RBC Work-Integrated Learning Program
The RBC Work-Integrated Learning Program is aimed at bridging the gap between the classroom and the work world. The program combines classroom learning with practical application in the workplace, relevant to a student’s program or career goals. This helps Lakehead University students gain technical, entrepreneurial, and social skills and equip them with the resources and networks to build successful careers and businesses.
Expectations Of Employers
As an employer, choosing to become a mentor and experiential learning placement opportunity for a student would mean:
- Mentoring students for aminimum of 20 hours
- Providing supervision duringtheir six month placement
- Negotiating a learning plan and agreement with the student which outline expectations and schedule
- Providing WSIB coverage for students
- Assessing student’s progress
- You would also agree to collaborate with the Experiential Learning Navigator to monitor and evaluate progress and outcomes of the placement
What Will a WIL Placements Look Like?
Placements are available for 20 students enrolled in Lakehead’s Business program or Entrepreneurship Certificate program. Students may be placed in the private or public sector. During a placement, students may participate in specific business tasks, activities or projects to assist them in preparing for potential employment in that industry or discipline. Employers will be required to guide and mentor students to help develop enhanced skills in areas such as effective communication, conflict resolution, professional behavior, negotiation, time management and problem solving. Employers and students will work together over a 6 month period (roughly 6 hours a week, totaling 144 hours), providing sufficient opportunities for students to learn and take on tasks in a wide variety of roles. Six workshops throughout the year will provide further training in key areas to support their learning.
What is Work Integrated Learning (WIL)?
WIL combines classroom learning with practical application in the workplace, relevant to a student’s program or career goals. The Canadian Career Development Foundation (CCDF) recognizes that WIL provides opportunities for students to better determine career fit, refine learning goals, develop competencies related to career objectives, and establish a network of contacts (Bell and Benes, 2012). WIL is recognized as “an essential component to building a highly skilled and productive labour force for an innovative, strong and growing economy” (Canadian Chamber of Commerce, 2012: 6), and an important tool in regional economic development (Garlick, Davies, Polèse and Kitagawa, 2006).
Who Benefit From WIL?
Students will gain practical work experience, enhance their résumés, improve
employability skills, and determine their fit with a potential career or industry.
Other advantages include:
- Understanding requirements of a professional work environment;
- Applying classroom theory and skills to the workplace
- Developing a network of job search contacts.
Employers will gain recognition and satisfaction by assisting students to
help reach their goals. They will receive support and training in effective
supervision, mentoring, evaluation and assessment. Students who have skills
in technology, social media and other trends may provide fresh approaches
and ideas to challenges being faced in the work place.