Industry Canada

Industry Canada

August 30, 2010 12:10 ET

Government of Canada Announces Further Investment in Small Business Internship Program

Canada's Economic Action Plan creates jobs by supporting small businesses and students

SAINT JOHN, NEW BRUNSWICK--(Marketwire - Aug. 30, 2010) - Rodney Weston, Member of Parliament for Saint John, on behalf of the Honourable Rob Moore, Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism), announced today that the Government of Canada is offering 33 additional internships for post-secondary graduates in New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island through Canada's Small Business Internship Program (SBIP).

"Canada's Economic Action Plan is helping small businesses grow and create jobs," said Mr. Weston. "This one-time investment in the SBIP will help even more Atlantic small businesses grow while creating jobs in the information and communications technologies and e-commerce sectors for recent post-secondary graduates. These young Canadians will gain valuable work experience while contributing to Canada's economic recovery."

The SBIP is a collaborative effort of Canadian small businesses, post-secondary institutions and non-government organizations that offers post-secondary students hands-on experience working on e-commerce projects.

The program helps small and medium-sized enterprises across Canada improve their productivity and competitiveness by hiring approximately 400 student interns annually to help with information and communications technology projects.

Canadians can be encouraged by the positive signs of economic recovery across the country. However, that recovery is still fragile and Canada is not immune to the economic instability of other countries. The government is continuing to focus on Canada's economic recovery through Canada's Economic Action Plan investments and job-creation opportunities.

For more information on the SBIP and its delivery agencies, please visit the SBIP website (www.ic.gc.ca/sbip).

BACKGROUNDER

Small Business Internship Program

Many small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) limit their use of information and communications technologies (ICTs) to having email capability or a web page. Industry Canada's Small Business Internship Program (SBIP) allows them to adopt active e-business strategies that will help them prosper.

Canada's Economic Action Plan has provided $30 million for the Career Focus program, which will assist recent post-secondary graduates in finding work in their field. SBIP has received a one-time provision of $1.375 million to add an estimated 165 new internships across Canada for recent graduates to improve the ICT capacity of SMEs. These internships will be in addition to the 400 student internships that the program will offer in fiscal 2010–11.

Industry Canada has selected 11 organizations from across Canada to act as delivery agencies for the SBIP Career Focus program. They are responsible for selecting businesses to participate in the program. The funding will be divided between agencies based on the size of the population they serve.

The program provides financial support to qualified SMEs so that they can hire student interns for 12-week periods. Each intern helps the hiring business adopt ICTs to increase its productivity and competitiveness. The federal government reimburses a participating SME up to 75 percent of its wage and benefit expenses for the internship.

The SBIP offers promising post-secondary students valuable, hands-on experience working on e-business and ICT projects under the guidance of entrepreneurs. Student interns gain an appreciation of entrepreneurship and the opportunity to explore career options while earning money to continue their education.

The SBIP is a component of the federal Youth Employment Strategy (YES) and helps young Canadians acquire on-the-job experience while earning funds to continue their post-secondary education. The SBIP supports Industry Canada's mandate by helping Canadian SMEs become more competitive in the knowledge-based economy.

The program receives $3.5 million in yearly funding through YES. Approximately 400 students each benefit from 420 hours of full-time employment annually while approximately 400 SMEs will benefit from improved ICT capacity. The internships may vary based on wage rates in different parts of the country.

The Career Focus funding for 2010–11 is in addition to the $17.5 million in funding the SBIP is receiving through 2014 as part of YES.

The SBIP is just one example of how the Government of Canada is acting on its commitment to SMEs. Year two of Canada's Economic Action Plan has introduced numerous measures to assist small businesses in the short term, while positioning them for long-term growth. Here are some of these measures:

  • The Small and Medium-sized Enterprise Innovation Commercialization Program will support small business innovation.
  • SMEs will have improved access to financing with the creation of the Vehicle and Equipment Financing Partnership. This expands financing options for small and medium-sized finance and leasing companies, and reduces red tape.
  • A new Red Tape Reduction Commission will review federal regulations in areas where reform is most needed to reduce the compliance burden, especially on small businesses, while safeguarding the health and safety of Canadians.

As set out in the recent Speech from the Throne and Budget 2010, the government is committing to the development of a digital economy strategy that will drive the adoption of new technology across the economy. With the adoption of digital technologies and digital content created by ICT industries, innovation and creativity will be more deeply embedded throughout our economy. Helping Canadian SMEs become more innovative leads to faster growth and the creation of more high-value jobs.

Contact Information

  • Sean Phelan
    Office of the Honourable Rob Moore
    Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism)
    613-797-7965
    or
    Media Relations
    Industry Canada
    613-943-2502