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Work Integrated Learning

Work Integrated Learning (WIL) is the process through which students come to learn from experiences in educational and practice settings. WIL includes programs that can assist, provide, and effectively integrate learning experiences in both settings. WIL includes many types of experiential learning, such as apprenticeship programs, co-op programs, internships, applied research projects, service learning, and incubators and accelerators.

According to the Canadian Association of Career Educators and Employers, 83% of Canadian educators “believe they are producing graduates that have the skills and capabilities to successfully transition from school to the workforce ready to produce on day one,” yet only 34% of employers and 44% of students agree. This is a mismatch! It is suggested that one possible solution is giving more students access to work-integrated learning opportunities.

Why should you utilize WIL?


  • The ability to set up or test a new project
  • Having a dedicated resource to complete specific tasks or projects
  • Having a pool of potential recruits with some general awareness of workplace culture
  • An injection of new ideas
  • Developing links with higher education institutions and feeding into teaching practices and methodologies
  • Staff development opportunities that arise from employees mentoring students


  • Working in a setting in which to put theory into practice
  • Developing an awareness of work-place culture and expectations
  • Developing ‘soft' skills such as communication, team working, email and report-writing skills, punctuality and attendance, leadership and career development
  • Having an opportunity to develop a practical appreciation of your chosen profession
  • Developing practical skills to reflect upon in future studies
  • Short-term financial benefits - some students can earn whilst studying
  • Developing enhanced employment prospects and the potential of commanding higher wages on graduation
  • Building up a network of contacts


Labour Standards Division: Co-op students, interns and experiential learning positions can represent a great opportunity for both employers and participants alike. Did you know that the Labour Standards Code may apply to these types of positions? For more information, contact the Labour Standards Division.

Toll Free within NS: 1-888-315-0110 Tel: 902-424-4311 | Website


Nova Scotia Universities


Want to know more?

Contact our Vice President, Policy, Kent Roberts, to learn more about Work Integrated Learning.

Kent Roberts

Kent Roberts

Vice President, Policy

(902) 481-1231

Email Kent

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