Why is Level UP important for students?
Students benefit from paid work-based learning experiences that enhance their skills, help them form employer networks, and gain career clarity.
Many students are (still) not enrolled in programs allowing them to do a traditional work integrated learning (WIL) experience (internship, placement, coop) or a class-based Riipen WIL experience. Students deserve a chance to gain real-world experience!
Many students don't have the time or bandwidth to invest in a long-term WIL (think about the amazing people in Continuing Education!), but most students can definitely fit a 80-hr project in their agenda, especially if they have up to 8 weeks to complete it! Who doesn't want to be paid for the amazing work they produce?
How do I join Level UP?
If you are interested in joining Level UP, you can sign up to the waitlist and verify your eligibility here. You will be contacted when the program opens and you will receive an invitation link via email. For additional information on the process, feel free to check out the Getting Started with Level UP help article.
What is the eligibility criteria for students?
To be eligible, you must fit all of the following criteria:
registered as students in Canadian postsecondary institutions, with no age limit; and
Canadian citizens, permanent residents, or persons to whom refugee protection has been conferred under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act; and,
legally entitled to work in Canada in accordance with relevant provincial or territorial legislation and regulations.
I am not an international student on a work permit, co-op permit, or student visa
*Please note that students on temporary work permits, and international students are not eligible for the Level UP program. Eligibility criteria is set as part of the funding agreement with the Government of Canada.
How many projects can I complete and how long are the projects?
Students have the opportunity to complete up to 5 Level UP projects within a calendar year. This allocation also covers situations where a project commences in one year but concludes in the following year. Please be mindful of the number of applications you are submitting, so that you do not go over this project limit. Each project is 80 hours in length and can be completed over the course of 2-8 weeks.
Is my $1,400 stipend reserved once I match with a project?
No! Your $1,400 stipend is only reserved once the project has been started on the platform. If the end date passes, without any submissions, the stipend is no longer reserved. Be sure to initiate your project promptly to secure your stipend.
Is Level UP available in French?
Yes, Level UP is available in French on the platform. All communications and marketing collaterals are also available in French. If you'd like to use the Riipen platform in French, you can navigate to your dashboard, click the drop down arrow in the top right corner and again on "Settings". Under "Accessibility", you will be able to change your language preference to French.
Do students need to be enrolled in a particular course/program?
Level UP aims to break down barriers, so it is open to any eligible student irrespective of their enrolment.
How are students paid? How long does it take?
Each Student will be paid for the project in the form of a stipend which will be sent via e-transfer. For students working on teams, each team member is required to complete 80-hours of work to receive their own $1400 stipend after completing the required exit survey.
Level UP operates on a 14-21 day payout period for students completing Level UP projects. Your stipend will begin to be processed when the Level UP employer you worked with provides feedback on your project submission. If 14 days have elapsed and the Level UP employer has not provided feedback, please reach out to the Riipen Level UP team. They will reach out to your employer again and if we do not hear back we will review your final deliverable on behalf of the employer, which may cause your payment to be delayed. You can read further details here.
What are the Terms and Conditions for the program and what is the three strike system?
In an effort to create a good Level UP experience for all parties, we have updated our Terms and Conditions, which can be found here. Please take a moment to read through them. We've also created a three strike system. This means that if any Level UP user goes against the Terms and Conditions, they will receive a strike. You will be notified via e-mail when/if you've received a strike. If you receive three strikes, you will be removed from the program and will no longer be able to participate and receive a stipend.
What if I decide to quit a project halfway, will I be paid for half the work?
Unfortunately not. Students will be paid once the project is submitted and exit survey is completed, in the form of a stipend. For that reason, students who do not fully complete the project, will not be paid. Additionally, if you do not clearly communicate to the employer and the Level UP team that you are unable to complete a project, you will receive a strike (see three strike system above).
Are students employees of the organization?
No. Students are neither employees of the organization they do a project for, nor of Riipen (who will pay their stipend). As such, students do not qualify for any benefits and will not obtain any record of employment (ROE) from either organizations. Upon matching to a Level UP project, Riipen will require students to submit their legal name, social insurance number (SIN) and mailing address so that we can issue the appropriate tax form(s).
What if my field of study doesn’t necessarily match the project stream (ex: I want to apply to a marketing project, but I am not a marketing student)?
Apply to any project you feel you have the right skills for, no matter which program you are currently enrolled in. So if you have the right skills for the project, even if it is not your program of study, feel free to apply and explain to the organization why you are the right candidate.
Are organizations responsible for providing any specific software they would need students to use?
Yes. While many students have access to a lot of softwares via their institution, it is the responsibility of the organization to provide software license/access to students if required to perform the work (e.g. manufacturing, engineering roles).
What tax documents do I receive?
All students engaged in the Level UP program for the 2023 tax year will be issued a T4A. You can expect to receive this in February, 2024.This will be available in your user settings under "issued documents" and you will receive an email notification when it has been uploaded. If you need a verification letter to confirm your participation in the Level UP program you can request one by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we can verify the dates of your participation.