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New program to create 1,000 student job opportunities in Canadian biotech companies

Monday, August 28, 2017

BioTalent Canada announced a new initiative to increase job-readiness of post-secondary STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) and business students across Canada.

The federally-funded Student Work-Integrated Learning Program will provide $6 million in wage subsidies over four years for 1,000 co-op placements for students to gain work experience in Canadian biotech companies. In addition to wage subsidies, the program will also include a curricula-enhancement component to better align biotechnology programs at post-secondary institutions with the needs of Canada’s bio-economy employers.

This initiative is funded in part by the Government of Canada’s Student Work-Integrated Learning Program.

Canadian science graduates often struggle to find meaningful employment in the field of their choice. According to Statistics Canada, young university graduates in STEM across Canada face a 17% unemployment rate. Conversely, 53% of Canada’s biotechnology companies reported they grapple with skills shortage, according to BioTalent Canada’s labor market study, Sequencing the Data.

BioTalent Canada, a national non-profit HR association for Canada’s bio-economy, has a long track record of successfully addressing these issues through federal wage-subsidy programs, helping new talent gain employment in biotechnology and assisting companies in offsetting the costs of hiring.

Since 2013, BioTalent Canada has injected over $6.8 million into Canada’s bio-economy while helping 168 biotechnology companies hire over 550 new graduates through federally-funded programs.

“Smaller biotech companies are often reluctant to invest in the training of students with no work experience,” said Rob Henderson, President and CEO of BioTalent Canada. “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.”

The purpose of the Student Work-Integrated Learning Program is to build students’ job-readiness throughout their studies, to enable them to better integrate into Canada’s biotechnology sector and find meaningful employment upon graduation.

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