Ottawa offers wage subsidies to employers hiring STEM grads

Government also promising funding for skills development, training of interns

Ottawa offers wage subsidies to employers hiring STEM grads

The federal government is opening slots for hundreds of post-secondary graduates under its Science Horizons Youth Internship Program.

Ottawa has selected four companies – BioTalent Canada, Clean Foundation, Colleges and Institutes Canada, and ECO Canada – to place 581 post-secondary graduates in internship positions in environmental science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) across Canada for 2023–25.

Through the program, the government is providing these employers up to $25,000 for wage subsidies and up to $5,000 in funding for supporting services, such as skills development and training for each intern they hire.

“Young people just beginning their careers in science and technology, engineering and mathematics bring a whole new perspective to problem-solving and innovation into a workplace,” said Steven Guilbeault, minister of environment and climate change.

“These graduates are keen to contribute to the solutions that will bring about change for our environment – change that is badly needed to stop the impact of global warming. By supporting this internship program for our future scientists, we are creating new pathways to a healthier planet and a strong economy.”

Women working in STEM-related industries still find hostility and lack of job opportunities, according to a previous study. 

Eligibility requirements for STEM grads

Under the Science Horizons Youth Internship Program, interns will gain experience working in the environmental and clean technology sectors for 6 to 12 months.

To be eligible, post-secondary graduates must be:

  • between 15 and 30 years of age at the start of the internship
  • legally entitled to work in Canada
  • a Canadian citizen, permanent resident or person who has been granted refugee status
  • not in receipt of Employment Insurance (EI) during their internship
  • a graduate of degree or diploma programs from universities, colleges, post-secondary schools of technology, post-secondary institutes and CEGEP (collège d’enseignement général et professionnel, Québec)

They can apply and learn more about the four employers on the government website.

The Science Horizons Youth Internship Program has been in place for more than 25 years and has delivered over 8,000 internship opportunities in Canada, according to the federal government. 

Funding for the program is part of a $301.4 million investment under the federal government’s Youth Employment and Skills Strategy. In 2023–24, Science Horizons is receiving $18.6 million to provide job placements to young people facing employment barriers.

In March, Ontario announced that starting with students entering Grade 9 in September 2024, all students will be required to earn a Grade 9 or 10 Technological Education credit as part of their Ontario Secondary School Diploma. In November 2022, the provincial government announced more than $24 million in investment to the Achievement Incentive program, in a bid to make it easier for employers to take on new apprentices.

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