Across Canada, companies face various hiring needs throughout the year. In recent years, businesses have expressed a strong demand for technical talent, specifically for STEM-related (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) positions. In the past year alone, over 39,500 positions have been created to support STEM jobs and by 2020, it’s expected that at least tech jobs will be created in Canada.
The Government of Canada has emphasized the importance of retaining skilled STEM graduates to fuel economic competitiveness, business productivity, and innovation. However, hiring recent STEM graduates comes with a price; the average annual salary in Canada ranges between $65,000 – $100,000. To help businesses attract the talent they require, the federal government is offering hiring grants and wage subsidies to offset payroll costs for recent post-secondary STEM students and graduates.
Canadian Businesses Invest in Technical Talent and STEM Skills
Businesses are increasingly acknowledging the importance of investing in STEM skills and workforce development to bolster their ability to sustain Canada’s growing tech industry. Recent surveys indicate that Canadian youth excel in STEM-related job roles, but demand higher salaries.
STEM graduates often fare better in the labour market than their non-STEM counterparts, with higher employment rates and higher wages on average. In Canada, 72% of STEM graduates are male and will earn over $60,000 in an entry level position. Demand for technical talent is on the rise and businesses must concentrate on attracting skilled youth to remain competitive in global markets.
Additionally, recent studies suggest that STEM skills affect business productivity and innovation. By investing in human capital, businesses can increase productions and output. Variables such as education, experience, and specialized skills are components of human capital that allow workers to complete technical tasks and identify more efficient ways of doing their jobs.
Hiring Grants and Incentives for STEM Interns and Recent Grads
Throughout the year, the federal government offers a variety of small business grants for hiring STEM interns and recent graduates. Some of the most popular job roles include Engineers, Web Developers, Lab Technicians, and Data Analysts. Businesses can typically receive funding for multiple hires, given the range of eligible positions.
Employers can receive up to 50%-70% to a maximum of $5,000 – $7,000 to hire a post-secondary STEM intern for a 16-week work placement.
Businesses that hire female candidates, individuals with a disability, or indigenous persons can be awarded up to 70% coverage.
Additionally, businesses can leverage up to 50% coverage to a maximum of $15,000 to offset a recent STEM graduate’s payroll costs for 4 to 12 months.
Accessing Hiring Grants
Employers that are interested in hiring grants should determine whether their candidate and job opening meet the programs’ eligibility criteria. Most funding programs require that candidates are:
- A post-secondary student or recent graduate (within the past 3 years) from a Canadian college or university enrolled in a 2+ year program;
- Canadian citizens, permanent residents or refugees that are legally able to work in Canada;
- Under the age of 30;
- Working between 35-40 hours per week;
- Not currently, and have not previously been, on the applicant’s payroll;
- Subject to CPP and EI deductions once added to payroll; and
- Not related to the applicant; nepotism is ineligible.
If you’re having trouble identifying suitable candidates, download Mentor Works’ How to Find and Recruit Top Talent slide deck.
To apply, applicants must submit a copy of their candidate’s resume and the job description along with the application forms. Employers will need to indicate the new hire’s expected start date and hourly wage/salary. Certain programs may require a copy of the candidate’s transcript or degree/diploma.
Please Note: Employers must not add their candidate to payroll until they have been approved for funding.
Access Canadian Government Funding for Hiring
Hiring grants and wage subsidies can be obtained by most Canadian employers. Leveraging these grants to reduce payroll costs should be part of every competitive business’ employment strategy. Employers must proactively plan to access hiring grants as funding is distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Businesses that are interested in taking advantage of this funding opportunity can use Mentor Works’ Wage Subsidy Identifier to be matched to the most appropriate programs.