Riipen soars through their 8th year

Another year has come and gone, bringing with it both challenges and triumphs. December 13, 2021 marked the 8 year anniversary of Riipen (and 5 years of running our marketplace platform)! As the end of 2021 draws near and we all begin to look ahead to 2022, we invite you to join us in reflecting on the exciting milestones and initiatives we were able to achieve this year.
December 16, 2021
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Another year has come and gone, bringing with it both challenges and triumphs. December 13, 2021 marked the 8 year anniversary of Riipen (and 5 years of running our marketplace platform)! As the end of 2021 draws near and we all begin to look ahead to 2022, we invite you to join us in reflecting on the exciting milestones and initiatives we were able to achieve this year.

Riipen year in review summary:

  • Surpassed 100K total learner experiences delivered on Riipen
  • 88% increase in annual student experiences delivered
  • 47,700+ total experiences delivered in 2021 alone
  • Launched 3,000+ remote internships, a new format on our platform
  • Special Programs: Level UP, Rural Roots
  • Partnerships: Future Skills Centre, BHER, RBC Future Launch
  • Arizona State University Partnership and Study
  • Riipen publishes Economic Opportunity for All whitepaper
  • Quarterly Product Coffee Break Webinar Series
  • Riipen worked with 90 virtual interns this year
  • Riipen Gives donated $6,012.60 to charities focused on education and talent
  • Riipen’s Awards and Recognitions for 2021
  • Riipen’s Press Coverage for 2021

100K work-integrated learning experiences delivered

In 2021, Riipen crossed the incredible milestone of delivering over 100,000 work-integrated learning experiences to learners globally! That is equal to over 7,000,000 hours of work-integrated learning. Today, Riipen projects are virtually accessible to learners in 9 countries on 4 continents with an expansive marketplace of 400+ schools and 17,000+ employers.

Heading into 2022 with 107,000+ total experiences delivered, our next ambitious goal is 1,000,000 learner experiences by 2025!

Exponential growth

In 2019, Riipen delivered a total of 14,651 experiences which grew to 25,276 experiences delivered in 2020. We are thrilled to share that in 2021, Riipen delivered 45,453 work-integrated learning experiences. That is an 88% growth from the previous year!

Special Program - Level UP Remote Internships

Earlier this year, Riipen launched Level UP, an innovative work-integrated learning (I-WIL) program set to deliver 6,125 paid I-WIL experiences to post-secondary students across Canada. This program was funded by a $12.25 million investment from the Government of Canada’s Work-Integrated Learning Initiatives Program.

As part of our goal to break down barriers to access for underserved learner communities, we have partnered with Coast Mountain College in their Contact North BC expansion to provide remote internship access to 275 Indigenous and underserved learners in remote northwestern British Columbia. We have also partnered with Black Boys Code and Lighthouse Labs to provide 100 remote internship opportunities to the Black Youth Reskilling in Tech Project in Ontario.

See what employers and students had to say about their Level UP experience on our Wall of Love.

Special Program - Rural Roots

Funded by the Business + Higher Education Roundtable (BHER), with support from the Government of Canada and RBC Future Launch, Rural Roots is a collaborative program by the Alberta-based Rural Development Network (RND), Portage College, Mount Royal University, Medicine Hat College, and MacEwan University. Rural Roots aims to connect rural businesses and non-profits in Canada with post-secondary learners to advance their labour market and workforce skills through short-term virtual work-integrated learning projects. Learn more in the official press release.

Partnership - Future Skills Centre

Riipen has partnered with the Future Skills Centre on multiple programs to help Canadians gain the skills they need to thrive in a changing labour market. The successful EDGE UP program has expanded to phase 2.0, reskilling 320 more displaced oil and gas workers with the skills for a new job in IT. Path2CS and Reskilling Retail Workers Project are programs that will help reskill women who lost their jobs in the service and retail sectors for new roles in IT.

