Update: Landmark National Work-Integrated Learning Discussion Connects Government, Industry, and Higher Education
Co-operative Education and Work-Integrated Learning Canada (CEWIL Canada) hosted a groundbreaking conversation about the future of Canadian work-integrated learning (WIL) in Toronto, Ontario on Friday, February 16.
For the first time, leaders from industry and industry consortia, a variety of federal and six provincial government departments, post-secondary institutions and consortia and many other organizations from across the country with an interest in shaping the future of WIL in Canada came together in facilitated discussions about defining the evolving landscape of student WIL experiences, data collection, technology solutions, and new partnerships supporting employer engagement in student talent development.
“WIL has the potential to significantly and positively impact Canada’s talent pipeline by helping to close the skills gap and to equip this next generation with the lifelong learning skills they’ll need to navigate the workforce of tomorrow,” said Anne-Marie Fannon, past-president of CEWIL Canada and event co-chair. “Through this conversation, we’ve identified how we can collectively work together to make an impact on a national level.”
With recent stated industry and government goals of 100% student WIL participation as the context, the event facilitated connections between CEWIL Canada members and those with an interest in work-integrated learning. It was the culmination of a full week of events, discussions, and workshops regarding the dynamic national WIL landscape designed to attempt to provide clarity on the definition of WIL, best practices for connecting students and industry, inclusivity and diversity hiring in WIL, legal issues in WIL and engaging with a national WIL community to better prepare students for the workplace.”
“The level of interest and activity surrounding WIL lately has been unprecedented,” added Kristine Dawson, president-elect of CEWIL Canada and event co-chair. “By leading a national conversation about WIL, CEWIL Canada is able to coordinate messages, topics, and voices to successfully build capacity for WIL in developing the workforce of tomorrow. The differentiating factor about WIL is that it brings together a variety of stakeholders to facilitate a transformative learning experience for students that would not be possible without the engagement of employers across the country.”
For photos, session summaries, facilitator bios, a full list of delegates or to coordinate an interview with an organizer or facilitator, please contact Jennie Benjamins.