Across the country, an unprecedented coalition of educators and employers have come together to ensure that Canada has the most highly skilled and productive workforce in the world.

We believe that the most efficient and effective way to prepare Canada’s youth for the coming skills revolution is by embracing work-integrated learning (WIL). WIL opportunities such as co-ops, internships, apprenticeships and applied research projects enable students to apply their skills and knowledge in the workplace. They introduce young people to potential new career paths, while providing businesses with access to new talent, energy and ideas.

This is why we believe that 100 percent of Canada’s post-secondary students should have access to a WIL opportunity. Read more here.

BHER’s recommendations:

1. Launch a National WIL Strategy and create a National Taskforce to implement it.

2. Commit additional federal funding to the existing work-integrated learning (WIL) matching platform investment (e.g. Orbis/Magnet) to increase functionality and reach more employers. The result will be a national WIL platform that will simplify WIL participation for employers and provide a place to house resources to help expand and develop new programs and share best practices.

3. Increase WIL funding to support employers that offer meaningful WIL placements. This should focus on small- and medium-sized enterprises and companies that are new to WIL.

4. Expand existing WIL programs to include humanities and social sciences students, international students and not-for-profit organizations.

5. Place special emphasis on WIL funding for students from under-represented groups, including First Nations, Metis and Inuit students, to ensure WIL can truly be a social and economic equalizer.

6. Leverage existing federal programs and initiatives, including the Innovation Superclusters Initiative and the Economic Sector Strategy Tables, and changes to procurement policies that would reward companies that participate in WIL.

7. Increase the number of WIL placements offered by the Government of Canada to maintain its position as an employer of choice and in support of its public service renewal.