Whatever your industry, the new generation is going to drive it. That's something Canada's Top Employers for 2018 already understand.
They've welcomed young talent into their workplace, giving them opportunities to learn and develop bright careers within their ranks. Instead of whining about negatives attributed to millennials – young adults typically pegged as being born between about 1980 and 2000 – these winning companies are listening to what young people have to say and providing them with the support needed to excel.
These include summer employment and paid internships for students at a variety of levels, job rotation and job-shadowing initiatives, formal and informal mentorship, school partnerships and tuition subsidies for further education, as well as strong in-house training programs.
Story continues below advertisement
Often the opportunities provided are unique and invaluable to a future career. For example, Baycrest Health Sciences in Toronto offers a 12-week paid research internship program, giving undergraduate students the chance to work in the laboratory of a Rotman Research Institute scientist, or Cactus Restaurants in Vancouver that organizes Culinary Development Days allowing chefs and sous chefs to work alongside product development chefs to create unique dishes not prepared on a regular basis.
Additionally, Canada's Top Employers for Young People 2018 understand that socially conscious initiatives matter, particularly to younger workers, and that giving back to the community is key in attracting and retaining this generation.
Citi Canada in Mississauga is outstanding in this area by offering a number of unique philanthropic opportunities, including ServiceCorps, a one-year fellowship program for incoming technology analysts. As part of the fellowship, the graduate's start date is deferred and they are matched with a non-profit or public organization. The company's Citi Volunteer Africa program also enables junior bankers to help low-income entrepreneurs in Uganda for a five-week period. This winning organization truly gets the millennial desire to contribute and make a difference.
The editors of Canada's Top 100 Employers evaluate each employer based on the programs and initiatives they offer to attract and retain younger workers. These include tuition assistance, the availability of co-op or work-study programs, mentorship and training programs, including benefits such as bonuses paid when employees complete certain courses or professional designations.
The editors also review each employer's career management program, looking for initiatives that can help younger workers advance faster in the organization. Last, the editors look at the average age of employees at each organization to better understand the composition and profile of their work force.
Any employer with its head office or principal place of business in Canada may apply for this competition through the Canada's Top 100 Employers application process. Organizations of any size may participate, whether private or public sector. Employers complete a single application for the national, regional, and special-interest competitions, including Canada's Top Employers for Young People.
Story continues below advertisement
Canada's Top Employers for Young People 2018
Aboriginal Peoples Television Network Inc. / APTN, Winnipeg. Television broadcasting; 127 employees. Partnered with the Canadian Association of Journalists to provide a paid 12-week placement with APTN Investigates.
Accenture Inc., Toronto. Management consulting; 3,576 employees. Manages an analyst development program with streams in consulting and technology for entry-level hires.
AIG Insurance Company of Canada, Toronto. Insurance; 423 employees. Plays host to innovation bootcamps for groups of high-potential employees, providing opportunities to brainstorm product or process innovations.
Alberta Health Services / AHS, Edmonton. Health care services; 43,975 employees. Developed a number of resources to help graduates transition to the workplace.
Alberta-Pacific Forest Industries Inc., Boyle, Alta. Pulp and paper mills; 388 employees. Offers a Power Engineering Summer Internship in partnership with "Careers: The Next Generation" and community high schools.
Story continues below advertisement
ATB Financial, Edmonton. Credit union; 4,603 employees. Maintains a millennial employee resource group to discuss workplace issues that impact millennials and to help build community across all generations.
Baycrest Health Sciences, Toronto. Nursing care facilities; 958 employees. Hosts student chat time to provide interactive and informal opportunities for students to increase their understanding of geriatric care.
Bayer, Mississauga. Pharmaceutical manufacturing; 1,396 employees. Maintains contact with interns upon completion of their internship through social media blogs, alumni sites and groups.
BC Hydro, Vancouver. Hydroelectric power generation; 5,262 employees. Provides structured career development and on-the-job training to employees through its Graduate Technologist-in-Training program.
Bell Canada, Montreal. Communications; 37,137 employees. Partners with Career Edge to provide internships to new and recent graduates, offering more than 1,000 internships to date.
