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Ottawa bets on future with funding for students to help out during pandemic

Last Updated Jun 25, 2020 at 11:08 am MDT

FILE - Prime Minister Justin Trudeau steps out of Rideau Cottage as he makes his way to a news conference in Ottawa, Friday May 22, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said there fewer opportunities for students because of COVID-19

Canada Student Service Grant offers students one-time grant up to $5,000

Feds also announce a new investment of $186 million in the Student Work Placement Program

OTTAWA (NEWS 1130) — The federal government launched a program Thursday to help students earn up to $5,000 by volunteering to assist with activities related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said there are fewer jobs and many co-op, internship, and community service placements have been cancelled due to COVID-19.

Meanwhile, not-for-profits are seeing an increased demand for services, which he added creates opportunities for students.

“So today, we’re launching the new Canada Student Service Grant, which will allow post-secondary students and recent grads to gain valuable experience while also contributing to their communities,” he said.

“If you’re a college or university student, or if you just graduated and you decide to volunteer this summer, you could get a grant of between $1,000 and $5,000. The exact amount will depend on how many hours you’ve completed.”

He added the Government of Canada website will have more details — through a new platform, called “I Want to Help” — in particular about what opportunities exist for students.

Trudeau also announced a new investment of $186 million in the Student Work Placement Program, to help post-secondary get paid work experience related to their field of study.

That funding is in addition to the $80 million that was announced in April.

The federal government will invest another $40 million in an internship program with Mitacs, a non-government organization, for 5,000 post-secondary students.

“The funding will also allow Mitacs to partner with organizations like hospitals foundations and municipal governments to create even more opportunities for young people. If we want to build a strong and resilient economy, we have to invest in the next generation,” he added.


Furthermore, Trudeau said the federal government is investing $60 million in the Canada Summer Jobs program to create 10,000 new placements for people aged 15 to 30.

The federal government will make another investment of more than $40 million in the Digital Skills for Youth and Computer for Schools Plus programs, he added.

As well, the government is creating more than 3,500 new job placements and internships through the Youth Employment and Skills Strategy through a $34-million investment.

That money is in addition to the more than $153 million announced in April and will support programs serving high-demand sectors such as health, community services, and information technology, and help other sectors to recover.

“So if you’re a student and new grad, we’re creating tens of thousands of jobs for you. We are making sure that you can still learn new skills and gain valuable work experience, make money for the year ahead, and contribute to your community,” Trudeau said.