Science Horizons Youth Internship Program (2023-2024)

Main objective

To provide youth to work in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields linked to the green economy. The ultimate objective is that the majority of these internships will lead youth to return to school for further studies or to obtain full-time jobs.

The project objectives are to:

  • Increase the supply of highly qualified scientific and technical professionals in the environmental sector;
  • Promote the benefits of advanced studies in scientific and technical areas;
  • Demonstrate federal leadership by investing in skills required to meet the needs of the knowledge economy;
  • Help youth achieve the work experience, knowledge, skills and information they need to make a successful transition to the workplace;
  • Give youth the tools to develop career paths focused specifically on environmental and sustainable issues, or who are able to integrate and prioritize sustainability in their work with traditional sectors; and
  • Enhance the capacity of Canada’s environmental small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) community


July 2023 to March 2024

Industry Need

In 2013, BioTalent Canada conducted a national statistically significant study of Canadian bio-economy companies to discover their greatest human resource (HR) challenges. From this study, “Sequencing the data,” it was determined that:

  • 80% of the Canadian bio-economy consists of small to medium sized enterprises.
  • 53% of Canadian bio-economy companies report skills shortages.
  • Access to capital is a key barrier for most bio-economy companies.

Despite these significant skills shortages, youth face significant barriers to entering into the bio-economy after graduating from university or college.  Private sector companies regularly argue that it can be risky to take on new graduates with no previous work experience in the sector.

Furthermore, BioTalent Canada’s member organization, Life Sciences Ontario, 2019 Annual Report stated that the unemployment rate of Ontario Science graduates between 20-24 years of age with a minimum university degree was a staggering 17.9%, demonstrating the need to assist new grads in the transition into their new career.


Program description

The program provides up to a maximum of $25,000 with $5,000 available for up to a max of $5,000 wrap around services in wage subsidies to help employers hire the talent they need and help recent STEM graduates gain skills to secure full-time employment in environmental STEM fields. The goal of this project is to place 87 STEM graduates into fields linked to the green economy. For more information on eligibility and application information please see the Employer Application page.

This project was undertaken with the financial support of: Environment and Climate Change Canada