$1.5M Wage Subsidy to Break Down Walls for Barriered Youth in Canada’s Bio-Economy

Posted: Dec 7, 2021

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OTTAWA, Ontario–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#HR–Today, BioTalent Canada announced the relaunch of its successful Career Starter wage subsidy program. Career Starter provides bio-economy employers with funds to provide opportunities to barriered youth. The $1.5M project 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.

Funded in part by the Government of Canada’s Youth Employment and Skills Strategy Program, Career Starter provides employers with 50% of a youth’s salary to a maximum of $20,000 in wage subsidies for a three to nine-month job placement. BioTalent Canada will build on its previous success when it placed 130 youth with 80 employers in 40 cities across Canada in 2019-20.

“Canada’s bio-economy is facing a shortage of 65,000 workers by the end of the decade, according to BioTalent Canada’s recently released National Labour Market Information (LMI) study,” says Rob Henderson, President and CEO of BioTalent Canada. “Programs like Career Starter are vital resources for introducing talent to the industry and strengthening the pipeline. The talent is out there, it just needs an opportunity to shine.”

Canada’s bio-economy must become more inclusive and diverse in its hiring practices to ensure the supply will be there to meet the demand. Career Starter’s heavy focus on barriered youth, which includes, but is not limited to, recent immigrants, visible minorities, Indigenous, and LGBTQ2+, should help open some doors that have historically been closed.

“All you have to do is read BioTalent Canada’s Youth in Focus report to see that youth can make a positive impact on an organization that gives them a chance,” adds Henderson. “We’re excited to kick this off again and hear all about the successes employers experience with Canada’s talented youth in tow.”

One employer who saw great success was The Coasters Association. It can be costly for an organization in Quebec’s Lower North Shore to attract talent. When Coasters Association Director of Operations and Innovation Kimberly Buffitt learned about Career Starter and other BioTalent Canada wage subsidies, she used them to staff a range of roles including a marketing communications intern, a biodevelopment business coordinator, a research support officer and more. All are now in permanent positions.

The wage subsidy enabled Coasters to offer salaries that made it feasible for candidates to return to the Lower North Shore, where flights average about $3,000.

For more information on this program, or to apply, visit biotalent.ca/CareerStarter.

Rob Henderson is available for comment.

Funded in part by the Government of Canada’s Youth Employment and Skills Strategy Program.

About BioTalent Canada

BioTalent Canada supports the people behind life-changing science. Trusted as the go-to source for labour market intelligence, BioTalent Canada guides bio-economy stakeholders with evidence-based data and industry-driven standards. BioTalent Canada is focused on igniting the industry’s brainpower bridging the gap between job-ready talent and employers and ensuring the long-term agility, resiliency, and sustainability of one of Canada’s most vital sectors.

Recently named one of the 50 Best Workplaces in Canada with 10-50 employees and certified as a Great Place to Work® for 2021, BioTalent Canada practices the same industry standards it recommends to its stakeholders. These distinctions were awarded to BioTalent Canada following a thorough and independent survey analysis conducted by Great Place to Work®.

For more information visit biotalent.ca.

About Career Starter

Career Starter helps youth facing barriers to employment transition to the bio-economy labour market. Barriered youth includes, but is not limited to, Canadians with a disability, Indigenous, visible minority, or a member of the LGBTQ2+ community. The program provides employers with 50% of a youth’s salary to a maximum of $20,000 for a three- to nine-month placement. It helps employers adopt a diverse and inclusive work culture while satisfying a need for skilled labour. To learn more visit biotalent.ca/CareerStarter.


Media Inquiries

Siobhan Williams

Director, Marketing and Communications

BioTalent Canada

613-235-1402 ext. 229