Internship Program Empowers Canada’s Next Generation of Bio-Economy Workers

OTTAWA, March 22, 2023 – BioTalent Canada celebrates the National Day of Work-Integrated Learning (WIL), today, by releasing the impacts of their student work experiences – through the Student Work Placement Program (SWPP). The Program continues to empower the next generation of bio-economy workers.

Since 2017, BioTalent Canada’s project under the SWPP has successfully placed more than 11,000 students with work placements at leading biotechnology organizations across Canada, including more than 3,000 students since April 2022. These work placements have given participants valuable on-the-job training and enabled them to gain critically important work experience in the biotech sector that has grown aggressively since the pandemic.

READ: Find out more about the positive impact BioTalent Canada’s project under SWPP has had on Canada’s bio-economy

The more than 2,000 employers that have taken part in BioTalent Canada’s project benefit from access to bright young minds and the innovative approaches they bring to their work. Since 2017, BioTalent Canada’s student work experience has injected nearly $75 million into the bio-economy.

“This in-demand program has been a win-win for both students and employers,” says Rob Henderson, President and CEO of BioTalent Canada. “The fact that more than 11,000 students have participated in BioTalent Canada’s student work experience over the last six years speaks to its popularity and the obvious benefits it provides to all participants.”

Satisfaction scores related to BioTalent Canada’s student work experience have been extremely strong, with 98% of organizations involved saying they would participate again. On average, participating employers have taken on five placements and 99% say they are satisfied with the students they hired and worked with through the Program.

VIDEO: Find out what employers are saying about BioTalent Canada’s student work experience

Furthermore, more than half (70%) of organizations that participated in BioTalent Canada’s project under SWPP said the work placement position would not have been created, or they are unsure if it would have been created, without the funding they received from BioTalent Canada.

“As a young medical startup, BioTalent Canada has been an essential resource when it comes to subsidizing the wages of great young talent,” says Richard Pietro, Partnership Lead at Skinopathy. “However, it is their availability and patience when helping us navigate government funding that really sets them apart.”

In all, 76% of participants in BioTalent Canada’s project under SWPP have come from underrepresented groups, including women, persons with disabilities, visible minorities, Indigenous Peoples, immigrants, as well as first-year students.

“At BioTalent Canada, we look forward to continuing to grow and refine our student work experience,” says CEO Henderson. “In the coming years, we hope to see even more students and organizations benefit, and we look forward to helping Canada’s bio-economy thrive.”

“The skills, talent, and creativity of Canadian youth are at the heart of a stronger and more innovative future economy. That is why our government is committed to supporting post-secondary students through opportunities like those offered through the Student Work Placement Program, where they can get the experience they need to succeed.” – Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth, Marci Ien

Rob Henderson is available for comment.

Funded in part by the Government of Canada’s Student Work Placement Program.  

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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 under 50 employees, a Best Workplaces™ for Mental Wellness, Healthcare, and a Great Place to Work® for 2022, BioTalent Canada practices the same industry standards it recommends to stakeholders. These distinctions were awarded to BioTalent Canada following a thorough and independent survey analysis conducted by Great Place to Work®.

For more information, please visit

Student Work Placement Program
BioTalent Canada’s project under the Student Work Placement Program offers up to $7,000 in wage subsidies to bio-economy and healthcare employers to hire students registered in STEM, healthcare, business, and all other programs at Canadian post-secondary institutions. The program began in 2017.

Applications for funding in 2023-24 opens on February 23.

For more information, please visit

Media Inquiries:
Siobhan Williams
Vice-President, Marketing and Communications
BioTalent Canada
613-235-1402 ext. 229
[email protected]