Canada Launches World’s First Inclusive Work-Integrated Learning Program in Virtual Reality
Supported by the Government of Canada, groundbreaking Wavemakers Program to empower 1,000 post-secondary students with valuable experience in the workplace of the future.
Toronto, September 16, 2021 - A thousand Canadian post-secondary students, who traditionally face barriers to learning, will soon have meaningful work-integrated learning experiences with industry experts on a virtual campus.
Funded in part by the Government of Canada’s Innovative Work-Integrated Learning Program, Wavemakers is the first national work-integrated learning program to use virtual reality to connect diverse post-secondary students with leading employers across Canada.
Leveraging leading-edge technology, innovative curriculum, and industry expertise, Wavemakers offers an opportunity for all Canadian post-secondary students to choose a more diverse and inclusive future.
“We’re on a mission to expand opportunities for all Canadian post-secondary students and employers to succeed in the workplaces of tomorrow,” says Krista Pawley, co-founder of Wavemakers. “Wavemakers bridges a critical gap by connecting post-secondary students from traditionally underrepresented communities with future-focused employers across Canada.” Through the eight-week program, students learn from industry leaders about the technologies and mindsets needed to thrive in the future of work.
“Wavemakers presented Edelman with a platform to connect with high potential students from diverse communities in new ways,” says Bianca Boyd, COO of Edelman. “Not only will our senior leaders share their lived experiences with students, but they will broaden their perspectives on what the workplace could, and should, look like.”
About 1,000 post-secondary students from underrepresented communities (Black, First Nations, Metis, Inuit, LGBTQ2S, students with disabilities, neurodiverse students, rural and remote students, and women) will complete the Wavemakers’ program by March 31, 2022.
Throughout their experience, students will interact with industry leaders from across multiple sectors.
“Wavemakers left me inspired to keep considering new ways of problem-solving, as the [societal] issues we face are becoming increasingly complex,” says Mya Walz, Wavemakers Student Alumni from the beta cohort in summer 2021.
“The virtual reality campus gives students the flexibility to practice, explore, and complete meaningful work experiences from wherever they are,” says Alison Reaves, NorQuest College. “The quality of the Wavemakers content, together with the novelty of the experience, helps students stay engaged and form connections with other students and program mentors in a way that traditional online programs cannot.”
Wavemakers is partnered with colleges, universities, and community organizations from coast-to-coast-to-coast. Participating industry partners include CAMH, Cobalt Lawyers, Convergence.Tech, CompuVision, Cormorant Utility Services, Dairy Farmers of Canada, Deloitte Canada, Edelman Canada, Jacobs, Manulife, Paramount Fine Foods, Restaurant Brands International, Unwasted, Rooted and Rising, Rizing, Stem Cell Canada, Sunlife, and TD Bank.
“We’re thrilled to be working in partnership with Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), industry partners, post-secondary institutions, and community groups across Canada,” says Oren Berkovich, Wavemakers Co-Founder. “Together we’re building a workforce representative of Canada’s multicultural and dynamic nature.”
The Innovative Work-Integrated Learning (I-WIL) Initiative is for post-secondary students to help them find opportunities related to their studies. I-WIL focuses on short and intensive activities that use technology.
Wavemakers is a groundbreaking work-integrated learning program supported by the Government of Canada, designed to connect diverse post-secondary students with leading employers across Canada. Wavemakers is the ONLY innovative work-integrated learning program accessible to all Canadian post-secondary students, wherever they are, that leverages cutting-edge technologies, world-class experts, and critical employer networks so that students are ready to make waves towards a brighter future.