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Environment and Climate Change

Fast Facts

  • 49% of colleges and institutes conducted research on clean technologies and utilities in 2017-2018.
  • 12% of all applied research projects at colleges and institutes featured clean technology.
  • Those projects benefited from over 220 research partnerships, the majority of which were with small and medium-sized enterprises.
Source – CICan Applied Research survey 2017-2018

Creating a greener future is one of the most pressing issues of our time, requiring timely and innovative responses to new challenges. By working in close collaboration with industry, Canada’s colleges and institutes have shown time and again that they are able to respond to immediate labour market needs and adapt to new and emerging disciplines. Climate change is not different – colleges and institutes have a key role to play in mobilizing the skills and developing the solutions required to reduce environmental impacts and enhance efficiency in all sectors of the economy.

CICan’s member institutions are playing a vital role in the transition to a cleaner future in two key areas:

1. Green Skills

Today’s graduates need to develop the skills and expertise required to thrive as Canada transitions to a green economy. With nimbleness at the heart of their mandate, colleges and institutes are able to respond to evolving labour market needs by working in close collaboration with employers through Program Advisory Committees. Their involvement in local and regional employment consultation bodies, as well as long-standing relationships that support work-integrated learning and graduate placement services enable them to evolve at the speed of business.

Colleges and institutes develop green skills by embedding them in the learning outcomes of existing curriculum and by developing new programs specifically focused on the green skills required across key economic sectors, including natural resources, energy, manufacturing, agriculture, transportation, and information and communications technology.

2. Research and Development of Clean Technologies

Companies investing in clean innovation turn to Canada’s colleges and institutes for applied research services that help them develop, test, and bring new products and processes to market. This includes green technologies in fields such as resource management, energy efficiency, waste management and transport.

Launching careers in the green economy

CICan’s Career-Launcher Internship program offers professional work experience for graduates and currently has two programs that set them up for a career in today’s green economy:

Clean Tech InternshipsFunded by Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Science Horizons Youth Internship Program.

Natural Resrouces InternshipsFunded by Natural Resources Canada’s Green Jobs – Science and Technology Internship Program.

Both programs are funded as part of the Government of Canada’s Youth Employment Strategy and offer employers up to $15,000 towards an intern’s salary for 6 to 12 months. As for graduates, they get an opportunity to apply their skills in green jobs that address climate change or environmental challenges. This is valuable work experience that will help them transition to long-term employment or advanced studies.

See the Career launcher website for more information, including eligibility criteria for graduates and employers.