Paid Internship in High Demand Fields

Paid Internship in High Demand Fields


The Challenges

Although Canada boasts high levels of post-secondary achievement, the transition for students to a first job can be challenging. Young graduates often lack opportunities to gain the workplace experience and skills necessary to find and retain jobs. In addition, too many Canadian graduates find themselves unemployed or underemployed, while employers are searching for skilled workers.

In fact, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce has identified skills shortages as the number one barrier to Canada’s competitiveness. According to the latest Help Wanted report from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, there were approximately 296,000 job vacancies in the fourth quarter of 2013, including vacancies due to the shortage of qualified labour.

Initiative to Provide Youth with Internships in High-Demand Fields

Recognizing these challenges, on May 2, 2014, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced an initiative to strengthen youth employment programming by dedicating $40 million towards supporting up to 3,000 paid internships for post-secondary graduates between 2014 and 2016. These internships, which will last between six and 12 months, will provide youth with real-life work experience in high-demand fields such as science, technology, engineering, mathematics and the skilled trades.Interns Wanted

Of this amount, up to $30 million would be provided to the National Research Council’s Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP) as part of its Youth Employment Program (YEP). This will go towards supporting youth internships in small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) undertaking technical research and development projects. The remaining $10 million, which will be delivered through Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC)’s Career Focus Program, will also provide post-secondary graduates with real life work experience in high-demand fields. For the Career Focus Program, a call for proposals will take place later in the year.

The support being announced in Economic Action Plan 2014 for this internship initiative is part of our Government’s Youth Employment Strategy (YES).


Benefits of this announcement include:

  • Providing post-secondary graduates with experiences and opportunities to help them succeed in the job market in their field of work now and in the future;
  • Helping employers fill jobs and address the shortages in high-demand fields; and,
  • Ensuring that young Canadians are fully contributing to the Canadian economy.

Service Programs

Youth Employment Strategy (YES)

YES is our Government’s umbrella program to help young people, particularly those facing barriers to employment, get the information and gain the skills, work experience and abilities they need to make a successful transition into the labour market. YES is a horizontal initiative involving 11 federal departments and agencies. The initiative is comprised of three program streams: Skills Link, Career Focus, and Summer Work Experience. Employers and organizations can apply for funding to offer employment opportunities to young people under these program streams. Since 2006, YES has helped more than 555,000 young people develop skills, to the benefit of the Canadian economy.

For additional information, visit:

Youth Employment Program – National Research Council’s Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP)

The NRC-IRAP’s Youth Employment Program (YEP), which is delivered under YES, provides financial assistance to innovative small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Canada to hire post-secondary science, engineering, technology, business, and liberal arts graduates. Graduates work on innovative projects within the SMEs environment and may participate in research, development and commercialization of technologies. In addition to meeting the needs of innovative SMEs, this program facilitates the transition of highly-skilled young people to a rapidly changing labour market.

YEP was created in 1997, and since 2006, NRC-IRAP has provided approximately $73.7 million in direct financial support to SMEs which resulted in 5,146 internships.

For additional information, visit:



Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) – Career Focus Program

Established in 2003, ESDC’s Career Focus Program is delivered under YES. It provides funding for local, regional, and national enterprises and organizations to design and deliver a range of activities that enable youth to make more informed career decisions, develop their skills and benefit from work experiences. The program aims to help facilitate youth transition into the labour market.

Career Focus aims to:

  • Increase the supply of highly qualified workers;
  • Facilitate the transition of highly-skilled young people to a rapidly changing labour market;
  • Promote the benefits of advanced studies; and,
  • Demonstrate federal leadership by investing in the skills required to meet the needs of the knowledge economy.

Since 2006, the Career Focus Program has helped over 26,000 youth acquire skills to help them transition into the labour market.

