Building WIL programs isn’t an exercise in corporate philanthropy – it’s a smart way for businesses to get ahead

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This is an excerpt from an article originally appeared in the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance’s Educated Solutions journal. Read the full publication here. Written by Isabelle Duchaine, BHER Manager.

Apprenticeships, co-ops, internships or field placements. Applied research projects, service learning, bootcamps and hackathons. Call it experiential learning, out of classroom knowledge, or work-integrated learning (WIL), the challenge remains the same – students want more of it, and employers are realizing the possibilities.

Currently, aggregated studies suggest that about half of Canadian university students, and 65 to 70 per cent of college students, take part in some form of work-integrated learning. The problem isn’t an issue of demand – an Abacus Data study on work-integrated learning found that 89 per cent of students support more work-integrated learning programs, a fact supported by OUSA’s research. Rather, we suffer from a lack of supply.