Minister Bains helps launch a unique work-­integrated learning program

News Release

The program, the first of its kind in Canada, brings theory and application together in real time

October 12, 2016 – Ottawa – Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

A one‑of‑a‑kind program that provides students with free tuition and a salary while they learn on the job is being praised by the Government of Canada as an innovative example of work‑integrated learning. The program aims to help graduates transition from school to career more easily by providing them with real‑world work experience as they pursue their undergraduate degree.

The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, attended the launch of the full stack education program, a joint partnership between Carleton University and Shopify Inc., an e‑commerce company headquartered in Ottawa.

Under the program, offered through Carleton's School of Computer Science, students spend the majority of their four years at Shopify, where they learn classroom concepts that they can apply immediately in the workplace. The 11 participating students will have their tuition fees and salary paid by Shopify, which is investing hundreds of thousands of dollars in the program.

In his remarks, Minister Bains noted that the program offers a new and unique model of experiential learning and builds on established co‑op education programs offered at some Canadian universities.

He also commended Shopify for encouraging more women to pursue careers related to science, technology, engineering and math. Six of the 11 students enrolled in the program are women.

Minister Bains pointed to the program as an innovative example of how Canada can help prepare its young people for a rapidly changing job market and highlighted the importance of developing a diverse talent pool that includes more women.

The Government's Innovation Agenda aims to make this country a global centre for innovation—one that creates jobs, drives growth across all industries and improves the lives of all Canadians. This program exemplifies that vision in action.


"Shopify and Carleton University are showing real leadership with this program. Canada needs to do a better job of preparing people at all stages of life for a rapidly changing job market. University and college students should have access to more work‑integrated learning. Programs such as the unique one launched by Shopify and Carleton today will help students integrate more quickly into the workforce after they graduate. In the process, they will train for—and invent—the well‑paying, middle‑class jobs of the future."

– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

"All employers have a role to play in hiring students and recent graduates and in making their work experiences as enriching as possible. It is great to see Shopify and Carleton University working together on this innovative program to invest in young people in Ottawa. It is when we come together as a community to leverage our assets and experiences that we will create the greatest number of jobs and valuable work experiences for our youth."

– The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

"We appreciate Shopify's generosity and look forward to continuing this innovative partnership in the years to come. Carleton is committed to providing our students with the kind of real‑world experience that helps bring academics to life."

– Roseann O'Reilly Runte, President and Vice‑Chancellor, Carleton University

"We designed this program with Carleton to give students the perfect mix of hands‑on experience, self‑paced learning and theoretical foundations. They will have the opportunity over the next couple of years to learn and make changes to Shopify that will affect millions of people."

– Jean‑Michel Lemieux, Senior Vice President of Engineering, Shopify

Quick facts

  • Shopify Inc. is an Ottawa‑based company with more than 1,500 employees in Toronto, Montréal, Waterloo and San Francisco.
  • The Bachelor of Computer Science Internship program offered by Carleton University and Shopify is the first work‑integrated, curriculum‑aligned undergraduate program in Canada.
  • To make the program accessible to as many students as possible, Shopify is covering the tuition fees of participating students as well as paying them a salary during their time in the program.

Associated links

Follow Minister Bains on social media.
Twitter: @MinisterISED


Philip Proulx
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

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