Digital Skills for Youth

Grow your team and advance digital innovations with up to $24,000 in wage subsidy and training funds.

Please note that the Digital Skills for Youth program is reaching capacity. New applications may be put on a waitlist. Please contact [email protected] if you have any questions.

Program description

BioTalent Canada’s Digital Skills for Youth (DS4Y) program boosts an organization’s capacity to advance digital innovations and accelerate Canada’s position as a world leader in the ever-evolving knowledge economy by helping underemployed post-secondary graduates enhance and develop digital and soft skills through work and training opportunities.

Eligible employers receive 80% in wage subsidy funding, up to a maximum amount of $24,000 (a combination of wage subsidies and training).

The program gives employers the freedom to:

  • Reduce the financial barriers of onboarding highly-qualified post-secondary graduates
  • Build their capacity to navigate an evolving digital economy
  • Strengthen their team to advance their technology

Long success record

BioTalent Canada has a long track record of success in helping companies build better talent strategies with the support of wage subsidy programs. Since 2005, their programs have placed over 14,000 talented young minds into Canada’s critical health and biosciences sectors.

Program eligibility

Employers must:

  • Be a Canadian bio-economy employer providing digital internships* with skills development training**, mentoring and support
  • Be a small- to medium-sized organization – under 500 employees

Eligible Employers can be:

  • Not-for-profit organizations (including voluntary organizations, community organizations, public libraries and foundations)
  • Municipal governments
  • Indigenous organizations (including band councils, tribal councils and self-government entities)
  • For-profit organizations
  • Public health and educational institutions
  • Provincial and territorial governments, institutions, agencies and Crown Corporations

*Examples of digital internships:

  • Software and video game development
  • Coding and app development
  • Network troubleshooting
  • Adaptive technologies
  • Website development
  • Web-enabled learning
  • Social media campaigns and other content development
  • Robotics
  • Big data (Data science)
  • 3D and 3D bioprinting of medical devices and tissue/organs
  • Cyberbiosecurity
  • Artificial intelligence

**Examples of training:

  • Professional or accredited providers who will offer a suite of Programs related to digital skills like:
    • Coding
    • Web developing
    • Digital media workshop
    • Proficiency in the use of various software programs
  • and/or soft skills like:
    • Communication
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Strategic thinking

Internship/work experience must:

  1. Be conducted with a bio-economy organization.
  2. Be Full-time (at least 30 hours per week) with a required minimum duration of 3 months.
  3. Establish and maintain a process for supervising and mentoring an intern.
  4. Provide a work environment that is safe, respectful, inclusive, free of harassment, abuse, and discrimination and is in compliance with all applicable laws.
  5. Have the participant added to the employer’s payroll which includes Federal/Provincial tax deductions (CPP, EI, etc.).
  6. Offers skills development and training opportunities.
  7. Be related to the interests and pursuits of youth.
  8. Offers a salary that is above the minimum wage.
  9. Offers opportunities for advancement.
  10. Not be funded by another federally-funded program like IRAP, Mitacs, etc.

Participants must:

  • Between the ages of 15 and 30 years of age at the start of the internship;
  • Post-secondary graduates (interns who live in Yukon, Northwest Territories or Nunavut are exempt from this criteria)
  • Legally entitled to work in Canada;
  • Canadian citizen, permanent resident or person who has been granted refugee status in Canada;
  • Able to self-identify as underemployed (employed below their level of education, unemployed or employed part-time)

In the North, eligible participants may be youth between 15 to 30 (inclusive) years who:

  • Are legally entitled to work in Canada;
  • Are Canadian citizens, permanent residents, or persons who have
  • Been granted refugee status in Canada; and,
  • Self-assess as underemployed, meaning they are employed below their level of education is unemployed or hold part-time employment.

Participants cannot have/be:

  • Participated in DS4Y program before
  • In receipt of Employment Insurance (EI) at the time of the internship start date
  • An existing employee of the organization or have previously worked for the organization

Placement criteria:

Application Packages

In addition to BioTalent Canada forms, both employer and participant must complete the government of Canada participant information form (PIF) BEFORE the internship can commence once their application is approved for the program.

Employers, uncertain if your job qualifies?

Contact Colleen at 1-866-243-2472, ext. 218 or [email protected].

Funded in part by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada