Ottawa, ON

The Business + Higher Education Roundtable (BHER) is proud to announce a collaborative partnership with Riipen, the world’s largest marketplace of work-integrated learning experiences for students. This partnership is made possible by a $2.6 million dollar investment from the Government of Canada and in kind support from Riipen to deliver 12,000 new work-integrated learning (WIL) experiences across Canada by March 2022. 

Young Canadians face many difficulties as they transition from school to work and these have only intensified during the COVID-19 outbreak. This is why BHER and Riipen are partnering to support thousands of Canadian students by increasing access to work-integrated learning among students, regions and employers. 

“Canada’s continued prosperity depends on young Canadians having access to the learning and experience they need to succeed – especially during times like these. By collaborating with a Canadian innovator in online experiential learning, we’re keeping post-secondary students engaged with small and medium-sized businesses, while offering them real opportunities during this trying time,” said the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry. 

The partnership will have a unique focus on delivering experiences for under-represented students and students living in rural and remote areas. These students are currently underserved by traditional placements and harder to reach. A minimum of 10 percent of WIL placements created through this agreement will go to these students and engage at least 1,200 small and medium-sized business and not-for-profit partners.

“This partnership will broaden access to WIL for both employers and students who did not previously have these types of opportunities,” said Valerie Walker, Chief Executive Officer of BHER. “Riipen’s model allows us to work towards closing gaps within the WIL ecosystem, such as expanding in rural areas and among small to medium-sized companies. With this partnership, BHER and Riipen are taking a critical step forward together towards accessible and inclusive work-integrated learning in Canada.”

“We know that students who have access to work integrated learning opportunities are more likely to be successful post-graduation. This is especially important as we enter one of the most challenging economic recessions Canada has seen,” said Dana Stephenson, CEO of Riipen. “As the pace of change continues to increase due to technology ー the connections between higher education and industry are becoming more important to the overall success of our students ー this is why BHER is such a natural partner for Riipen, we share the same goals and values for ensuring that education and industry are closely aligned and that all Canadian students are prepared to thrive in the future of work.” 

BHER and Riipen’s collaboration will increase the accessibility of work-integrated learning to targeted segments of both the post-secondary education sector and employers. This includes providing educators the resources to incorporate more work-integrated learning into their classrooms and an expansion of the opportunities available to small to medium enterprises and not-for-profit organizations who are passionate about supporting the development of Canada’s next generation of talent. 

Interested parties can learn more about the partnership and sign up to receive information here.

About the Business + Higher Education Roundtable: 

The Business + Higher Education Roundtable (BHER) is a non-partisan, not-for-profit organization bringing together some of Canada’s largest companies and leading post-secondary institutions. Since 2015, BHER has worked to harness the strengths of Canada’s business and post-secondary education sectors to build opportunities for young Canadians, boost innovation and drive collaboration. Learn more at

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

About Riipen: Riipen is enabling transformative opportunities for companies to collaborate with post-secondary students on real-time, real-world challenges that are embedded directly into coursework. To date, Riipen has enabled over 50,000 students at 200+ post-secondary institutions to partake in 2.0 million hours of applied learning with over 5,000 companies. Riipen’s mission is to help students of all backgrounds and geographies boost their skills, gain career clarity, network with potential employers, and find jobs they love.

To learn more about Riipen and how you can engage with work-integrated experiential learning, please connect with the team or visit their website.

Media Contact: Daniela Pico Director – External Relations  – @email