Environment and Climate Change

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Environment and Climate Change

Fast Facts

  • Colleges and institutes host 95 research centres and laboratories supporting applied research in environmental science and technology
  • They are active in over 200 areas of research specialization related to environmental science and technology
  • 20% of social innovation partnerships at colleges and institutes are focused on environmental awareness and planning
  • 20% of SMEs engaged in applied research projects with colleges and institutes are involved in the natural resources and energy sector or the environmental science and technology sector.
Source – CICan Applied Research survey 2014-2015

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.

Clean Tech Internships

CICan’s Clean Tech Internship Program, created with support from Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Science Horizons Program as part of the Youth Employment Strategy, offers experiential learning opportunities to recent science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) graduates looking to develop skills that set them up for a career in today’s green economy. The program provides interns with the opportunity to work for organizations who are improving environmental and economic outcomes in Canada.

Eligible employers, including small and medium-sized enterprises, non-governmental organizations, indigenous organizations, municipal and provincial governments, and post-secondary institutions, can receive up to $15,000 to hire an intern for clean tech or environmental or sector job.