Wage Subsidies

Wage Subsidy Programs

As our province recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, Government agencies, as well as other industry agencies, are creating programs to help create jobs and stimulate the economy. This page exists to help your business or organization learn about the benefits available through wage subsidies.  


Science Horizons Youth Internship Program

The Science Horizons Youth Internship Program is a wage subsidy that helps graduates acquire work experience in an environment-related STEM field.

The Science Horizons Youth Internship Program gives employers the freedom to:

  • Gain access to funds to hire scientific and technical staff with less financial risk
  • Grow their business
  • Hire talent eager to utilize their skills
  • Develop new talent within their company

Program Description

The Science Horizons Youth Internship Program covers the cost of a participant’s salary by 80% up to a maximum of $25,000. The program helps employers hire the talent they need and helps graduates gain skills to secure full-time employment in environmental fields.

In addition to the wage subsidy contribution, employers may be eligible for up to a maximum of $5,000 for training, skills development, and/or wrap-around services; please contact Jennifer Ash, Project Manager, for more details at jash@biotalent.ca.


Participants must :

  • be new (not yet employed) to the organization applying for funding;
  • be aged 30 or under at the beginning of the internship;
  • be a graduate from a post-secondary institution (does not have to be a STEM grad) – Canadian or International
  • a Canadian citizen, permanent residents, or persons who have been granted refugee status in Canada;
  • be legally entitled to work in Canada according to the relevant provincial and Canadian legislation and regulations; and
  • not be in receipt of Employment Insurance (EI) benefits.
  • agree with in-person and virtual midpoints

Guidance for self-identification on the application can be found in this FAQ document.

Please also see the Participant information page for participant eligibility.

LEARN MORE (9).png (4 KB)


BioTalent Canada - Student Work Placement Program (SWPP)

The Student Work Placement Program (SWPP) is an initiative to increase the job readiness of students registered in STEM, healthcare, business, and all other programs at Canadian post-secondary institutions.

The program gives employers the freedom to:

  • Gain access to funds to hire students
  • Leverage a pool of workers eager to enhance their skills
  • Develop new talent for future recruitment needs

Program description

The program’s wage subsidies help knock down cost barriers, by covering the cost of a student’s salary by 50% up to a maximum of $5,000 and 70% up to a maximum of $7,000 for first-year students and under-represented groups including women in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM); indigenous students; persons with disabilities; members of a visible minority; and newcomers.

The program enables you to bring on an eager-to-learn student for a special project – and at the end of the placement end up with a skilled candidate already oriented to your company who could meet your future recruiting needs.

As an SWPP participant, you get the added benefit of free access to BioTalent Canada’s new training programs—“Essential Skills Fundamentals Training Program” and “Technical Skills Fundamentals Training Program”.  Access will be provided to you once your placement is approved.

SWPP 2023 - 2024 funding is now available!

Important deadlines for submission: 

  • Summer Term: July 28, 2023, 5 pm (ET)
  • Fall Term: November 3, 2023, 5 pm (ET)
  • Winter Term: February 23, 2024, 5 pm (ET)

Placements are filling up fast, so get your application in today! 

Please note, that retroactive applications are no longer being accepted. Placements must be approved and have a contract signed before the end of the placement. If you have any questions, please contact askme@biotalent.ca


 BioTalent Canada - Career Starter Program

The Career Starter Program facilitates the transition of barriered youth into the labour market. It bridges the gap between talent and industry, introduces participants to the bio-economy as a viable career path, and enables employers to strengthen their workforce.

Program Description

Career Starter provides bio-economy employers with 50% of a youth’s salary to a maximum of $15,000 in wage subsidies for a three to six-month job placement. This will help the employer adopt a diverse and inclusive work culture while satisfying their need for skilled labour.

The program encourages employers to open the bio-economy’s doors to barriered youth. As Canada faces a shortage of 65,000 workers in the bio-economy by 2029, Career Starter introduces employers to skilled labour in places they may not have otherwise considered looking.

In addition to the wage subsidy, the program can provide additional supports including:

  • internal job coaching;
  • access to BioTalent Canada’s suite of Essential Skills and Technical Skills training courses; and
  • Onboarding tools for employers, including a diversity and inclusion HR policy template; and ongoing monitoring to ensure program success.


  • Participants must be:
    no younger than 15 and no older than 30 years of age;
  • a barriered youth, including but not limited to:
    • Involuntary NEET (not in education, employment, or training) for at least six months
    • with disability
    • Indigenous
    • A recent immigrant and/or refugee
    • A visible minority
    • LGBTQ2 +
    • Homeless or at risk of becoming homeless
    • Living in a low-income household
    • Residing in a rural or remote location
    • Living with family care responsibilities
    • Affected by substance use
    • Currently in, coming out of, or who have been involved in the justice system
    • In or aging out of care
    • Living with low levels of literacy and numeracy
  • A Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or person who has been granted refugee status in Canada; and
  • Legally entitled to work in Canada, according to the relevant provincial and Canadian legislation
  • and regulation.
  • New hires cannot have started employment at the organization
  • Not being in school full-time (part-time students can apply), the participant needs to be able to
  • work full-time.

Employer must:

  • maintain an internal process for supervising and mentoring for the participant;
  • offer a full-time position for three months to six months;
  • provide a job coach for a minimum of 2.5 hours per month;
  • submit a progress report upon request and,
  • contribute at least 50% of the total salary of each participant.

This position must not be funded by another Federally funded program like IRAP, Mitacs, etc.

For specific application and eligibility details, please download the full application package.

Uncertain if you qualify? Don’t count yourself out.

Contact Colleen at 1-866-243-2472, ext. 218 or askme@biotalent.ca.



Are you or your company/business interested in supporting Indigenous Youth by mentoring, supporting and hosting an intern? Wage subsidies and support are available through the Indigenous Professional Association of Canada (IPAC)

LEARN MORE (9).png (4 KB)



From job creation and wage funding to training and labour market research, we champion the end-to-end career of environmental professionals.

LEARN MORE (9).png (4 KB)


Jobs and Growth Fund in Western Canada

The Jobs and Growth Fund provides funding to businesses and organizations to help create jobs and position local economies for long-term growth. The Fund, delivered by Canada’s regional development agencies (RDAs), provides $700 million nationally over 3 years, which includes up to $70 million dedicated to businesses created after January 2020 that meet eligibility criteria.

In the West, Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) is investing $217 million to help job creators and the organizations that support them to future-proof their businesses, build resiliency and prepare for growth by transitioning to a green economy, fostering an inclusive recovery, enhancing competitiveness and creating jobs in every corner of the country.

Eligible Applicants: 

  • businesses, including co-operatives
  • not-for-profit organizations and community economic development partners

LEARN MORE (9).png (4 KB)