Connecting students with food and agri-tech employers

Young businesswoman sitting at desk and working from home

Riipen and Bioenterprise Canada partner to attract young people to the sector 

Guelph/Vancouver, 30 November 2022 – A new partnership between an online work-integrated learning platform and Canada’s Food & Agri-Tech Engine will introduce young people to the potential of careers in the sector.

Vancouver-based Riipen and Bioenterprise Canada have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to help connect students with food and agri-tech employers to gain industry experience through fully subsidized internships while they are in school and give employers access to student talent to help with project work.

“In Canada, we are fortunate to have a robust agriculture and agri-food sector that is brimming with challenging and fulfilling career opportunities for young people that encompass everything from engineering and robotics to marketing, food production and more,” says Bioenterprise Canada CEO Dave Smardon. “It can be challenging to make students aware of the scope of employment possibilities, however, so it’s a pleasure to welcome Riipen to the Engine to help us introduce students to what the sector has to offer.”

With its goal of eliminating underemployment (when someone is working below their skill level and potential), Riipen is the world’s leading online work-integrated learning (WIL) platform. It connects educators and learners with employers on Riipen’s marketplace, which includes 435 higher education and training providers and 26,000 employers.

Research shows that recent graduates who start their careers in an underemployed job are five times more likely to remain so after five years, and three quarters are still underemployed 10 years after their first job.

Through the partnership, Bioenterprise Canada members get access to Level UP, a Riipen program with more than 31,000 students who are ready to connect with employers to complete 80-hour projects and earn a $1,400 stipend that’s fully subsidized by the federal government.

“Level UP’s remote internships can help agri-tech and food organizations reduce capacity strain, boost productivity, and increase access to innovative thinking, while giving college and university students flexible opportunities to earn work experience, gain professional mentorship and develop the entrepreneurial mindset sought out by recruiters in the field,” says Riipen CEO Dana Stephenson.

As Canada’s Food & Agri-Tech EngineBioenterprise Canada brings 20 years of industry experience and a national network of research institutions, academia, mentors and experts, funders and investors, government, and industry partners to help small and medium-sized businesses in Canada’s agri-food sector connect, innovate, and grow.

Launched in 2017, Riipen is the world’s leading online work-integrated learning (WIL) platform, connecting educators and learners with employers through highly flexible and scalable WIL solutions. On a mission to eliminate underemployment, Riipen has built a robust marketplace of over 435 higher education and training providers and 26,000 employers, delivering over 155,000 Work-Integrated Learning experiences to help learners enhance their skills, build their professional network, and accelerate their path to a meaningful career. Using technology and marketplace dynamics to break down traditional barriers to WIL access, Riipen brings the future of work to diverse learners of all backgrounds.


For more information:

Dave Smardon, Bioenterprise Canada, or 519-821-2960
Victoria King, Riipen, or 437-747-4953

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