Kudos to Bill Morneau, Canada’s finance minister, and Government of Canada for producing a budget that prioritizes youth skills and innovation.
SHAD is a huge supporter of public policy that encourages Canadian youth to grow as innovators, entrepreneurs, and social change-makers.
Federal #Budget2017 does this, for example, by showing strong support for female entrepreneurship - good news for any organization, like SHAD, that has 60% female participation in our STEM-based entrepreneurial programming. The budget also supports enhanced educational opportunities for low income youth and more work-integrated learning initiatives so youth can access excellent work experiences early in their careers.
The goal of policies like these — and the goal of SHAD, as highlighted in the federal government’s “highly skilled and resilient Canadian workforce” agenda — is straight forward. Equip tomorrow’s leaders with entrepreneurial and STEM skills — along with soft-skills like team-work, communication, and thinking outside the box — to ensure they thrive in a dynamic and hypercompetitive 21st century global economy.
Going forward, we’re optimistic that the government’s youth innovation agenda will also include a strong focus on delivering early, deeply immersive STEM-based experiences that are accessible to all qualified Canadian students.
At SHAD, we provide this opportunity every summer to students from across the country.
Every year SHADs are given a theme or social problem — last year it was food insecurity in Canada — and in just one month they have to work in small teams to devise a product, create a business and marketing plan and working prototype to address the problem. Some have started global companies, and some have patents for their products. But the main goal is to get these students thinking there are no limits and they can make a difference either here in Canada or around the world.
The results are dramatic and easy to see.
SHAD has produced a Rhodes Scholar for almost every year it’s been in existence.
Three of the 26 Members of the Prime Minister’s Youth Advisory Panel are SHAD Fellows.
2 of the 72 finalists among thousands of contenders to be Canada’s next astronaut are SHAD Fellows.
And over the past three years, SHAD has seen close to 60 per cent of its participants in its STEM focused program as females.
We look forward to working with governments and partners across the country to scale this impact for Canada.
As SHAD continues to expand our program by bringing on new campus partners across the country — right now we have 13 from coast to coast — we’re making sure our approach reflects the principles of inclusive growth. We’ll keep working with governments to make sure our program is accessible to every qualified applicant, especially in remote and more marginalized communities. Canadian youth from every community and background deserve the opportunity to feel their full potential. There is a huge economic cost to Canada if they don’t.
Budget 2017 takes some great steps toward these goals. We’re look forward to engaging and supporting these goals now and in the months and years to come.