In collaboration with Canadian business leaders, the Skills Council of Canada supports Indigenous, underrepresented and underserved communities by providing traditional Work Integrated Learning infrastructure, skills assessments, job-focused skills development and mobile access through their Skills Management System.

Work Integration Learning

Work-integrated learning is a model and process of curricular experiential education which formally and intentionally integrates a student’s academic studies within a workplace or practice setting. WIL experiences include an engaged partnership of at least: an academic institution, a host organization and a student. WIL can occur at the course or program level and includes the development of learning outcomes related to employability, personal agency and life-long learning.

Multiple Work Integrated Learning programs

Source: CEWIL

1. Community and Industry Research & Projects (formerly Applied Research Projects): Students are engaged in research that occurs primarily in workplaces, includes: consulting projects, design projects, community-based research projects.

2. Apprenticeship: Apprenticeship is an agreement between a person (an apprentice) who wants to learn a skill and an employer who needs a skilled worker and who is willing to sponsor the apprentice and provide paid related practical experience under the direction of a certified journeyperson in a work environment conducive to learning the tasks, activities and functions of a skilled worker. Apprenticeship combines about 80% at-the-workplace experience with 20% technical classroom training, and depending on the trade, takes about 2-5 years to complete. Both the workplace experience and the technical training are essential components of the learning experience.

3. Co-operative Education (co-op alternating and co-op internship models): Co-op alternating consists of alternating academic terms and paid work terms. Co-op internship consists of several co-op work terms back-to-back. In both models, work terms provide experience in a workplace setting related to the student’s field of study. The number of required work terms varies by program; however, the time spent in work terms must be at least 30% of the time spent in academic study for programs over 2 years in length and 25% of time for programs 2 years and shorter in length.

4. Entrepreneurship: Allows a student to leverage resources, space, mentorship and/or funding to engage in the early-stage development of business start-ups and/or to advance external ideas that address real-world needs for academic credit.

5. Field Placement: Provides students with an intensive part-time/short term intensive hands-on practical experience in a setting relevant to their subject of study. Field placements may not require supervision of a registered or licensed professional and the completed work experience hours are not required for professional certification. Field placements account for work-integrated educational experiences not encompassed by other forms, such as co-op, clinic, practicum, and internship.

6. Internships: Offers usually one discipline-specific, supervised, structured paid or unpaid, and for academic credit work experience or practice placement. Internships may occur in the middle of an academic program or after all academic coursework has been completed and prior to graduation. Internships can be of any length but are typically 12 to 16 months long.

7. Mandatory Professional Practicum/Clinical Placement: Involves work experience under the supervision of an experienced registered or licensed professional (e.g. preceptor) in any discipline that requires practice-based work experience for professional licensure or certification. Practica are generally unpaid and, as the work is done in a supervised setting, typically students do not have their own workload/caseload.

8. Service Learning: Community Service Learning (CSL) integrates meaningful community service with classroom instruction and critical reflection to enrich the learning experience and strengthen communities. In practice, students work in partnership with a community-based organization to apply their disciplinary knowledge to a challenge identified by the community.

9. Work Experience: Intersperses one or two work terms (typically full-time) into an academic program, where work terms provide experience in a workplace setting related to the student’s field of study and/or career goals.
Please click here to access the WIL Definitions print-friendly resource.


Traditional WIL experiences leave too many students without the support they need. When a group of student all get assigned placements with the same company, the top performers tend to get most of the attention, while others fall behind and often do not move into employment opportunities.

The solution is pretty simple when you have the right resourcess and technology to support each student's individual requirements. With Skills Council of Canada's platform, you gain access to the lirbray of skills prorgams, a system of collaboration and support from the employer, the educator and the student, all being supported by our resources.

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The SMART approach to WIL + Skills

Skills Council of Canada recognized that the Work Integrated Learning programs across Canada have been lacking and in need of new technology that not only supports the student with the skills they need for their career development, but also supporting employers with a better way to manage canidate development. Here is the difference between traditional WIL experiences and our WIL+SKILLS experiences.

Become a Partner

Interested in becoming a partner to support students placements? Want to work together with us as your back-end partner supporting your efforts? With are collaborators! Connect now!

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COnnecting Students with employers, supported by our WIL + Skills reources and Platform

Today's WIL placement programs, while important, need to be innovatived to support the changing landscape for many Canadians. The WIL's of the past would provide students with access to the placement programs, but would then leave then to 'figure' things out afterwards. WIL +Skills stays with the student throughout their entire placement and beyond.

Are you interested in WIL experiences?

If you are interested in gaining work integrated learning experiences, complete the following form and we will follow-up with you directly on the scope of details required to start the evaulation and profiling process.

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