News Release – Government of Canada creating more paid student work placements for post-secondary students

News Release
From: Employment and Social Development Canada
November 24, 2017      Toronto, Ontario      Employment and Social Development Canada                                                               

Giving post-secondary students the chance to learn in a hands-on work environment is part of the Government’s plan to put Canada’s greatest strength—its skilled, hard-working people—at the heart of a more innovative new economy.

The Honourable Kristy Duncan, Minister of Science, on behalf of the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, today announced that the Government of Canada will work with MaRS Discovery District (MaRS) to provide students with work placement opportunities to help them develop their skills and gain valuable workplace experience.

The Government of Canada is rolling out up to 60,000 student work placements over the next five years. The Government’s Student Work-Integrated Learning Program will provide $73 million to create 10,000 paid student work placements over the next four years and facilitate stronger partnerships between employers and partnering polytechnics, universities and colleges. This is in addition to $221 million in funding for Mitacs, a not-for-profit organization that provides research internships with a goal of creating 10,000 work placements per year over the next five years.

Minister Duncan made the announcement together with MaRS, one of several industry partners working with the Government of Canada. MaRS is an innovation hub designed to foster, accelerate and scale innovation for impact. MaRS has worked in the education space for over a decade through its Studio Y which supports young people to become top-performing leaders. MaRS, which has taken a leadership role through it Studio Y Fellowship program in providing summer work experience and skills development opportunities, will receive $4.4 million.

It is expected that more than 400 student work placements will be made available primarily to under‑represented post-secondary students, such as women in STEM, newcomers, Indigenous students as well as first-year students in STEM.

Quick Facts

  • Work placements are a continuum of opportunities offered within the workplace including internships, practicums and cooperative placements (co-ops).
  • Students who participate in these opportunities are more likely to benefit from higher earnings and more employment opportunities, be employed in fields more closely related to their studies and develop technical and work-ready skills sought after by employers.
  • Through this investment, students will also benefit from MaRS Systems Leadership training which will provide them with the skills employers have deemed critical to drive growth and innovation in Canada, such as problem solving and critical thinking.
  • To date, four sectors including aviation/aerospace; information and communications technology; biotechnology; and environment have been announced by the Government of Canada as delivery partners in the Student Work-Integrated Learning Program.

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Matt Pascuzzo
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Patty Hajdu, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour

Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada