Group of 25 cross-country organizations calls for national work-integrated learning strategy

Ottawa, Ontario – September 5, 2018: An unprecedented number of leaders from student, business and post-secondary organizations are coming together to call for a national strategy that would give every post-secondary student a chance to participate in a valuable work experience before they finish school.

“As Canada navigates an uncertain economic and trade environment, it has never been more important to focus on how our country can best prepare the next generation for the future of work,” said Dave McKay, President and Chief Executive Officer of RBC, and BHER’s industry co-chair.

Spearheaded by the Business/ Higher Education Roundtable (BHER), the group in a letter to the Honourable Bill Morneau calls on the Government of Canada to facilitate a national approach to work-integrated learning (WIL) by committing new federal investment to a national platform that will make it easier for employers and students to connect and participate in work placements. It also urges the government to expand existing student work placements to students from all disciplines with special emphasis on those from under-represented groups, including First Nations, Métis and Inuit students.

“The Business/Higher Education Roundtable was the first organization to commit to the goal of 100 per cent WIL in 2016,” said Anne Sado, President of George Brown College and a BHER co-chair. “We are very encouraged by the significant progress made since then, including the growing number of governments and organizations that have joined our call, but we need all partners to continue these investments so that all students benefit.”

“The level of support we have from across the country shows how post-secondary institutions, businesses and other important groups are ready to step up and address the challenges ahead,” said Elizabeth Cannon, President of the University of Calgary and a BHER co-chair. “We urge the federal government to join us as we create meaningful opportunities for our students to succeed.”


About the Business/Higher Education Roundtable

Composed of leaders from the private sector, universities, colleges and polytechnics, BHER works to support students as they transition from education to the workplace, strengthen research collaboration between industry and institutions, and help Canadian employers as they adapt to the economy of the future. Learn more at