Students, employers benefit from more co-op, internship, on-the-job learning

by ahnationtalk on June 6, 2023126 Views

June 6, 2023

VICTORIA – More people will have access to work-integrated learning opportunities, such as co-ops, internships, practicums and community-service-learning opportunities as the Province partners with 13 of B.C.’s public post-secondary institutions.

These partnerships will prepare workers for in-demand jobs throughout the province with a focus on rural communities outside the Lower Mainland.

This investment is part of the StrongerBC: Future Ready Action Plan, which will give thousands of people the skills and opportunities they need to thrive and employers an improved ability to find the talent they need.

“Work-integrated learning helps future workers access the hands-on experience they need to launch their careers,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Post-Secondary Education and Future Skills. “These placements give people valuable opportunities to apply what they learn in the classroom to real-world settings and benefit employers by having workers who they train and can become potential new employees.”

Work-integrated learning is a model and process of hands-on education, which formally and intentionally integrates education studies within a workplace or practice, and applied setting. Types of work-integrated learning include applied research projects, apprenticeships, co-op, clinical placements and internships.

“On-the-job training is invaluable for today’s students,” said Andrew Mercier, Minister of State for Workforce Development. “Work-integrated learning equips people with the practical skills, knowledge and adaptability needed to thrive in today’s dynamic workforce.”

For budgetary reasons, smaller institutions can experience challenges providing work-integrated learning opportunities. An investment by the Province of $4.5 million over three years will increase access to work-integrated learning opportunities and provide increased economic opportunities for students throughout B.C.

“Co-op education has been truly transformational for me, providing invaluable experiences and opportunities to grow both personally and professionally,” said Molly Mifsud, Camosun College student and College Co-op Student of the Year, Association for Co-operative Education and Work-Integrated Learning in BC/Yukon. “Combining classroom learning with real-world work experiences, I have witnessed the power of co-op in enhancing my skills, shaping my career path and igniting my passion for making a difference. It has shown me that my true calling is psychology, where I can use my skills and experiences to help others be their best selves.”

Expanding work-integrated learning opportunities supports the StrongerBC: Future Ready Action Plan, which will help thousands of people get the skills they need to succeed in the growing economy and help close the skills gap many businesses are facing. Budget 2023 invests $480 million over three years to support the action plan’s work to break down barriers to post-secondary training.

Learn More:

To read the StrongerBC: Future Ready Action Plan, visit:

A backgrounder follows.


Ministry of Post-Secondary Education and Future Skills
Media Relations
250 508-5030


Expanded on-the-job learning opportunities through the StrongerBC: Future Ready Action Plan

The funding expands work-integrated learning programs at:

  • Capilano University;
  • Coast Mountain College;
  • College of New Caledonia;
  • College of the Rockies;
  • Emily Carr University of Art + Design;
  • Justice Institute of British Columbia;
  • Nicola Valley Institute of Technology;
  • North Island College;
  • Northern Lights College;
  • Royal Roads University;
  • Selkirk College;
  • University of Northern British Columbia; and
  • Vancouver Community College.

Nine of the 13 smallest institutions are outside the Lower Mainland and several serve rural and remote areas with high numbers of Indigenous students.

  • This maintains focus on areas of limited access to work-integrated learning outside major urban areas and the under-representation of some student groups in programs with work-integrated learning options.

In addition, the Association for Co-Operative Education and Work-Integrated Learning BC/Yukon is receiving funding that will benefit all B.C. public post-secondary institutions.


Ministry of Post-Secondary Education and Future Skills
Media Relations
250 508-5030


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