrilled to announce a one million dollar collaborative grant-based funding initiative aimed at creating work-integrated learning (WIL) opportunities across Canada. 

This initiative comes at a time when young Canadians are facing significant challenges navigating the workforce in the face of COVID-19. Thirty-five percent of post-secondary students who responded to a recent Statistics Canada report having a work placement postponed or cancelled because of the novel coronavirus. This aligns with CEWIL members who indicate that co-op terms are down 23 per cent this year, compared to this time last year.   

“Canada’s continued prosperity depends on young Canadians having access to the education and experience they need to succeed – especially during times like these. Our government is proud to support the collaborative work between the Business + Higher Education Roundtable and CEWIL Canada on their new work-integrated learning opportunities for young Canadians across the country,” said the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry. 

BHER and CEWIL are committed to deepening collaboration among students, employers, and post-secondary institutions to support the entire WIL ecosystem through these unprecedented challenges. 

“BHER is extremely proud to announce today that our first major WIL partnership is a collaborative effort to create this grant-based funding initiative with CEWIL,” said Dr. Valerie Walker, BHER CEO. “By harnessing the strengths of both organizations, we are collaborating to build Canada’s capacity to prepare students for the challenges of the future with high-quality WIL.” 

The one million dollars provided by BHER through the Government of Canada will create a competitive grant process. The funding will go to employers or employer associations and provide resources for joint partnerships with post-secondary institutions.

“Canada continues to be a global leader in work-integrated learning,” said Cara Krezek, President of CEWIL Canada, “We are honoured to partner with BHER at such a crucial time where we both see WIL as a key strategy for future talent and the success of our country. The expertise and network of the national CEWIL community will assist to connect students, post-secondary institutions, employers and communities in order to leverage the hands-on experiences which will help Canada’s youth and businesses recover.”

Employers and associations will be able to apply for funds for an initial one-year period, with the possibility for renewal in the second year. 

The introduction of the BHER and CEWIL Grant Initiative will provide a necessary boost to the WIL ecosystem at a critical time in this country. Together BHER and CEWIL are working to build a Canadian economy that is ready to take on the challenges of the future. 

Interested parties can learn more about the BHER and CEWIL Grant Initiative here

Media Contacts: 

Brianna Workman – Associate, Communications – Business + Higher Education Roundtable – @email

Haley Borland – Communications Coordinator – CEWIL Canada – @email.