By Monika Sidhu — There will be 500 new green jobs and internships available for young Canadians within the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Friday.  

The Prime Minister said the jobs will range from about six months to one year in length, and will primarily focus on energy, forestry, mining, earth science and clean technology sectors.

“These internships will give young people invaluable work experience, and the chance to explore careers in the natural resource sector,” said Trudeau. 

The program will be beneficial to organizations and students, said a volunteer with London, Ont.-based ReForest London, a non-profit that works to strengthen the partnership with the city to restore green spaces.

“Government funding for green jobs is essential for organizations that do crucial work to support the environment in normal times. It is even more important during the COVID-19 pandemic, as many organizations struggle to operate as they did before, and many students and new grads struggle to find employment opportunities in their field,” said Kelsey Nicholls, a volunteer and representative with the organization.

“As a small, local non-profit, we have relied for many years on funding from the federal government to hire summer students to help us run our programs during the summer months,” she said. Students work on initiatives, such as tree giveaways, aftercare, fundraising and marketing.

But Nicholls also believes that COVID-19 has given the government a new chance to invest in STEM and green jobs. 

“COVID-19 is an unprecedented challenge, but also an opportunity to make positive changes,” she said.  

The funding for these jobs will come from the government’s $9 billion plan implemented in April, which was meant to support students and recent graduates through COVID-19.

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