The Level UP program has now delivered more than 6,000 remote internship opportunities in Canada, according to Vancouver-based Riipen.
Riipen, an online work-integrated learning marketplace, created Level UP to “make paid work experience and connecting with student talent more accessible for students and employers of all backgrounds.” It is funded in part by the Government of Canada’s Innovative Work-Integrated Learning Initiatives program.
“We want to bring a more flexible, inclusive alternative to the work-integrated learning ecosystem in Canada,” said Dana Stephenson, CEO of Riipen. “Riipen projects are meant to be modular and stackable, so both students and employers can take advantage of working with more than one match.”
Level UP has experienced a robust pilot year, having been oversubscribed sine its first month and with a current waitlist now exceeding 20,000, according to the BC startup. Phase two of the program has increased federal funding by $36 million and is now on track to deliver more than 24,000 paid experiences by March 2024.
Level UP projects are 80 hours long, completed by students over two-to-eight weeks for small and medium businesses in Canada.
“We have seen many cases of students working with businesses across the country on highly relevant projects aligned with their areas of study, while others use the program as an opportunity to evaluate their career readiness, and even explore new disciplines,” said Stephenson.
“Close to 98% of employers in Canada are small businesses, for whom resources and funding are often limited,” added Dave Savory, fellow cofounder of Riipen. “We want to expand access for all businesses who want to participate in paid internships and offer their mentorship to student talent.”
Riipen, a recent Technology Impact Awards Growth-category Finalist, launched in 2017.