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RBC and Riipen launch national experiential learning partnership for Canadian youth

Thirteen post-secondary institutions from across Canada will connect students with practical work experience

TORONTO, October 9, 2019 - To help young Canadians prepare for the future of work, RBC Future Launch and Riipen have partnered to provide students with the opportunity to develop the skills and gain the work experience they need for the jobs of tomorrow. The Riipen platform will be made available through the support of the RBC Foundation to students at thirteen post-secondary institutions from across Canada.

“Work-integrated learning can truly be a social and economic leveler. It’s also an opportunity that roughly 40 per cent of Canadian students miss out on,” said Mark Beckles, Senior Director, Youth Strategy and Innovation, RBC. “Too many young Canadians are caught in a ‘no experience, no job’ cycle. We have a collective opportunity to help change that by offering students the chance to gain the type of real-world experience that employers are hiring for.”  

Phase one of the partnership, which officially starts this fall will launch at the following post-secondary institutions:

  • Bow Valley College (Alberta) 
  • British Columbia Institute of Technology (British Columbia) 
  • Carleton University (Ontario)  
  • Fanshawe College  (Ontario) 
  • Kwantlen Polytechnic University (British Columbia) 
  • Maple League
    • Acadia University (Nova Scotia)
    • Bishops University (Quebec)
    • Mount Allison University (New Brunswick)
    • St. Francis Xavier University (Nova Scotia)
  • Red River College (Manitoba) 
  • Saskatchewan Polytechnic (Saskatchewan)
  • Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (Alberta) 
  • Thompson Rivers University (British Columbia)

Programming for these schools can be linked to at: Experiential learning by Riipen and RBC Future Launch (

“Our team is excited to be working with RBC Future Launch to help deliver work-integrated experiential learning initiatives across Canada. Students today face numerous challenges in gaining the experience, career clarity and professional networks they need to succeed. Work-integrated experiential learning not only helps students kick-start their careers, but also helps organizations build their brand with an emerging generation, gain insights around business challenges and opportunities, and recruit talent in a more authentic and efficient way,” said Dana Stephenson, CEO and Founder of Riipen. “We are excited that Riipen has been selected as an RBC Future Launch partner to help young people prepare for the future of work.”

Riipen’s software enables customized, online work-integrated learning, one of the most scalable ways of giving students access to opportunities for skills development and professional networking. Riipen’s platform embeds real-world, employer-designed projects and competitions on campus and often directly into the curriculum through project-based work-integrated learning. These virtual internships and co-ops help students prepare for the future of work in an economy undergoing rapid digital transformation. By bringing together students with post-secondary institutions and off-campus partners of all geographies and sizes, Riipen creates a collaborative ecosystem where these partners work together to create meaningful and scalable work-integrated learning opportunities.

“The immersive experience I gained through the Riipen platform was extremely valuable, said Rahma Ali, McMaster University graduate. “Working on projects through Riipen taught me a different set of skills than I was learning in the classroom – how to effectively work within a team, how to break out projects into manageable tasks and to meet deadlines. With these skills in my toolkit, I was more confident and better prepared as I interviewed to land my first career experience”. 

Members of the Riipen community receive access to:

  • Real-world projects co-developed by academic institutions and employers (both for-profit and not-for-profit) focused on preparing students for the future of work
  • The world’s largest online library of curriculum-embedded work-integrated learning
  • Project management tools that help instructors manage and scale work-integrated learning
  • Student portfolios, with skills that have been validated by a network of employers
  • Tools for tracking and reporting on the growth of work-integrated learning on campus
  • Valuable data on workforce-relevant skills

RBC Future Launch is a decade-long commitment to help Canadian youth prepare for the jobs of tomorrow, through access to work experience, skills development opportunities, networking solutions and/or mental well-being supports and services. For more information, visit:

About RBC
Royal Bank of Canada is a global financial institution with a purpose-driven, principles-led approach to delivering leading performance. Our success comes from the 86,000+ employees who bring our vision, values and strategy to life so we can help our clients thrive and communities prosper. As Canada’s biggest bank, and one of the largest in the world based on market capitalization, we have a diversified business model with a focus on innovation and providing exceptional experiences to more than 16 million clients in Canada, the U.S. and 34 other countries. Learn more at‎

We are proud to support a broad range of community initiatives through donations, community investments and employee volunteer activities. See how at

About Riipen

Riipen is North America’s largest online work-integrated learning marketplace, where organizations of all sizes connect with educators to collaborate with university and college students on short-term projects and competitions. Their mission is to “enable all students from all backgrounds and geographies to access work-integrated experiential learning (WIEL) to support learners of all backgrounds to bridge the skills gap, gain career clarity, network with potential employers, and find jobs they love."

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For more information, please contact:
Emma McKay, RBC Communications, 437-488-2438
Daniela Pico, Riipen, 647-778-9471