Career Focus Wage Subsidy Program

A wage subsidy of up to $20,000 making it easier to hire new graduates for your growing business.


The 2016-17 Career Focus Program is now accepting applications.

Please Note:  Eligible companies must enter into a Placement Contract with BioTalent Canada before the participant’s employment starts

Graph of number of Career Focus placements

The Career Focus Program is a wage subsidy program for bio-economy employers to hire the talent they need and for recent graduates to gain the work experience they require – by subsidizing the salary of a recent graduate to a maximum of $20,000.

The BioTalent Canada Career Focus Program gives employers the freedom to:

  • Meet their staffing needs with less financial risk
  • Grow their business
  • Access a pool of eager-to-learn new workers
  • Develop new talent within their companies


Success Stories

What could your company achieve with a $20,000 wage subsidy? Find out what some have done.

"We needed the extra person to handle the workflow but could not justify the cost of an experienced technician. The wage subsidy helped offset the training costs that are incurred with hiring a recent grad."  
SunWest Food Lab Ltd

Nerissa Samad joined Dalton Pharma with help from Career Focus. Read her story.


Program Description

Easier to Hire

For many biotechnology companies, the decision to hire a new or recent graduate is a tough one. Adding a talented, willing to-learn member to the team builds capacity and can accelerate the achievement of business goals. But the cost of a new salary – and of integrating an experienced worker into the company- is often an obstacle.

The BioTalent Canada Career Focus Program helps knock down that cost barrier by subsidizing the salaries of new grads. Employers can bring on an eager, educated young worker for a special project – and at the end of the placement end up with a skilled candidate already oriented to their company.

Is your company eligible?

Any Canadian biotechnology company in the private sector needing to fill any position within the company can apply. Eligible placements may involve research, biotechnology promotion and education, or some other combination of business and science skills—and may cover the full spectrum of jobs from manufacturing and production to product commercialization, quality control/assurance, sales, regulatory affairs, biosafety and more.

Employer Terms and Conditions: 

  1. The company must enter into a Placement Contract with BioTalent Canada before the participant’s employment starts.
  2. The company must provide a full-time work opportunity (at least 30 hours per week) for a minimum of 3 months.
  3. The company must provide a minimum of $1 for each $1 of wage subsidy (to a maximum subsidy amount of $20,000);
  4. It is recommended that the company register  as an employer on BioTalent Canada’s, online job board specific to the Canadian bio-economy, The PetriDishTM.
  5. The company must not recruit and retain friends or family members as participants to the Career Focus Program;
  6. The company must reference and pages to inform potential participants what their involvement in the Career Focus Program will entail;
  7. The company must provide proof of employment, start date, contract with participant, full wage and benefits of participant to BioTalent Canada upon request;
  8. The company must provide information about the placement to BioTalent Canada as required;
  9. The company must develop a formal learning plan with the participant, before the start of the placement; and
  10. The company must provide BioTalent Canada with monthly financial claims and progress reports.

Participant placements:

  1. Cannot be for existing employees of the employer; and
  2. The company must enter into a Placement Contract with BioTalent Canada before the participant’s employment starts.

Application Process:

  1. Ensure your organization meets all terms and conditions stated above.
  2. Complete an Employer Application Form (included in the application package below) and submit it along with a brief company description, and intended participant’s position description to one of the options on the form.
  3. Have candidate complete the Participant Information Form (PIF). 
  4. If you already have a participant in mind, please include the participant information form (if submitting electronically, please do not include the participant’s Date of Birth and SIN information), participant’s resume and a copy of the participant’s degree/diploma or certificate (unofficial transcripts and letter from the registrar’s office if degree/diploma is unavailable).
  5.  If you need to fill a position, you can post your job opening and search potential talent for free on BioTalent Canada's PetriDishTM job board.
  6. The application process from submission to approval takes an average of 5-10 business days.
  7. For information regarding criteria for eligible jobseekers, please visit

Application Package



  1. A formal learning plan must be submitted before the placement begins but does not have to be submitted with the initial application.
  2. If you do not already have a new graduate in mind, you may also browse The PetriDishTM for qualified candidates.
  3.  If your application is accepted into the Career Focus Program, and a match with a participant is made, BioTalent Canada will draft a “Placement Contribution Agreement” to be signed by both the employer and BioTalent Canada. You must also agree to provide all required documentation and reporting as required by the program.
  4. If, for any reason, a participant leaves the employment of the employer, the employer must immediately provide BioTalent Canada with a written notice regarding the termination/withdrawal.
  5. BioTalent Canada assumes no legal responsibility towards companies seeking subsidies or towards program applicants.
  6. BioTalent Canada assumes no legal responsibility towards applicants or companies seeking subsidies. For further information, please contact us at

Funded in part by the Government of Canada's Youth Career Focus Program.

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