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CEWIL funding sets graduate up for success in unpaid work-term and beyond

Photo of Smart WIL Award recipient, Wesley Amirault, at graduation with NSCC President, Don Bureaux.
Wesley Amirault, 2023 Smart WIL Award Recipient, Industrial Mechanical, IT Campus.


Work-integrated learning (WIL) opportunities help students gain relevant, hands-on experience to show and apply their program learnings in the workplace. With some WIL placements being unpaid, students face financial barriers as they are required to complete full-time work hours during their placement, often taking time away from paid part-time employment to participate.

Co-operative Education and Work Integrated Learning (CEWIL) Canada has partnered with NSCC to support students, with a preference for students from equity-deserving groups, facing these financial barriers so they can participate in these opportunities and focus on their learning experience. The latest partnership between CEWIL and NSCC is through the Smart WIL Award, established in 2023, it’s available to full-time and part-time students across all programs and campuses. This bursary offers vital assistance to those preparing for unpaid work experiences in the summer.

Set for success

Since Spring 2023, through the Smart WIL Award, CEWIL funded 475 awards valued at $1,500 to ease the financial strain on students in mandatory, unpaid work-integrated learning programs at NSCC. By removing these financial barriers, CEWIL aims to empower students on their journey toward success in their WIL placements and beyond. Empowering students like Wesley Amirault, a 2023 graduate of NSCC’s Industrial Mechanical Program.

“In all honesty, finances were tight when the award became available,” said Wesley. In addition to transportation costs and needing new clothing and tools for his work term, Wesley also faced out-of-pocket medical costs as a type 1 diabetic that weren’t covered by his insurance. “I felt that extra little push could help me get through the end of the school year,” said Wesley.

“The award absolutely set me up for success for my work term, and further, I was able to use the clothing and tools in my new position as well!” Said Wesley, “I also felt great knowing there are awards like this out there for people in situations like mine. This reminded me that there are still good people out there who just want others to succeed.”

Since the beginning of this partnership, CEWIL has supported over 475 students like Wesley as they gain the experience they need to enter the workforce with the skills they need to succeed.

Make a difference today

Learn more about ways to give to the NSCC Foundation, or contact us to discuss how you can support students at NSCC:

By phone (toll-free): 1-866-745-7919 | Fax: (902) 491-4828

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Return to Spring 2024 Update