Work-Integrated Learning (WIL)

A Net Zero Talent Pipeline Through Innovative Work Integrated Learning (WIL) Opportunities

This project offers innovative work integrated learning (WIL) opportunities that equip students with practical net-zero skills and fosters industry collaboration so we can build a future generation of environmental leaders.


Canada will need over 40,000 skilled environmental workers entering the green workforce every year for the next decade. To bridge this gap and empower young Canadians to pursue meaningful work, this project offers innovative work integrated learning (iWIL) opportunities that equip students with practical net-zero skills and foster industry collaboration so we can build a future generation of environmental leaders.

Our goal is to:

  • Empower young Canadians with the skills and experience needed to thrive in net-zero careers.
  • Deepen collaboration between industry and educational institutions to ensure the skills students are gaining meet current and future workforce needs.
  • Support Canadian employers in finding and attracting qualified green talent.

This project commenced on March 1, 2024, and will conclude on March 31, 2025. 

What is Work Integrated Learning?

Work-Integrated Learning (WIL) integrates a student’s academic studies with experiences within a workplace or practice setting. It involves a partnership among at least three key players: an academic institution, a host organization, and a student. Work-integrated learning enhances classroom learning and bridges theory with hands-on experience, preparing students for the complexities of the modern workplace. Some examples include co-ops, apprenticeships, or applied research.

Innovative WIL (I-WIL) are work-integrated learning experiences that are designed to be more adaptable and customizable. They occur over a shorter time frame, generally numbering weeks rather than months or semesters. These condensed experiences allow students to gain practical skills and insights while balancing their academic commitments.

Work-Integrated Learning Benefits:

By helping employers with wage and training costs, we can minimize the risk to take on junior candidates and reduce the number of under or unemployed recent graduates.

Project Activities

Create a pipeline of skilled professionals for Canada’s growing net-zero economy by establishing 210 new work-integrated learning (WIL) opportunities for students in Quebec, Yukon, and Prince Edward Island by March 31st. The project has two components:

Net Zero Bootcamps
(In Person Delivery)

The Net Zero Bootcamps will enable first-time students to gain a strong foundation of net zero concepts. It is a 2–3-day bootcamp offered through partnering post-secondary institutions in Quebec, Prince Edward Island, and Yukon.

These bootcamps offer students with baseline knowledge and skills around net zero and emissions reductions across sectors. 

These bootcamps equip students with essential knowledge and skills for net zero and emissions reductions across sectors. Topics include GHG emissions, climate change, net-zero policies, emerging technologies, industry trends, reporting frameworks, and feature guest speakers.

Bilingual Student Net Zero Challenges (Virtual Delivery)

This is a fast-paced, multi-day competition that challenges students across Canada to collaborate with their peers and industry partners to tackle real-world problems that are currently hindering progress towards net-zero.

Students will work together to develop innovative solutions, presented to a panel of judges with prizes being awarded to the top contestants.

Net Zero Challenge Information

Partnership Opportunities

Does this project align with your organization’s direction? 

We are currently in search of project partners across Quebec, Yukon, and PEI.

Partnership Opportunities

Employers & Industry Representatives

From sharing your net zero knowledge to providing guidance and networking opportunities, employer participation is key to enhancing student experiences! This is an excellent opportunity for individuals or organizations who are passionate about emissions reductions and want to share their experiences in the net zero space.

Who we are looking for:

  • Organizations from diverse sectors such as energy, transportation, construction, utilities, waste management, and agriculture that have integrated emissions reductions into their practices.

  • Companies actively engaged in net-zero or other low-carbon initiatives and committed to sustainability goals.
  • Are excited about companies sharing experiences with students!

Potential partnership opportunities include:

  • At the Net Zero Bootcamp, you have the opportunity to become a panel speaker, attend a networking lunch and be part of industry-session presentations.
  • Take part in the Net Zero Student Challenge, you can participate by providing project guidance, serving as a panel judge, submitting challenges, delivering kick-off keynote speeches, joining our networking events, or sponsoring student prizes.
Partnership Opportunities

Post-secondary Institutions

Give your students the opportunity to learn from net zero industry leaders and help build a skilled talent pool for Canada’s green economy!

Potential partnership opportunities include:

  • Get involved in our Net Zero Bootcamp by hosting at your institution, providing curriculum feedback, recruiting students or helping out with bootcamp delivery.

  • Help us enhance the Net Zero Student Challenge through student recruitment, judging projects, or providing student support.

Want more information?

If you are interested in learning more about any of these opportunities to build the future generation of net zero leaders, please reach out to our project team by clicking below.  

This project is done in partnership with the Business + Higher Education Roundtable, and with support from the Government of Canada.

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