New internship opportunities for Canadian students will lead to skills development, jobs

Victoria, BC — Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

When Canada’s college and polytechnic students have the opportunity to learn in a hands-on work environment, they build the real-world skills and connections they need for the good middle-class jobs of today and tomorrow.

Today, during her address at Colleges and Institutes Canada’s annual conference in Victoria, British Columbia, Kate Young, Parliamentary Secretary for Science, announced a new pilot program that will allow colleges and polytechnics to work with businesses and not-for-profit organizations to send students into the workforce.

The new pilot program expands on an existing Mitacs initiative that has a proven track record of supplying students with new skills and training opportunities. The program announced today builds on last year’s federal budget commitment of $221 million over five years, to 2020–21, to help Mitacs create 10,000 new paid internships per year for Canadian students. These internships help students boost their chances of employment by giving them valuable on-the-job training and experience.

In her remarks, Parliamentary Secretary Young also outlined many of the research investments the Government of Canada announced in Budget 2018, including the largest investment in discovery research in Canadian history. In addition to this investment, the budget proposed a significant increase in funding for programs that support students and faculty at Canada’s many colleges and polytechnics.  


“The expansion of the Mitacs research internship program gives students at our colleges and polytechnics the chance to gain the hands-on skills they need for the jobs of today and tomorrow. Through these new research internships, students will be able to learn on the job while contributing new ideas that will help Canada’s businesses move discoveries and innovations from our labs to the marketplace.”

– The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities

“The expansion of Mitacs’ paid internship program to students at colleges and institutes reflects our government’s understanding of the critical role that these institutions play in Canada’s research and innovation ecosystem. Ensuring that the next generation of Canadians has the skills it needs to excel in an innovation-driven economy is integral to our country’s future success.”

– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

“The announcement today of the expansion of Mitacs’ highly successful job placement program is exciting news for students at colleges and institutes across the country. This program will help today’s young researchers, innovators and entrepreneurs gain the skills and training they need to join Canada’s strong and vibrant middle class.”

– Kate Young, Parliamentary Secretary for Science

“Mitacs recognizes that colleges and polytechnics make significant contributions to innovation in Canada. They provide businesses with talent, knowledge and infrastructure resources to support experimental development, technology adoption and commercialization. We look forward to supporting that innovation by working with institutions across Canada to provide work-integrated learning opportunities to students through Mitacs’ research internship program.”

– Dr. Alejandro Adem, CEO and Scientific Director, Mitacs

Quick facts:

  • Mitacs is a national not-for-profit organization that provides post-secondary researchers with innovation-focused internships. Through these work-integrated learning opportunities, students transfer their research skills from academia to industry.
  • Over its 19-year history, Mitacs has supported more than 21,000 post-secondary internships and trained more than 19,000 student and post-doctoral participants.
  • College and Institutes Canada is a national voluntary membership organization that represents publicly supported colleges, institutes, CEGEPs and polytechnics in Canada and internationally.
  • To increase support for collaborative innovation projects involving businesses, colleges and polytechnics, Budget 2018 proposes to provide an additional $140 million over five years, starting in 2018–19, through the College and Community Innovation program.

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