Ryerson University: Magnet receives multi-million-dollar grant, will provide thousands of work placements to students

Magnet, a platform that provides tools and resources, external link to help businesses and job seekers navigate a changing labour market, has been selected by the federal government to support the delivery of the Canada Digital Adoption Program (CDAP).

CDAP was announced as part of the 2021 federal budget to help small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) get online, establish an e-commerce presence and digitize business operations.

As part of CDAP, businesses can also access funds to hire students or recent graduates aged 18-30 for paid placements. Magnet will oversee this funding for up to 16,800 youth work placements across Canada over the next three years. In support of each placement, businesses are granted up to $7,300.

Founded at Toronto Metropolitan University, Magnet is a social innovation platform that partners with education, government, technology and community service organizations to connect employers with job seekers and provide training and career development programs and services. Magnet provides the digital infrastructure for nation-wide projects like Canada’s Future Skills Centre and includes partnerships with Canada Job Bank, RBC Future Launch, Employment and Social Development Canada, and several industry associations.

“CDAP adds to Magnet’s growing portfolio of projects that share the common goal of supporting an inclusive workforce, economic development, and social prosperity across Canada,” says Mark Patterson, Magnet’s executive director. “Magnet’s partnerships help us realize these goals through a network of projects that can help connect Canada’s publicly funded employment and training system, making it easier to recruit talent, engage in workforce development, and help small- and medium-sized businesses access funding and growth opportunities.”

Patterson adds, “Through the CDAP project, Magnet will provide businesses with a talent pipeline to recruit students and recent graduates across Canada, and support businesses throughout the process with training, recruitment, and program.”

This talent pipeline will provide youth access to programs and services to enhance their skills and experience and help Canadian businesses adopt new digital practices in response to the challenges and long-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.