Posts Tagged ‘training grants’

Workforce Development Funding for Biotech Companies

As issues with climate change and rapidly depleting resources are becoming more urgent, there is a pressing need to form strategies to achieve sustainable development goals (SDGs). In Canada, a bio-economy is being adapted as a key strategy to support SDGs. Bio-economy is defined as economic activities associated with the invention, development, production and use of products and processes that are based primarily on biological resources. This emerging paradigm spans several industries including medical technology, agri-biotech, renewable energy, and biomaterials.

Rapid developments in biotechnology require a skilled talent pool to meet industry demands. However, the shortage of skilled professionals in the biotech space and unwillingness to employ recent graduates stunt industry growth. As 80% of the Canadian bio-economy consists of small to medium-sized enterprises, limited resources are often cited as a barrier to hiring new talent.

Wage-subsidy programs, like the Student Work Placement program and the Science Horizons Youth Internship program offered by BioTalent Canada, can help knock down barriers related to initial hiring costs by providing financial support to employers. BioTalent Canada also facilitates connections between full-time students/recent graduates and employers seeking fresh candidates that may potentially meet future recruitment needs through student work placement and internship programs.

Student Work Placement Program (SWPP)

Wage subsidies provided by this program cover the cost of a co-op student’s salary by 50% (maximum of $5,000); or 70% (maximum of $7,000) for first-year students and under-represented groups. Since September 2017, the program has placed over 900 students with over 275 employers providing the students with industry skills and employers with opportunities to increase their workforce.

To qualify for the program, employers must:

  • Show a clear focus on bio-economy, in either the nature of co-op position or the employer.
  • Provide a full-time co-op placement position with a minimum of 16-week placement.

The participant/student must be:

  • Enrolled as a full-time student at a post-secondary education institution and studying in fields related to science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM), business and/or any other program
  • A Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or persons to whom refugee protection has been conferred and legally entitled to work in Canada

Applications are currently being accepted for 2019-2020 co-op placements.

Science Horizons Youth Internship Program

This program offers wage subsidies (maximum of $15,000) to bio-economy employers for hiring recent STEM graduates into a STEM position with an environmental focus. As of March 2019, the program has placed 106 graduates with 67 employers across 37 cities nationwide. Growing participation in this program would equip participants with tools to pursue career paths specific to solving environmental/sustainability issues and increase the number of skilled professionals in the environmental sector.

To qualify for the program, employers must:

  • Provide a position with a clear environmental component.
  • Provide an internship position with full-time hours and a duration between 6-12 months (minimum of 6 months)
  • Shoulder 50% of the internship cost.

The participants must be:

  • Aged 30 or under at the beginning of the internship and graduated in the last 3 years from a post-secondary institution from a STEM program.
  • Canadian citizens, permanent residents, or persons who have been granted refugee status in Canada, and legally entitled to work in Canada

The program is currently accepting applications until March 30th, 2020.

Bio – Economy Subsectors Eligible for Funding From Bio-Talent Canada

Bio-health

  • Medical cannabis
  • Medical Devices
  • Biopharmaceuticals
  • Nutraceuticals
  • Natural-compound bioactives
  • Bio-molecules
  • eHealth/Artificial Intelligence

Bio-energy

  • Biodiesel
  • Ethanol
  • Methane
  • Bio-oil
  • Sustainable development

Bio-industrial

  • Biocatalyst
  • Biosolvents
  • Bioplastics
  • Biocoatings
  • Bioadhesives

Agri-biotech

  • Agri-fibre composites
  • Animal Genetics
  • Plant Genetics
  • Livestock Vaccines
  • Animal Nutritional Supplements
  • Functional Foods

To learn more about how your company can leverage non-dilutive funding to develop your workforce, grow your business, support R&D activities, and accelerate commercialization contact us today for a free consultation.

Authored by Rebecca Galicha, Technical Writer at NorthBridge Consultants.

Training Grants Available for Quality Management System Implementations

The implementation of quality management system (QMS) standards is one way in which a company can improve their performance by reducing non-conformance issues. 9001:2015 is the latest version of international standards published by ISO, and it was developed in such a way as to allow ISO implementation with the company’s current QMS. In the latest edition of ISO, ‘risk-based thinking’ is a major focus in order to help companies maintain product and service conformance.

With ISO, companies can develop the right processes and procedures to grow export sales and thus boost their position in the global market. Because global competition requires in-depth knowledge of the latest trends in products and services, it is essential for companies to have a highly skilled and knowledgeable workforce. The Yves Landry AIME Global grant can help innovative manufacturers in southern Ontario to train their employees on the implementation of a quality management software system.  AIME Global can provide up to $50 thousand of non-repayable funding to southern-Ontario manufacturers to assist with such projects.  Funding must be secured prior to project implementation, so if you are planning on investing in or upgrading your QMS, it is strongly recommended that you commence looking into AIME Global now.

Linking SR&ED to Training

There are many different government funding programs available to Canadian companies. The Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) program is $3.5 billion tax credit initiative that encourages Canadian companies to invest in R&D.   However, to optimize corporate returns from government funding programs, other grants can be leveraged in addition to SR&ED.

One of the main priorities for government grants is training. Currently available is the Yves Landry fund that provides up to $50,000 for training that supports new technology, new processes, and innovation. Projects eligible for this grant could indirectly lead to an increased number of employees and labour expenditures that would be claimable for SR&ED. For example, training an unskilled employee on a newly-developed manufacturing process could potentially make his production labour eligible for SR&ED tax credits.  Training your employees so that they could be promoted to more senior positions could also potentially increase SR&ED expenditures.

NorthBridge’s team of business analysts and grant writers can help identify eligible projects for both SR&ED and grant funding programs.  We offer a comprehensive service that assists with the identification of funding opportunities, the filing of the application, and the required reporting after application submission.

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Funding to Improve Employee Skills in British Columbia

In British Columbia, the cost-sharing Canada-BC Job Grant is a program that provides funding to employers to invest in the training of new employees and to update the skills of current employees. Through this grant, an employer may receive reimbursement for up to two-thirds of eligible costs related to an employee’s training, including tuition, software, and textbooks. An employer may receive financial assistance up to $10,000 per employee, which can be extended to multiple employees.

A requirement of the program is that a third-party trainer, such as a university or career college, must provide training that aligns with the needs of the business. There are several areas of training that are eligible for reimbursement, including technical, business, and essential skills training.  In order for an employer to receive funding through this grant, the employer is required to have a training plan and must ensure that the job will remain available to the employee following training.

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Ontario Food Processor Qualifies for Employee Training on ERP System

NorthBridge engaged an Ontario food processor that was looking to invest in new ERP software for their manufacturing facility. The project included the purchase of the new software, the purchase of related technology and equipment, and employee training on the new software system. The purpose of the new ERP implementation was to increase efficiency, develop strict quality control, and reduce waste. The company was unaware of programs that helped fund employee training related to new technology implementation. They had previously claimed for R&D expenditures from the SR&ED program, but the SR&ED program does not cover training costs. Hence, NorthBridge was able to identify a training program that supported up to 50% of eligible project costs.

Our NorthBridge team worked with the company to prepare a business plan, and helped with the reporting requirements after the client was approved for the full funding amount that they had requested. The funding was directly invested in their training project and helped the company to realize new growth and success.

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