The Work-Learn Institute is pleased to announce it has entered into a two-year partnership with the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO)'s newly established Skills Consortium. The purpose of the Skills Consortium is to “evaluate programs or interventions relating to the acquisition, development and/or articulation of transferable skills.”

The Work-Learn Institute will be funded to evaluate the recently introduced program through Co-operative & Experiential Education at the University of Waterloo, (WE) Accelerate, which aims to “accelerate” students from unemployment to meaningful employment in future work terms. The project will examine whether participation in (WE) Accelerate reverses un(der)employment and helps students to develop in-demand transferable skills. 

“We are excited to support the Work-Learn Institute’s project to better understand the relationship between work-integrated learning and transferrable skills,” said Julia Colyar, Vice President, Research and Policy for HEQCO. “We know that transferable skills are essential for Ontarians’ individual and collective prosperity and through projects like this one, our Skills Consortium will build a valuable base of evidence to help improve graduate and employment outcomes for students.”

By examining differences in skill development and un(der)employment between those who participated in (WE) Accelerate and those who did not, the project will examine the following research questions:

  1. Will participation in a WIL-based skills development intervention lessen the gap in underemployment between previously employed students and unemployed ones? 
  2. If so, how might the development of transferable skills protect against underemployment? 

"This opportunity will allow us to evaluate the (WE) Accelerate program and measure outcomes for students, and identify areas for improvement", says Anne Fannon, Director of the Work-Learn Institute. "We value innovation in work-integrated learning and are grateful for HEQCO's support in examining ways to future-proof students through the obtainment of important transferable skills, which will ultimately help prepare them for an unpredictable labour market." 

For more information, please contact David Drewery.