The government of Canada is investing in a new student work-integrated learning program to help post-secondary students in science, technology, engineering, math (STEM) and business programs gain work experience and be better prepared for jobs in high-demand fields.
Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development, and Labour, announced on August 28 that through this program the government will help create 60,000 student work placements over the next five years.
The government is rolling out a $73 million investment plan to create 10,000 paid student work placements and forge partnerships between employers and post-secondary institutions in Canada. Agreements will be put in place with employer delivery partners, including recognized industry associations and organizations that represent the interests of businesses in key sectors in STEM and business.
According to BioTalent Canada, one of the government’s industry partners, 33 percent of companies in the biotechnology sector report skills shortages. Furthermore, 40 percent of those companies show that skills shortages have an impact on their success, regardless of their company size.
“Giving students the opportunity to get hands-on experience while ﬁnishing their studies will strengthen Canada’s bio-economy by bridging the gap between industry and academia,” said Rob Henderson, President, and CEO at BioTalent Canada.
Partnerships with employers
Employer delivery partners, such as BioTalent Canada, who represent the interests of employers in industries related to STEM and business will work with post-secondary institutions to deliver the program. The partners will provide eligible employers in STEM and business with wage subsidies for quality student work placements. For instance, employer delivery partners will cover up to 50 percent of the wage cost for the placement (up to a maximum of $5,000 per placement) and up to 70 percent (up to a maximum of $7,000 per placement) for first-year students and under-represented groups, such as women in STEM, Indigenous students, people with disabilities and newcomers.
Benefits of the program
Employers, including small and medium-sized enterprises, will work together with post-secondary institutions, such as polytechnics, colleges, and universities, to help students become job-ready and develop the full range of skills employers are seeking.
The program is expected to create more work placement opportunities for students enrolled in post-secondary studies across Canada with a greater focus on occupations in STEM and business, which often require a higher degree of technical skills.
When students participate in work placements they are more likely to:
- benefit from higher pay and a greater likelihood of securing full-time employment;
- find employment in fields closely related to their studies; and,
- develop technical and professional skills, such as strategic thinking, problem-solving, and teamwork.
More information for students, employers, and post-secondary institutions is available from the employer groups listed below:
- Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC)
- Information and Communication Technology Council (ICTC)
- Canadian Council for Aerospace and Aviation (CCAA)
- Environmental Careers Organization of Canada (ECO Canada)
- Biotalent Canada