Bennett Jones LLP, Calgary. Law firm; 875 employees. Works with various postsecondary institutions to hire legal assistant practicum students each year.
Bruce Power LP, Tiverton, Ont. Nuclear power generation; 4,012 employees. Manages a student development program to provide training and work experience to full-time college and university students.
Cactus Restaurants Ltd., Vancouver. Restaurants; 1,310 employees. Hosts one of Canada's largest in-house apprenticeship programs for employees pursuing the Red Seal Chef certification.
Canadian Tire Corp. Ltd., Toronto. Retail; 85,000 employees. Created the Canadian Tire Challenge to encourage innovative thinking among high performing talent in the early stages of their careers.
Capgemini Canada Inc., Toronto. Information technology; 392 employees. Established a Millennial Innovation Council to encourage cross-generational collaboration and innovation.
Capital One Bank (Canada Branch), North York, Ont. Credit card issuing; 1,122 employees. Hosts an entrepreneurial competition for co-op students at the end of their work term.
Cargill Ltd., Winnipeg. Food and agricultural products; 7,665 employees. Manages training programs to help recent graduates develop and gain foundational knowledge in their roles.
Centre for International Governance Innovation, Waterloo, Ont. Business association; 82 employees. Awarded 32 graduate scholarships to students interested in conducting research related to its International Law Research Program.
Ceridian, Winnipeg. Payroll services; 1,633 employees. Offers employees career counselling and feedback from a human resources professional through its Career Talk program.
CIBC, Toronto. Banking; 36,482 employees. Manages a Risk Management Development Program for students completing their final year of study in business administration or a related program.
Cisco Systems Canada Co., Toronto. Computer and equipment manufacturing; 1,727 employees. Created an Early Career Network, a global employee resource group to empower and motivate employees early in their careers.
Citi Canada, Mississauga. Banking; 1,187 employees. Maintains a Global Experience Program, allowing employees to live and work in one of the company's global locations for eight weeks.
Cole Engineering Group Ltd., Markham, Ont. Engineering; 266 employees. Helps recent graduates gain career-level experience through a rotational program featuring three to four placements in a variety of service sectors.
Collins Barrow Calgary LLP, Calgary. Accounting; 111 employees. Invests in ongoing training and development, providing tuition subsidies for courses taken at outside institutions and subsidies for professional designation.
Communications Security Establishment, Ottawa. Federal government; 2,237 employees. Offers dedicated mentoring for new employees and co-op students, also created an online tool to help match mentees with mentors.
Connect Hearing, Victoria. Physical, occupational and speech therapists, and audiologists; 315 employees. Offers paid internships for Hearing Instrument Practitioner students as well as mentoring and job shadowing with an audiologist instructor.
Corus Entertainment Inc., Toronto. Media production and broadcasting; 3,008 employees. Offers an annual Accelerator Program to engage, motivate and improve the retention of the company's high performing young employees.
Croesus Finansoft Inc., Laval, Que. Financial management software and services; 168 employees. Features a number of onsite perks at head office, including free parking, an employee lounge and free access to an onsite fitness facility.
D2L Corp., Kitchener, Ont. Custom computer programming; 606 employees. Provides an opportunity for students working at D2L to meet with executives to share their experience and discuss projects on which they've worked.
DeltaWare Systems Inc., Charlottetown. Custom computer programming; 96 employees. Offers a number of company-organized events, including a summer staff party and golf tournament plus sports nights for basketball, softball and curling.
Department of Finance Canada, Ottawa. Federal government; 745 employees. Manages an Economics and Social Sciences Development Program targeted toward junior-level employees.
Department of Fisheries and Oceans and Canadian Coast Guard, Ottawa. Federal government; 11,125 employees. Maintains a dedicated Young Professionals Network to provide employees with professional development, networking and learning opportunities.
Desjardins Group / Mouvement des caisses Desjardins, Lévis, Que. Credit union; 41,294 employees. Created a new Youth Advisory Board comprised of 12 young people between the ages of 18 and 35.
Ecclesiastical Insurance Office PLC, Toronto. Insurance; 70 employees. Launched a Young Innovators Workshop to harness the creativity of its young professionals.