For additional information, visit:


Other Support to Connect Youth with Available Jobs

The Government of Canada invests over $10 billion annually to support post-secondary education, which includes providing students with financial assistance such as Canada Student Loans and Canada Student Grants, and specific programming targeted to First Nations and Inuit students.

Support for Apprentices

The Apprenticeship Incentive Grant and Apprenticeship Completion Grant are taxable cash grants that encourage Canadians to pursue and complete apprenticeship training in designated Red Seal trades. As a result of these grants, apprentices could be eligible to receive up to $4,000, which can be used to pay for tuition, tools or other expenses.

The Government of Canada also offers a tax credit to enterprises to encourage them to hire apprentices, as well as a tax deduction for apprentices and tradesmen to help cover the cost of new tools.

Through Economic Action Plan 2013, the Government of Canada introduced measures to support apprentices and the skilled trades. This included encouraging the use of apprentices in federal construction and maintenance contracts and infrastructure projects, working with the provinces and territories to harmonize apprenticeship training and certification, and examining the use of practical tests as an assessment in certain skilled trades.

Economic Action Plan 2014 also introduces the Canada Apprentice Loan to provide apprentices registered in their first Red Seal trade with access to interest-free loans of up to $4,000 per period of technical training. This initiative will help more apprentices to complete their training and encourage more Canadians to consider a career in the skilled trades.

For additional information, visit:

Post-secondary Education

The Government of Canada provides a range of support – including Canada Student Loans and Canada Student Grants – to help young Canadians pursue and save for their post-secondary education, in order to acquire the skills and training they need to succeed in the job market.

For additional information, visit:


Government of Canada Supports Scientific Discovery for Thousands of Researchers and Students

Government of Canada Supports Scientific Discovery for Thousands of Researchers and Students

OTTAWA, ONTARIO–(Marketwired – May 21, 2013)


Scientists, engineers and students at universities across the country will receive significant support from the Government of Canada through the Discovery Grants, scholarships and fellowships. The Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology) announced 3,808 research awards that will advance research in a full range of fields in science, technology, engineering and mathematics."

Discovery Grants is the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada's flagship program and one of Canada's largest sources of funding for basic research," said Minister Goodyear. "It provides researchers with the means and freedom to pursue their most promising ideas. Our government is proud to support 10,000 researchers who are creating the advances that will drive tomorrow's innovations."

The awards totalling over $413 million comprise the 2013 competition results for Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Discovery Grants, Discovery Accelerator Supplements, Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarships, Postgraduate Scholarships, and the Postdoctoral Fellowships. Together they build a broad base of research capacity across the country.


An integral component of the government's efforts to promote research and training excellence at Canadian universities, the Discovery Grants Program funds basic research in a multitude of scientific and engineering disciplines.

"Through these programs, NSERC provides direct support to an exceptionally strong base of scientific and creative talent in every field of the natural sciences and engineering," said Janet Walden, Acting President of NSERC. "Our scholarships and fellowships programs help us recruit and retain the bright young minds that will lead the next generation of Canadian discoverers and innovators."

Of the 3,808 awards announced today, 2,026 are Discovery Grant recipients. As well, 125 researchers will also receive a Discovery Accelerator Supplement. Valued at $120,000 over three years, Discovery Accelerator Supplements are awarded to researchers whose proposals explore high-risk, novel or potentially transformative concepts and lines of inquiry, and are likely to contribute to groundbreaking advances.

Since 2006, the Government of Canada has provided nearly $9 billion in new funding for science, technology and the growth of innovative firms. Of this amount, over $6 billion is in support of science and technology activities at post-secondary institutions, including increases in the budget of the Discovery Grants program. This funding has helped to make Canada a world leader in post-secondary education research and to create the knowledge and the highly skilled workforce required for a more prosperous economy.

For more information about NSERC Discovery Grants and Scholarships, please visit the NSERC Web site, where you will find videos, impact stories and frequently asked questions about the program.

