Big Funding For Environmental Youth Corps. Results in 600 Jobs Created to Support Growing Labour Need in Environment Sector

CALGARY, March 7, 2017 /CNW/ - ECO Canada's Environmental Youth Corps Internship Program (EYC) received its largest funding top-up in over 20 years. The program was awarded $7.1M in 2016, resulting in the fulfillment or creation of over 600 environmentally focused career opportunities for new graduates and corporations.

Funded through Environment and Climate Change Canada's Science Horizons Program, EYC gives eligible employers who work in science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM), up to 50% of an intern's salary (up to $15,000) for new full-time environmental jobs.

"EYC really helps both the employer [host] and intern. For interns, it helps new grads break into that first job and makes them a compelling candidate because their position can be subsidized. For hosts, the program allows them to grow the capacity of their teams where they may not be able to otherwise, and enables them to invest more into training because they can offset the initial cost of new hires," explained Yana Jay, EYC's Manager, Partnerships & Programs.

Twenty per cent of the current professional sector will retire in the next twenty years; young people need to fill this gap. Youth are particularly challenged at the moment because the majority of job opportunities exist at the intermediate/mid-level of experience required. The EYC program removes this barrier and supports both current and future labour needs for the ever-growing environmental sector.

Eligible interns must intend to lead an environmental career related to STEM, be 30 years of age or younger and be eligible to work in Canada. Eligible employers must offer a full-time, permanent position, provide an environment-related position in STEM, and plan to hire a new employee.

"Our program is open to any company in any industry, with the exception of the federal government. Any business from NGOs/non-profit organizations, manufacturing, oil and gas, finance, and even municipalities, could be eligible to be a host. We've made a footprint in BC, Alberta, Quebec and the Atlantic provinces, and are hopeful to expand our reach further into the Prairies and Territories," said Danielle Urton, EYC Program Coordinator.

88% of interns hired through EYC stay on permanently with that company. Also, many past EYC interns have advanced into management roles, such as directors, VPs and CEOs.

"I had been searching for an environmental science job and had a hard time finding the right organization. When I added my pre-approval for the EYC program to my resume, I received calls for interviews right away," explained Jacob McQueen, who started as an EYC intern at Palmer Environmental Consulting.

Other companies who participate in the program include AET Group, AECOM, CPAWS BC, Posterity Group, Suavair and Treaty 3. To become an intern or host, visit http://www.eco.ca/employers/internship-program/.

About ECO Canada

ECO Canada was founded in 1992 to help nurture Canada's burgeoning environmental sector. 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.

SOURCE ECO Canada

For further information: Yana Jay - Manager, Partnerships & Programs, Suite 200, 308 - 11 Avenue SE, Calgary, Alberta T2G 0Y2, 403-476-1931; Angie Dzwonkiewicz - Director, Marketing & Customer Engagement, (403) 233-0748, info@eco.ca

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