If your business can’t afford to pay top rates to attract and retain top talent, help is at hand. A wage subsidy can help supplement your pay to more acceptable levels. Availability of these schemes varies across provinces and industry sectors, and some are short-term according to local priorities. All offers are subject to terms and conditions, but it’s worth checking out the business section of the Canadian Government website to see what’s available.
Science Horizons Youth Internship Progam
The Science Horizons Youth Internship Program, part of the Government of Canada’s Youth Employment Strategy, provides wage subsidies to eligible employers in environmental and clean technology sectors who are seeking to hire interns. Subsidies of up to $15,000 per individual are available if you hire a recent college graduate from a science, technology, engineering, or math background.
You can apply through one of five delivery organizations, including BioTalent Canada, Clean Foundations, and ECO Canada. Typical requirements include the expectation that you can provide an internship of between six to 12 months, are prepared to set up a system to supervise and mentor your intern, and can contribute at least 50% of the total cost of the internship.
Work Smarts Wage Subsidy Program
The Work Smarts program only applies to employers in Atlantic Canada. This is also part of the YES scheme and relates to the employment of recent graduates, though it can be applied to any discipline. As an employer, you need to be able to offer relevant work experience for up to 26 weeks and be prepared to top up the salary by $8.50 per hour to provide a minimum hourly salary of $17. You also need to allow the graduate time off to attend training.
Northern Ontario Internship Program
The Northern Ontario Internship Program specifically targets private sector, public sector, and not-for-profit organizations located in Northern Ontario that wish to offer first-time employment to recent graduates. To be eligible, you must have been operating for at least one year, employ at least one full-time employee, and work in an existing or emerging priority economic sector. The list of eligible sectors includes arts, culture and creative industries, digital economy, and tourism.
The scheme expects employers to provide training and skills development, supervision, and at least 52 weeks of work with a strong possibility of this becoming a permanent full-time job. In return, you’re potentially eligible to receive a conditional contribution of up $31,500.
Environmental Youth Corps Internship Program
The Environmental Youth Corps Internship Program is aimed at businesses operating in the STEM or natural resources sector that wish to employ a young professional in a full-time environmental position. The scheme is operated by Eco Canada and pays eligible employers up to 50% (up to $15,000) of a new employee’s salary. You can apply to use this subsidy to fund wages for more than one position, allowing you to grow your team’s capacity.
While the above examples are mostly aimed at graduates in specific business or industry sectors, you can also find subsidies that apply to any business seeking to employ apprentices, disabled employees, people seeking to return to work after a workplace injury, First Nation or Inuit youths, and unemployed job seekers, all of whom have huge potential to become valued employees.
Tapping into the various sources of funding available for wage subsidies can provide a much-needed boost to your business. In return for some training and support to help them get started in their careers, you gain access to bright, enthusiastic graduates at a considerably reduced cost to your company.