NSERC is a federal agency that helps make Canada a country of discoverers and innovators for all Canadians. The agency supports almost 30,000 post-secondary students and postdoctoral fellows in their advanced studies. NSERC promotes discovery by funding approximately 12,000 professors every year and fosters innovation by encouraging over 2,400 Canadian companies to participate and invest in post-secondary research projects.


NSERC Research Grants and Scholarships
2013 Competition Results

The 2013 Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) research grants and scholarships competitions resulted in the following awards being offered:
Program Number of Awards Total Value
Discovery Grants 2,026 $323,867,709
Discovery Accelerator Supplements 125 $15,000,000
Canada Graduate Scholarships Master's level: 800 $14,000,000
Doctoral level: 261 $25,550,000
Postgraduate Scholarships Master's level: 36 $622,800
Doctoral level: 450 $26,145,000
Postdoctoral Fellowships 110 $8,800,000
3,808 $413,985,509

The terms of the awards vary from one to five years.

Discovery Grants Program


The Discovery Grants (DG) Program is NSERC's largest program and a key element of Canada's support for excellence in science and engineering research and training at Canadian universities. The DG Program gives researchers the freedom and flexibility to pursue the most promising research directions as they arise, encouraging creative and cutting-edge approaches and international collaborations.

The objectives of the DG Program are:

to promote and maintain a diversified base of high-quality research capability in the natural sciences and engineering in Canadian universities;
to foster research excellence; and
to provide a stimulating environment for research training.

Discovery Grants support ongoing programs of research (with long-term goals), rather than a single short-term project or collection of projects. Researchers are free to structure their program in the most appropriate way for their research area. The grants are awarded for one to five years, although most terms are five years.

After having introduced enhancements to the Discovery Grants peer review system in 2009 and 2010 that created a more dynamic and competitive funding system and introduce a more flexible review structure, NSERC has launched the next five-year review of the Discovery Grants program. To date, we have surveyed Discovery Grants holders, applicants and highly qualified personnel and have sought input from scientific societies and university administrators across the country. Next steps will include a survey and interviews with Evaluation Group members and chairs, followed by a thorough analysis of data, statistics and bibliometric information. These activities will culminate with a meeting of an international panel of experts to review the findings and with a report on the evaluation in early 2014.

Discovery Accelerator Supplements

The Discovery Accelerator Supplements (DAS) Program provides substantial and timely resources to a small group of researchers whose research proposals suggest and explore high-risk, novel or potentially transformative concepts and lines of inquiry, and are likely to have impact by contributing to groundbreaking advances in the area. In particular, for the purposes of the DAS Program, a superior research program is one that is highly rated in terms of originality and innovation. The timeliness of DAS support represents the potential for the researcher at this time to capitalize on an opportunity, such as a recent research breakthrough, a paradigm shift or a new strategy to tackle a scientific problem or research question. Each award is valued at $120,000 over three years ($40,000 annually) and provides recipients with additional resources to compete with the best in the world.

The Three Scholarships Programs

Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarships (CGS) and NSERC Postgraduate Scholarships (PGS) provide financial support to high-calibre scholars who are engaged in master's or doctoral programs in the natural sciences or engineering. A CGS is offered to the top-ranked applicants at each level (master's and doctoral) and the next tier of meritorious applicants is offered an NSERC PGS. This support allows scholars to fully concentrate on their studies and seek out the best research mentors in their chosen fields. Overall support is limited to four years-a maximum of one year at the master's level and up to three years at the doctoral level.

The Postdoctoral Fellowships (PDF) Program provides support to a core of the most promising researchers at a pivotal time in their careers. The fellowships are also intended to secure a supply of highly qualified Canadians with leading-edge scientific and research skills for Canadian industry, government and universities.

Contact Information

Michele-Jamali Paquette
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Gary Goodyear
Minister of State for Science and Technology

Martin Leroux
Media and Public Affairs Officer
Natural Sciences and Engineering
Research Council of Canada

Media Relations
Industry Canada