Canada’s Ocean Supercluster announced Wednesday a new program to help young people across the country to find employment and pursue careers in the ocean economy.
The total cost of the new program, called the Blue Futures Pathways Project, is $2.4 million, of which the Supercluster will provide $1.5 million.
The goal of Blue Futures Pathways is to connect Canadians aged 18 to 30 with education and employment, and support their careers in the sustainable blue economy. While it supports any young person, there will be a special focus on under-represented and Indigenous people, and those living in remote locations.
The project will be led by the Students on Ice Foundation, a Canadian charity whose mission is to educate youth about the Arctic and the importance of sustainability. The other partners include the Dartmouth-based Centre for Ocean Ventures and Entrepreneurship, or COVE, and ECO Canada, and Mitacs is supporting the project.
They hope to create 150 internships and launch a digital platform called the Port where employers and supporters can post openings. The Port will provide employers with tools, training and a support network in how best to nurture youth, especially under-represented youth, said the Supercluster.
The Blue Futures Pathways project aims to engage at least 250 employers on the Port, with at least 2,500 youth participating in the program.
“As the sustainable blue economy emerges in Canada, it is important for youth to be well-positioned to participate in, and lead its success,” said Students on Ice Founder and President Geoff Green in a statement. “Bringing together Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth, educators and partners to learn about and help conserve our vital ecosystems is core to our mission.”