NIC students to benefit from provincial WIL funding

NIC student Rudo Mlambo has seen the benefits of the Work-Integrated Learning program.

A recent provincial announcement will mean more support for North Island College (NIC) students taking part in Work-Integrated Learning (WIL) experiences and regional employers looking to hire students.

On June 6, the B.C. Government announced an investment in co-ops, internships, practicums and community-service-learning opportunities. NIC is among the 13 post-secondary institutions included in the announcement.

The investment is part of the province’s StrongerBC: future ready action plan, announced in May. For institutions like NIC, it will provide a total of $4.5 million over three years.

“This funding represents a true commitment on behalf of the province in helping support students to transition successfully from their post-secondary studies to the workforce,” said Anita Budisa-Bonneau, NIC Coordinator for Work-Integrated Learning. “Participating in a quality WIL experience before graduation helps students determine their future career path with confidence.”

Rudo Mlambo has seen the benefits of WIL programming. As an accountant in her native Zimbabwe, she decided to come to Canada and continue her education. She began researching post-graduate programs, then decided on NIC’s Global Business Management post-graduate program.

She started her studies in January 2022 and has been able to find work with an accounting firm in Courtenay.

Mlambo points out the importance of WIL opportunities and programming for students, especially those working to establish themselves in a new country.

“I think it’s a gateway for most people. It’s not easy to just land in Canada,” she said. “But with WIL you now have work experience you’ve already gained in Canada before you even graduate.”

Another advantage is the integration of education and real-world, on-the-job experience.

“Learning is one thing. The moment you get on a computer at work, it’s different,” she said. “Being at school here at the same time has helped a lot … It boosts your confidence too.”

NIC will be working on its plan for the new WIL funding in the coming weeks and will be releasing more information about WIL opportunities for students and employers.

“We’re thrilled with this funding opportunity that will allow us to expand our current programming while also better supporting our regional employers, so that they are well aware of all the funding opportunities available to them to hire students,” Budisa-Bonneau said. “Over the next three years, we will be looking for innovative partnerships to help create more engaging, quality and inclusive WIL experiences for all.”

For more information about WIL opportunities at NIC, see

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