CALGARY, Alberta--(BUSINESS WIRE)--ECO Canada is pleased to announce the creation of 2400 jobs within the environmental sector over two years through the assistance of wage funding programs to hire students and new graduates. In the past year, Canadian employers benefited from $15.7M in wage subsidies administered by ECO Canada. This funding bridges the school-to-work gap and enables employers to hire emerging professionals who may otherwise struggle to find work.
“Having the wage subsidy program makes it more appealing and possible to help hire people like me, right out of university” explains Cory Allen, a recent graduate. Allen works with Splitrock Environmental Sekw’el’wás in Lillooet, British Columbia and found employment as a Biologist with the help of ECO Canada’s wage funding program.
ECO Canada has been administering wage funding programs to advance environmental employment for over 20 years. Based on demonstrated program success, ECO Canada was selected by Federal Government agencies as a trusted delivery partner for two new programs. Their longstanding program received $17.6M in funding from Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Science Horizons Youth Internship Program. This funding will create 1200 new, full-time positions over two years for STEM graduates. In 2017, ECO Canada was also chosen by Natural Resource Canada (NRCan) to administer $9.6M in wage funding over two years to create 700 new positions within the sector. These two programs fall under Canada’s Youth Employment Strategy and have allowed ECO Canada to facilitate the creation of a record number of jobs.
“Canadian youth have the talent and drive to succeed in the labour market”, says the Honourable Jim Carr, Minister of Natural Resources Canada. “To help them make the transition from school to work and get a strong start in their careers, the Government of Canada continues to invest in the Youth Employment Strategy, a government-wide initiative to help support Canada’s newest workers”.
ECO Canada added a third wage funding program to their portfolio with the addition of a Co-op Program awarded by Canada’s Student Work-Integrated Learning Program (SWILP). Over $2.1M in Co-op funding was administered for job creation activities in the 2017-2018 year. This pilot program is creating 1,000 student work-placements over four years. The program’s first year was so successful that all 250 places were filled, and employers were waitlisted to receive funding for the program’s second year placements.
“The addition of the Co-op Program to our wage funding portfolio has been a huge success. The funding is a win-win for students and employers; students can graduate with hands-on experience and employers benefit from the added capacity and latest knowledge that students bring” says Britney Allen, ECO Canada’s Manager of Employment Programs. “In addition, we’re thrilled that half of all Co-op positions are filled by women in STEM. For students and new graduates, we’re seeing an increase in traditionally underrepresented groups including 6% Indigenous participants.”
Limited funding is still available to employers hiring full-time environmentally-related roles. Applications are being taken through the ECO Canada website at www.eco.ca.
About ECO Canada
For over 20 years, ECO Canada has studied the environmental labour market and examined ways to improve access for new graduates and individuals entering mid-career. The data it collects provides insights on green career trends, from top jobs to skills gaps to high-growth sectors.