TECHNATION industry association receives additional $32M in funding helping build back Canadian businesses through Career Ready wage subsidy program

Mississauga, Canada (October 22, 2020) – 2020 has been a challenging year for Canada’s labour market, directly affecting employers, employees and young people preparing to enter an uncertain workforce. In response, and with $32 million in additional funding from the Government of Canada, the TECHNATION Career Ready Program has increased its wage subsidy coverage from 50 per cent to 75 per cent as a COVID-19 measure. Employers can now receive up to $7,500 in wage subsidy for each student hired for a 4-month placement.

Through the Career Ready Program, students can find meaningful work, and businesses have a low cost, low risk option to scale up. This allows students to apply their learning in a practical setting, where skills—ranging from technology to marketing communications—can be applied and honed to their highest advantage. Students will also learn the value of teamwork and the challenge of problem-solving through workplace experience.

Funded in part by the Government of Canada’s Student Work Placement Program (SWPP), TECHNATION provides wage subsidies for businesses of all sizes, across Canada, to hire students in tech immersive roles.

According to Brett Hotas, Senior Program Manager with TECHNATION, “The Work Integrated Learning (WIL) model provides a great opportunity for Canadian employers right now, especially for those who have undergone economic setbacks that have stalled the hiring of much-needed staff to keep their businesses running.” Each student work placement is customized to the employer’s needs and a student’s skillset. “Placements can look different for each employer, and they range in the ways people are leveraging them to build back their businesses. The key is that employers will be matched with students top in their fields – while students will receive impactful work terms that will help them with real-world work situations and growth,” added Hotas.

Last year, 3,500 students participated in the Career Ready Program. Over the next year, that number is projected to increase to over 7,000. TECHNATION hits these milestones by saying “Yes” to nearly every business (99% of applications) that applies for funding because they believe tech is a part of every business—from agriculture to transportation to non-profit, and of course, Canada’s most pioneering tech companies.

“Ensuring a strong economic recovery depends on the success of our students and youth. Programs like the Student Work Placement Program exist to provide post-secondary students with the chance to grow professionally and develop new skills while working in sectors that are in line with their interests and field of study,” said Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion Carla Qualtrough. “Our Government’s investment in TECHNATION’s Career Ready Program will go a long way in helping young Canadians gain meaningful work experience in the communications technology sector, a sector which is especially important in responding to the current pandemic.”

“In the post-COVID landscape, marketing and social media remain front of mind for companies like ours,” added Mary Clark, CEO of Agents of Discovery, an innovation-focused Canadian company that partners with Career Ready regularly. “We are keen to [continue to] engage with brilliant students who can help enhance our engagement with parks, places and spaces, and other similar organizations around the world – even in an era of tightening budgets. Thanks to support from TECHNATION, we have been able to bolster our social media outreach, and we hope to continue working with them going forward.”

TECHNATION is a catalyst for digital transformation in Canada and strongly believes in the need to transform and expand the nation’s expectations of who can work in tech. Its Career Ready Program aims to attract students from underrepresented groups, including women in STEM, Indigenous students, newcomers to Canada and individuals with disabilities.

TECHNATION also believes in changing expectations of where people need to live to work in tech. The Career Ready Program is doing that by cultivating new relationships with co-op offices in Quebec, Atlantic Canada, the Prairies and the North. Along the way, TECHNATION is breaking down barriers for them to access the program.

The Career Ready Program is available to students currently enrolled in studies at a post-secondary level. Employers interested in participating in the program may qualify if they provide a meaningful and encouraging work opportunity in a range of tech-immersive roles.

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TECHNATION is the industry-government nexus for technology prosperity in Canada. As a member-driven, not-for-profit, TECHNATION unites Canada’s technology sector, governments and communities to enable technology prosperity from coast to coast. TECHNATION champions technology prosperity by providing advocacy, professional development and networking opportunities across industry and governments at all levels; connecting Canadian scale-ups with global tech leaders; engaging the global supply chain; and filling the technology talent pipeline. TECHNATION has served as the authoritative national voice of the $210 billion ICT industry for over 60 years.

TECHNATION was formerly the Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC).