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Pathways to Environmental Careers
Pathways to Environmental Careers FAQs - Employers
Pathways to Environmental Careers FAQs - Employers

Your questions about the Pathways to Environmental Careers Program

Updated over a week ago

What is Pathways to Environmental Careers?

ECO Canada is partnering with Riipen, the leading work-integrated learning platform, to provide dynamic pathways to Canada’s environmental sector. Through hands-on, employer-led projects, this collaboration will help aspiring eco-professionals pave their way for success with in-demand skills and work experience. From environmental protection and sustainability, to research, policy, and public awareness, Pathways to Environmental Careers provides accessible internships to support a more inclusive and thriving environmental workforce. Pathways to Environmental Careers is funded by the Government of Canada's Sectoral Workforce Solutions Program (SWSP).

Why is Pathways to Environmental Careers important for learners?

Pathways to Environmental Careers allows those seeking work in the environmental tech sector to benefit from paid work-based learning experiences through 80 hour internships. Learners are able to enhance and showcase their skills, form employer networks, and connect with long-term employment opportunities. Completed remotely over 2-6 weeks, employer projects provide authentic experience and support career clarity to pave the way for success in the dynamic job market.

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.

You will be asked to verify your company information when joining the Pathways to Environmental Careers program. You can find out more about our employer verification process here.

What is the employer registration process?

To sign up for Pathways to Environmental Careers you will need to complete a short form to ensure you are eligible for the program and to let us know what types of digital tech projects you will be looking to post. If eligible, you will then be invited to join the Pathways to Environmental Careers portal where you post your projects to be matched to the program. On joining the portal program, you will be asked to verify that you meet the Pathways to Environmental Careers eligibility criteria, as outlined in our Terms and Conditions here. For more info on the verification process, view this article here.

What does a Pathways to Environmental Careers project need to include?

Employers can post a range of environmental projects, including but not limited to sustainability strategy, training and education conservation, research, resource management, and advocacy. Companies in the environmental sector can also post projects which support their mission such as digital marketing, data analytics, or grant writing.

Projects should provide 80 hours of work per learner participating. Each project must be completed within 2-6 weeks. For more information on how to create and submit a project for Pathways to Environmental Careers, you can consult this article.

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

Currently, there are no limitations to the amount of projects an employer can submit. You should accept 3-4 learners per project and you are required to provide a minimum of 5 hours of mentorship to each learner. That being said, we ask that you be mindful of the amount of learners you accept to work on your project, to ensure you can dedicate appropriate time to each learner.

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

If this is the case, we suggest taking on more learners on the same project. We ask that employers accept at least 3 learners per project, but up to 4. Working with 4 learners means a project can require 320 hours of work in total.

What are the Terms and Conditions for the program and what is the three strike system?

In an effort to create a good Pathways to Environmental Careers experience for all parties, we have Terms and Conditions, which can be found here. Please take a moment to read through them. You will be asked to sign the T&Cs agreement when you post your project. We've also created a three strike system. This means that if any Pathways to Environmental Careers 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 learners get connected to projects?

Learners will apply directly to your project, individually. Employers should review applications within 5 business days and are only to accept the applications of the learners you want to work with. We encourage you to do pre-screenings to ensure that the learner is a good match for your project. Please note that letting an application expire and not providing an update to the learner, goes against the three strike system referenced above.

Learners must start and complete the work through the Riipen platform in order to receive the Pathways to Environmental Careers stipend. You are welcome to communicate with them outside of the platform as well. Learners 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 Pathways to Environmental Careers program at the conclusion of the project. You can read further details here.

How should I review learner applications?

We encourage employers to review learner applications to ensure your project is a match to their skills and you’re setting up the partnership for success. Each learner’s application will include their resume and a short opening message. Their Riipen profile page may also include other links to their LinkedIn profile or portfolio for example.

If you’d like to connect with a learner before accepting their application, we’d recommend connecting for a 30 minute interview or an informal call to get to know them further. You can schedule these directly from the Riipen platform using the integrations with Google Meet or Zoom. If you have clarifying questions for a learner, you can also connect using the messaging function on the Riipen platform. You should respond to learner applications within 5 business days, and select between 3 and 4 learners to work on each Pathways to Environmental Careers project.

Am I required to pay learners?

No, Pathways to Environmental Careers is a fully subsidized program. On successfully completing an employer project, each learner is paid a $1500 stipend by Riipen. Pathways to Environmental Careers is funded by the Government of Canada's Sectoral Workforce Solutions Program (SWSP). For more information on confirming and completing an Pathways to Environmental Careers project please consult this article.

How does the funding work?

Pathways to Environmental Careers is different from traditional wage subsidy or grant funding programs that you might be used to. Riipen pays learners directly, which means that funding is attached to learners, not projects.

When a project is approved for the Pathways to Environmental Careers program, that simply means that the project becomes available for learners to apply to. Stipends are not locked in until a learner has applied to, been accepted and started your project. Stipends are sent to learners as a one-time payment, which means that learners only receive payment upon successful completion of projects. Learners who do not fully complete the project will not be paid. Learners will not be permitted to take on more than one project.

Are learners employees of the organization?

No. Learners are neither employees of the organization they do a project for, nor of Riipen (who will pay their stipend). As such, learners do not qualify for any benefits and will not obtain any record of employment (ROE) from either organizations. Upon joining the Pathways to Environmental Careers program, Riipen will require learners 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 learners receive stipends?

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 Pathways to Environmental Careers program would not have the stipend attached, even if the learners are eligible. Learners will only receive a stipend if they have applied and been accepted to your project through the Pathways to Environmental Careers portal. Alternatively, you can invite any learner to apply to Pathways to Environmental Careers here.

Is Pathways to Environmental Careers available in French?

Yes, Pathways to Environmental Careers is available in French on the platform. 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 avocado found in the bottom right-hand corner of your screen or via email at

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