Partnership - Business + Higher Education Roundtable (BHER)

To date, Riipen has delivered over 10,000 learner experiences in our partnership with BHER. The partnership has a unique focus on delivering at least 10% of experiences for under-represented and rural/remote students, as well as increasing the accessibility of work-integrated learning to targeted segments of both the post-secondary education sector and employers.

Partnership - RBC Future Launch

Riipen's partnership with RBC Future Launch aims to increase access to, and deliver, experiential learning for Canadian post-secondary students in a scalable way. Collaborating with 30 partner post-secondary institutions, we have expanded our program for the second time to provide 10,000 more experiences.

Arizona State University Expansion

After a successful pilot program, Arizona State University (ASU) expands its partnership with Riipen to offer at least one million hours of experiential learning projects this year. A survey was conducted with 88 ASU students that completed a Riipen project and results found that:

  • 83% of students found an improvement in their teamwork skills
  • 80% of students reported the project provided them with opportunities to develop their professionalism
  • 2/3 of students surveyed indicated they had a clearer idea of the career they would like to pursue

Quarterly Product Coffee Breaks

In 2021, Riipen’s marketing and product teams came together to develop our Product Coffee Break Webinar Series. These webinars provided educators with the chance to learn about the latest Riipen platform updates, learn about upcoming features, and hear from their peers about how to best utilize the platform. 

Catch up with all the platform improvements and updates from 2021 by looking at our Product Coffee Break Recaps from April, July, and October.

Riipen’s publications

In 2021, Riipen also released a new publication titled “Economic Opportunity for All,” where we explore how work-integrated learning marketplaces help bridge the gap between learners and meaningful careers.

Our newsletter, The Riipen Report, continues to curate the best and breaking in higher education, future of work, and experiential learning which is delivered to your inbox every other week.

Team Riipen grows

Over the course of 2021, we also had the pleasure of working with 90 interns joining us virtually from across the country. Get a behind-the-scenes look at the Riipen intern experience by checking out this vlog series by our summer cohort of interns!

Charitable Giving Program launch

Earlier this year, Riipen launched our charitable giving program called Riipen Gives. Recent initiatives include a company-wide walkathon as well as an Acts of Kindness Bingo Challenge. Through these initiatives, our team was able to raise $2,910.60 for Indspire and $3,102 for ABC Life Literacy Canada. That brings us to a total of $6,012.60 that went towards supporting amazing non-profit organizations supporting youth education and/or empowering emerging talent.

Awards & recognition

Riipen was honoured to be recognized for our work by a number of organizations this year including:

Press & news:

As Riipen continues to grow, we have been featured in a number of online publications such as InsideHigherEd, Harvard Business Review, and EdSurge. See some featured articles below:

  • InsideHigherEd: “Special Report: Connecting College and Careers”
  • Harvard Business Review: “How Higher Ed Can Prepare Students for Today’s Digital Jobs”
  • Forbes: “Alumni Look Back In Anger”
  • Forbes: “If You Can’t Stand The Cheat, Get Out Of The Kitchen” 
  • EdSurge: “Overcoming the 9% PRoblem: New Ways to Unleash Alumni Social Capital at Colleges”
  • Magnet: “With Unique Pandemic Response, Canada’s Riipen Helps Both Students and Businesses”
  • Course Compare: “The Future of Work-Integrated Learning”
  • Techcouver: “Riipen Partners with University Canada West to Ramp Up BC Tech Talent”
  • Diverse Education: “3 Steps Towards More Equitable Networks on Campus”
  • WorkShift: “ASU goes big with work-based learning ‘marketplace’”
  • The Chronicle of Higher Ed: Career-Ready Education

This past year was a great year for Riipen and it would not have been possible without our wonderful partners, supporters, and of course the Riipen Team. A huge thank you to everyone that continues to support us on our journey to end underemployment and we look forward to an even greater 2022!

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