Opportunities Fund Wage Subsidy Program

The 2015-2018 Opportunities Fund wage subsidy program is now accepting applicants.

Project Partner:

The Opportunities Fund wage subsidy program provides up to a maximum of $13,500 towards a salary as an incentive for bio-economy employers to hire, accommodate and train an employee with disabilities.

The Opportunities Fund wage subsidy program gives employers the freedom to:

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

Long track record of success

BioTalent Canada has a long track record of successful implementation of federal wage-subsidy programs, helping new talent gain employment in biotech and assisting companies in offsetting the costs of hiring.

Since 2005, BioTalent Canada has helped over 400 new biotechnology graduates find a job in the bio-economy through Career Focus, another wage subsidy program geared toward new graduates.

Ask yourself, what could your company achieve with a $13,500 wage subsidy?

Program description

According to BioTalent Canada’s labour market report, Sequencing the Data, access to capital and skilled talent are the two top challenges for the biotech sector. Despite the access-to-skilled-labor challenge, only 7.6% of bio-economy companies have persons with disabilities on staff, a figure well below other industries.

The Opportunities Fund wage subsidy program addresses these issues directly, alleviating the low employment of persons with disabilities in biotech by introducing a wage subsidy to off-set the start-up costs of orientation, integration, skills development and accommodations.

Innovation is the DNA of the biotechnology sector.  As an industry, biotech misses out on reaching its full potential when pools of skilled talent, like persons with disabilities, remain untapped.

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 $13,500);
  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 Opportunities Fund wage subsidy program; 
  6. The company must reference the participant information web page to inform potential participants what their involvement in the Opportunities Fund wage subsidy 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;
  2. The company must enter into a Placement Contract with BioTalent Canada before the participant’s employment starts.

Employer application process:

  1. Ensure your organization meets all terms and conditions stated above;
  2. Complete an Employer Application Checklist (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 2015-18 Participant Information Form (PIF);
  4. If you already have a participant in mind, please include the participant information form, participant’s resume and a copy of the participant’s degree/diploma or certificate, if available. (if submitting electronically, please do not include the participant’s date of birth and Social Insurance Number);
  5. If you need to fill a position, you can post your job opening on BioTalent Canada's PetriDishTM job board. To connect you with a job seeker, you can also contact Mary at 1-866-243-2472, ext. 222 or mcarr@biotalent.ca, or contact Colleen, ext. 221 or chayes@biotalent.ca.
  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 the participant information web page

Download your Employer 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 Opportunities Fund wage subsidy 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 Mary at 1-866-243-2472, ext. 222 or mcarr@biotalent.ca, or contact Colleen, ext. 221 or chayes@biotalent.ca..

Funded in part by the Government of Canada's Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities (OF) program. 

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