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Federal government announces funding for internships in forestry and conservation


July 2, 2021
By PLT Canada
Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan (left) announced the Science and Technology Internship Program during an online press conference on June 30 with Minister Bardish Chagger, Diversity, Inclusion and Youth (bottom right), and Kathy Abusow, PLT Canada President and CEO (top right), in addition to other delivery organizations. Photo courtesy PLT Canada.

Project Learning Tree Canada (PLT Canada) is proud to help young Canadians gain the skills and experience they need to succeed in today’s innovative green jobs, thanks to recently announced funding from Natural Resources Canada’s Science and Technology Internship Program (STIP).

As part of this initiative, PLT Canada will provide young people with valuable internships that will hopefully lead to lifelong careers within the forest and conservation sector. Eligible employers can receive up to 80 per cent of the employee’s salary for a maximum of $25,000, and up to $32,000 if the young person is Indigenous, has a visible or non-visible disability, is from a community of less than 5,000 people, or if the internship takes place in Yukon, the Northwest Territories, or Nunavut.

Kathy Abusow, PLT Canada president and CEO, said young people play an important role in shaping the future of the country’s green economy.

“PLT Canada is committed to building a diverse and resilient workforce by supporting green internships in the forest sector. Thanks to this NRCan funding, a diversity of young adults in PLT Canada’s network will be contributing to finding solutions to sustainability challenges, such as climate change, forest restoration and sustainable management, resilient communities, and more,” she said at a press conference with Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan.

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The internship program helps young Canadians aged 15 to 30. Creating green jobs will ensure that Canada’s natural resources sectors remain a source of opportunity and prosperity as the country transitions to a low-carbon future.

“Through the Science and Technology Internship Program, we are continuing to prioritize opportunities for Canadian youth to provide them with the skills, knowledge and experience they need to succeed in their future careers,” Minister O’Regan said in a press release.

“I’m proud of Project Learning Tree Canada’s exceptional track record of supporting young people on their green career pathways,” Abusow added.

Since 2018, PLT Canada has placed young people in more than 3,500 forest and conservation-based work experiences across 10 provinces and two territories. PLT Canada has also helped place more than 500 Indigenous youth from over 80 Indigenous communities in forest, conservation, and nature-based opportunities, and have achieved gender diversity throughout.

“This has all been possible thanks in large part to over 200 employers within the SFI network that are providing meaningful work experiences for young people across Canada,” Abusow said. “Now, thanks to this support from Natural Resources Canada, we will be able to offer valuable longer-term work experiences to even more young people to help them get started in their careers.”

Studies show that completing an internship boosts a young person’s chances of getting a job offer by 16 per cent. In the true sense of partnership, PLT Canada believes that cooperation of this kind can make all the difference as Canada seeks to implement nature-based climate solutions and reach net-zero emissions by 2050, all while helping young people find high-quality, good, green jobs.

Together, we can help to grow a diverse and resilient workforce.