RBC Future Launch and Riipen partnership set to deliver 27,000 work-integrated learning experiences for Canadian students

February 7, 2022

Renewed for another school year starting September 2021, RBC Future Launch and Riipen will support the delivery of 10,000 more work-integrated learning experiences at 30 post-secondary institutions across Canada.

Riipen, the world's largest online work-integrated learning (WIL) marketplace, is proud to announce the expansion of their partnership program with RBC Future Launch, delivering 10,000 flexible and scalable curriculum-embedded short-term work-integrated learning experiences to learners at 30 participating post-secondary institutions across Canada. By the end of this year, the program will have delivered a total of 27,000 online WIL experiences on the Riipen platform.

"When experience is so important to getting a job – but so hard to gain especially when the pandemic has upended many of the traditional summer jobs in hospitality, tourism, childcare and summer camps – young people are left feeling uncertain about their futures in the new world of work," said Mark Beckles, Vice President, Social Impact & Innovation, RBC. "We hope that through our partnership with Riipen, RBC Future Launch can help young people get those all-important first jobs and break the 'no experience, no job' cycle."

Riipen's marketplace platform matches courses submitted by professors with projects submitted by Riipen's vetted network of 19,000 employers, including small businesses and non-profits. Throughout the Riipen project, employers will provide students with professional feedback and insights on the real-world application of their knowledge, while students can offer employers their expertise and ideas on a variety of subjects such as marketing, business planning, and IT, while earning course credits.

"Canada's future workforce is graduating into an economy still in recovery, and it is our mission to support these students in their transition from learning to work," said Dana Stephenson, CEO of Riipen. "Curriculum-embedded short-term work-integrated learning is one of the best ways for students to get valuable real-world work experience and career clarity with the mentorship of both their professor and industry professionals. Over 90% of students on Riipen report feeling a positive impact on their employability in areas such as career readiness, professionalism and critical thinking. We are excited to expand our partnership with RBC Future Launch and partner institutions to deliver even more experiences this year."

"Experiential learning allows students to become a lot more hands-on. Unlike traditional classroom learning, where you might be completing assignments or doing tests and exams, doing this type of work and being actively involved in the publication process allows them to develop skills they would not be able to develop otherwise," shared John Johnson, a participating student from the University of Alberta.

The program renewal will expand to 30 Canadian post-secondary institution partners:

    ●     Bow Valley College (Alberta)
    ●      Cambrian College (Ontario)    
    ●      Cape Breton University (Nova Scotia)
    ●      Carleton University (Ontario)  
    ●      Emily Carr University of Art + Design (British Columbia)
    ●      Fanshawe College (Ontario)
    ●      Georgian College (Ontario)
    ●      Kwantlen Polytechnic University (British Columbia)
    ●      Lakehead University (Ontario)
    ●      Lakeland College (Alberta)
    ●      Lethbridge College (Alberta)
    ●      MacEwan University (Alberta)
    ●      Maple League, a post-secondary consortium that includes:
              ○      Acadia University (Nova Scotia)
              ○     Bishops University (Quebec)
              ○     Mount Allison University (New Brunswick)
              ○     St. Francis Xavier University (Nova Scotia)
    ●      Mount Royal University (Alberta)
    ●      Ontario Tech University (Ontario)
    ●      Red River College (Manitoba)
    ●      Saskatchewan Polytechnic (Saskatchewan)
    ●      Simon Fraser University (British Columbia)
    ●      Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (Alberta)  
    ●      St. Clair College (Ontario)
    ●      Thompson Rivers University (British Columbia)
    ●      Université du Québec à Montréal (Québec)
    ●      University College of the North (Manitoba)
    ●      University of Alberta (Alberta)
    ●      University of Lethbridge (Alberta)
    ●      University of Manitoba (Manitoba)
    ●      University of Saskatchewan (Saskatchewan)

About Riipen: Launched in 2017, Riipen is the world's leading online work-integrated learning platform, connecting educators and learners with employers through highly flexible and scalable WIL solutions. On a mission to eliminate underemployment, Riipen has built a robust marketplace of over 410 higher education and training providers and 19,000 employers, delivering over 120,000 WIL experiences to help learners enhance their skills, build their professional network, and accelerate their path to a meaningful career. Using technology and marketplace dynamics to break down traditional barriers to WIL access, Riipen brings the Future of Work to diverse learners of all backgrounds. Learn more at riipen.com

About RBC Future Launch: RBC Future Launch is a 10-year, $500 million commitment to empower Canadian youth for the jobs of tomorrow. With a focus on networking, skills development, practical work experience and mental wellbeing supports and services, the initiative aims to help break down the barriers facing young people. In 2020, RBC committed to providing $50 million in focused funding through RBC Future Launch to create meaningful and transformative pathways to prosperity for up to 25,000 BIPOC youth by 2025, with investments in areas such as skills development and mentoring.