ImpAct Internships

New Program

All subsidies for the ImpAct Internships program have been fully allocated.

New applications will be accepted on a waitlist and we will contact these applicants should any new funding become available. We want to thank everyone for applying and for making the program a success! We hope to renew the program in the summer of 2021.
Stay tuned in 2021!

Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) will contribute up to 100% of the salary or participation fees, to a maximum of $10,000, for youth to become SDG ambassadors. Create innovative work-integrated-learning initiatives that will have a positive community impact.

Funded by Employment and Social Development Canada

About the UN Sustainable Development Goals

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development consists of 17 SDGs with a commitment to leave no one behind. Along with 192 United Nations Member States, Canada adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at the UN General Assembly in September of 2015. Canadian youth can help you and your team advance meaningful SDG-aligned initiatives while they gain critical skills for the 21st century to build a better future.

Learn more about the SDGs

About the ImpAct Initiative

Inspired by CICan 5-year Strategic Plan 2019-2024, the ImpAct initiative, aims to support colleges and institutes in achieving their shared vision of Better Futures for Peoples and Communities. Backed by the McConnell Foundation and placed under the patronage of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, it builds on the common values and aspirations of CICan members and is designed to amplify the college and institute system’s contributions to economic and social development, community well-being and a sustainable future by supporting deliberate and collaborative approaches.

Learn more about ImpAct

How does it work?

The funding can be used as a traditional wage subsidy, covering up to 100% of an intern’s salary up to a maximum of $10,000. The subsidy will be paid as a reimbursement upon receipt of financial documents such as paystubs showing CPP & EI contributions.

The funding can also be used for skills-based special initiatives covering up to a maximum of $750 per youth and $10,000 per initiative. For example, a municipality could organize a one-week composting contest and offer a prize of $750 each for up to 13 participating youth. Another example is a company that organizes an SDG hack-a-thon over a weekend and provides a participation premium of $500 each for up to 20 participating youth. The funding will be paid as a reimbursement upon receipt of invoices and proof of payments made.

See FAQs for details on the funding payment process.

Eligible employers must demonstrate that they are committed to meaningfully responding to Canadian SDG ambitions identified in our 2030 National Strategy by working on a minimum of three SDGs and that they would like to create an innovative, and responsive WIL opportunity for one or more youth.

Eligible employers must have an established payroll system*, be set up to receive payments by direct deposit, have a process for supervising and mentoring participants or interns, and be a Canadian organization or subsidiary in one of the following categories:

  • Post-secondary education institution
  • Indigenous organization or association
  • Not-for-profit organization
  • Non-government organization (NGO)
  • Small- or medium-sized enterprise (SME), less than 500 employees
  • Municipal or local government
  • Provincial or territorial government, institution, agency or Crown corporation
  • Large corporation, more than 500 employees

The funding cannot be used for:

  • Currently filled positions
  • To replace an employee who is on leave
  • For a current employee moving to a new position

*For special initiatives, a payroll system is not necessary, but employers must be able to pay the participants and provide proof that the money was received by the youth.

  • Flexible duration, up to a maximum of six months and ending by March 31, 2021
  • Full-time, part-time or special initiatives*
  • Explicitly advance three or more SDGs
  • Internships, competitive projects, contests, social entrepreneurship boot camps, environmental or social audits, SDG hack-a-thons

*Special initiatives may be time-limited and include hack-a-thons, competitions, audits, etc. that may not fit a part-time or full-time schedule. For example, they could last a week, a weekend, etc.

Examples of activities that youth can do to help advance the SDGs:

  • Organize a youth-led food drive
  • Educate others on healthy food, diversity and inclusion, importance of vaccinations, protective hygiene practices for a specific demographic
  • Plan and implement an energy or water conservation or ‘buy local’ campaign
  • Develop a campaign for alternatives to single occupancy vehicles
  • Audit local cycling and pedestrian infrastructure
  • Organize healthy outdoor activities that reduce air pollution while increasing physical activity
  • Create and implement activities to reduce land and water pollution
  • Advocate for and plant trees in urban areas
  • Develop a business plan that offers sustainable products and services
  • Conduct research on ethical supply chains
  • Develop and implement branding strategies, digital marketing tools, and/or social media campaigns on sustainable agriculture

Qualified participants are:

  • Between the ages of 15-30 (inclusive) at the start of the internship
  • Canadian citizens, permanent residents or persons granted refugee status in Canada*
  • Legally allowed to work according to the relevant provincial and Canadian legislation and regulations
  • Available to participate for a flexible duration up to 6 months, for full-time, part-time or special initiatives
  • Not employees of the hiring employer prior to the start of their internship (does not apply to previous coop students or student interns)

*Refugee protection must be conferred under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. Persons awaiting refugee status, as well as those who hold a temporary visitor visa, student visa or work visa, are ineligible to participate in a Youth Employment Strategy initiative.

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