Government of Canada Contributes $5.3 Million to Promote Youth Participation in the Clean Energy Sector  

News release

September 21, 2022            Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania            Natural Resources Canada       

Young Canadians are integral to Canada's present and future success — they are the leaders of today and tomorrow. Youth organizations in Canada are undertaking important work amplifying young voices and empowering the next generation of leaders to lead clean energy solutions across diverse communities in Canada.

Today at the Global Clean Energy Action Forum, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources, announced a $5.3-million investment from the federal government to Student Energy for a capacity-building project that will promote youth participation in Canada’s clean energy sector.

This investment includes $5 million from Natural Resources Canada’s Smart Renewables and Electrification Pathways Program and $300,000 in previously announced funding through PrairiesCan’s Regional Innovation Ecosystems program stream.

The project entitled Enabling Youth and Indigenous Energy Solutions in Canada will promote youth and Indigenous solutions and meaningful participation in growing the clean energy sector by directly engaging over 15,000 youth aged 18 to 30 years old in programs delivering skills development and entrepreneurial training. The project will support clean energy development and adoption in communities across Canada, with a focus on underrepresented groups such as Indigenous communities and young women.

Student Energy, the McConnell Foundation, Suncor Energy, Rodan + Fields, North Family Foundation, Electricity HR Canada, the Trottier Family Foundation and the Government of Denmark are also contributing to this project, bringing the total investment to over $7.5 million.

Natural Resources Canada is focused on creating opportunities to ensure Indigenous peoples, communities, workers and businesses are meaningful participants in the transition to clean energy. Through working with Student Energy, we will continue to advance economic reconciliation while ensuring that Indigenous peoples are partners in Canada’s net-zero future.

The Government of Canada is committed to supporting youth participation in Canada’s clean energy sector and collaborating with them on actionable solutions in an effort to harness individual and collective action to fight climate change and help Canada meet its target of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.


“In every region of the country and in every sector of our economy, young Canadians are driving climate action. The Government of Canada is pleased to support Student Energy, a world-leading, youth-led organization, in its work to advance the clean energy transition by inspiring and empowering young Canadians to action. The funding announced today will go toward critical skills development and training in the clean energy space, creating new opportunities for young people in communities across Canada.”

The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson

Minister of Natural Resources 

“Indigenous youth have the ingenuity, ideas, talent and expertise to achieve Canada’s net-zero commitments and ensure the sustainability of our energy sector. They are leading the way in cleaner energy for their future and generations to come. Our government is proud to partner with Student Energy in empowering young Canadians from diverse backgrounds and experiences to fully participate in Canada’s energy transformation, helping advance new technologies that benefit both the environment and economy.”

The Honourable Daniel Vandal

Minister for PrairiesCan

“Young people, notably young women and Indigenous peoples, are an innovative, eager and under-tapped resource that can’t be left out of our economic recovery from the pandemic. They bring a unique perspective to our growing workforce and can contribute significantly to many different sectors, including the clean energy sector. I’m thrilled to see that over 15,000 youth will have a chance to develop their skills and chart a path forward into their future careers.”

The Honourable Marci Ien

Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth

“If we are serious about the energy transition, we need to also be serious about empowering young people with the skills, tools and resources they need to become part of the clean energy sector. The clean energy and electrification sectors have a high barrier of entry for young people yet are projected to face serious talent shortages in Canada’s net-zero pathway. Student Energy is thrilled to be partnering with Natural Resources Canada to reach the untapped potential of young people in Canada to lead on clean energy solutions and careers that will accelerate progress toward a net-zero future, prioritizing inclusive program design and underrepresented communities in the sector.”

Meredith Adler

Executive Director of Student Energy

Quick facts

  • Natural Resources Canada’s Smart Renewables and Electrification Pathways is a $1.56-billion program that will significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions by enabling increased renewable energy capacity that will provide essential grid services while contributing to Canada’s net-zero targets by 2050, which will improve public health by creating cleaner, more breathable air.

  • Applications are now open for the Natural Resources Canada’s Youth Council, a space for dialogue between youth and decision makers on climate action and resources management.

  • PrairiesCan’s Regional Innovation Ecosystems program stream aims to create, grow and nurture inclusive regional ecosystems that support business needs throughout the innovation continuum and to foster an entrepreneurial environment conducive to innovation, growth and competitiveness.

  • Canada’s 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan: Clean Air, Strong Economy ensures Canada will remain a world leader in clean power. The Government of Canada is committed to supporting local solutions and community-driven projects that will build a clean energy future for all. Together, we are building healthier, greener and more energy-resilient communities for future generations.

Associated links


Natural Resources Canada
Media Relations


Keean Nembhard
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Natural Resources


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