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! And who doesn't want to be paid for the amazing work they produce?

Am I an eligible employer?

Employers must be located in Canada and considered as one of the following:

  • not-for-profit employer;

  • public sector employer (post-secondary institution); or,

  • private sector employer

Employers may not be:

  • a member of the House of Commons or the Senate;

  • part of an organization that engage in partisan political activities; and/or,

  • a federal, provincial, territorial and municipal government.

What does a Level UP project need to include?

Projects should provide 80 hours of work per student participating. Each project must be completed within 2-8 weeks. For more information on how to create and submit a project for Level UP, you can consult this article.

How many projects can I submit and how many students can I take on?

Currently, there are no limitations to the amount of projects an employer can submit, and the number of students they can take on. Employers are required to provide a minimum of 5 hours of mentorship to each student. That being said, we ask that you are mindful of the amount of students you accept to work on your project.

What if my project requires more than 80 hours of work?

If this is the case, we suggest taking on more than 1 student on the same project. For example, if your project requires 160 hours of work, 2 students would be needed to complete your project. Additionally, you are able to separate 1 project into 2 phases. This will allow you to work with the same student on more than 1 project.

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.

How do students get connected to projects?

Students will apply directly to your project, individually or in teams and applications will expire after 30 days. Employers are only to accept the applications of the students you want to work with. We encourage you to do pre-screenings to ensure that the student is a good match for your project. Employers are required to provide a minimum of five hours of mentorship to each student. Please note that letting an application expire and not providing mentorship goes against the three strike system referenced above.

Students must start and complete the work through the Riipen platform in order to receive the Level UP stipend. You are welcome to communicate with them outside of the platform as well. Students will need a dedicated contact to answer questions and provide access to any resources they need throughout the project. Payment is provided by Riipen through the Level UP program at the conclusion of the project. You can read further details here.

How does the funding work?

Level UP is different from traditional wage subsidy or grant funding programs that you might be used to. Riipen pays students directly, which means that funding is attached to students, not projects.

When a project is approved for the Level UP program, that simply means that the project becomes available for students to apply to. Stipends are not locked in until a student has applied to and been accepted. Stipends are sent to students as a one-time payment, which means that students only receive payment upon successful completion of projects. Students who do not fully complete the project will not be paid. Students will be permitted to take on up to 3 projects per calendar year.

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).

If I choose to submit my project to other opportunities, will those students receive honorariums?

No. While you are welcome to submit your project(s) to other courses and internship programs on Riipen, connections that you make outside of the Level UP portal would not have the stipend attached, even if the students are eligible. Students will only receive a stipend if they have applied and been accepted to your project through the Level UP portal. Alternatively, you can invite any student to join the Level UP waitlist and follow the process to join your project.

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.


Still have questions? Reach out to us via live-chat in the speech bubble found in the bottom right-hand corner of your screen or via email (levelup@riipen.com)


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