Newfoundland and Labrador boosts incentives for internship program

Deadline for applications from employers May 6

By increasing incentives, Newfoundland and Labrador is hoping more employers will be inclined to hire interns.

In the second year of its ExportAdvantage Internship Program, the contribution to each participating company will rise from $25,000 to $30,000 to assist in covering a portion of the intern’s salary.

“In an increasingly competitive, knowledge-driven business climate, the need to support local enterprises engaging in exporting activity is great,” said Susan Sullivan, minister of innovation, trade and rural development. “Equally great is the need to provide graduates with the opportunity to engage in meaningful employment that matches their skills, knowledge and expertise. The ExportAdvantage Internship Program bridges these two worthy goals.”

The program launched in June 2010 to enhance the exporting capabilities of companies by providing them with an opportunity to hire individuals with trade and exporting training. For 12 months, interns assist employers with export activities, such as identifying and conducting research into new market opportunities and developing an export strategy.

“The internship program helped bring focus to our export initiatives and the wage subsidy allowed the company to hire a recent graduate,” said Brent Smith, owner of the Newfoundland Chocolate Company, one of the first corporate participants. “We are pleased with the results of the program.”

The program creates a win-win situation for everyone, said Sullivan.

“It provides small businesses with a recent graduate who has skills and knowledge to assist in expanding export capabilities. Interns acquire valuable hands-on experience and meaningful employment opportunities and the province benefits as our economy is further strengthened by an increase in new business activity in Newfoundland and Labrador.”

The deadline for businesses to apply is May 6, 2011. More information can be found at Newfoundland and Labrador.

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