Edmonton, City of, Edmonton. Municipal government; 10,409 employees. Hosts an annual student conference, allowing summer, co-op and graduate students to showcase their work to staff, stakeholders and community members.
Enbridge Inc., Calgary. Natural gas distribution; 7,650 employees. Offers a reverse mentorship program, matching executives with millennials in order to share their perspective on social media, leadership, communications and workplace balance.
EPCOR Utilities Inc., Edmonton. Electric power distribution and water treatment; 2,368 employees. Established an Engineer-in-Training program for high potential engineering graduates.
Fednav Ltd., Montreal. Deep sea freight transportation; 178 employees. Offers scholarships as an incentive for young people to consider a career in the marine industry.
Fidelity Canada, Toronto. Portfolio management; 891 employees. Manages a dedicated four-month student program to help students develop a wide range of professional skills.
Ford Motor Co. of Canada Ltd., Oakville, Ont. Automobile manufacturing; 7,856 employees. Created a leadership course entitled "Thirty under 30" to help young employees learn civic engagement skills as well as share their skills with non-profit organizations.
General Motors of Canada Co., Oshawa, Ont. Automobile manufacturing; 8,614 employees. Created "JumpStart," an affinity group for new hires with less than five years of experience.
Groupe Dynamite Inc., Mont-Royal, Que. Retail; 2,474 employees. Hosts a number of social events to introduce graduates to the executive team.
Harvard Developments Inc., Regina. Property management and development; 159 employees. Manages an apprenticeship program for maintenance assistants, including training with one of its building operators.
Hatch Ltd., Mississauga. Engineering; 2,772 employees. Maintains a formal student and new graduate program, which includes knowledge-sharing sessions, lunch and learns and a student showcase.
Health Canada / Santé Canada, Ottawa. Federal government; 9,304 employees. Maintains a Young Professionals Network that organizes a number of events, including "Mega-ConnEX," a speed networking event for young professionals to discuss career development with executives.
Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, Toronto. Hospital: 532 employees. Manages a summer student research program that provides undergraduate students with opportunities to conduct research alongside leading children's rehabilitation scientists.
House of Commons Administration, Ottawa. Legislative bodies; 1,681 employees. Manages a summer student employment program, offering positions in a variety of disciplines.
Hydro Ottawa, Ottawa. Electric power distribution; 650 employees. Launched a Youth Council, chaired by the CEO, to generate insights on issues that involve or affect youth at the organization, as well as to provide networking opportunities.
Intact Financial Corp., Toronto. Insurance; 11,750 employees. Maintains a two-year Commercial Lines Trainee Program to accelerate the development of recent graduates through professional and technical training.
Jazz Aviation LP, Dartmouth, N.S. Air transportation; 4,340 employees. Provides opportunities for pilots to become instructors in a variety of areas, such as line training, simulator training and crew resource management.
Joey Restaurant Group, Vancouver. Restaurants; 329 employees. Manages a series of company-wide competitions to foster ongoing development, including "Top Apprentice."
Keurig Canada Inc., Montreal. Coffee distribution and brewing equipment; 1,398 employees. Offers internships to students completing their second or third year in various fields, including marketing, sales, supply chain and finance.
Kinaxis Inc., Ottawa. Software publishers; 307 employees. Launched a high-school internship to promote computer science as a field of study among young people.
KPMG LLP, Toronto. Accounting; 6,620 employees. Created "Ace the Case," a two-day workshop for undergraduate students interested in pursuing a career in professional services.
L'Oréal Canada Inc., Montreal. Cosmetics manufacturing; 1,378 employees. Offers customized guidance and training for employees in their first six months of employment through "L'Oréal FIT."
Labatt Brewing Co. Ltd., Toronto. Breweries; 3,390 employees. Piloted a new intern onboarding app last year to assist new hires that serves as a quick reference toolkit for information with daily updates.
Lafarge Canada Inc., Calgary. Concrete manufacturing; 6,726 employees. Provides co-op placements and internship opportunities in a number of different business areas.
Loblaw Companies Ltd., Brampton, Ont. Supermarkets; 28,208 employees. Offers a one-year internship for engineering students who are completing their Professional Engineering Year in Enterprise Solutions Delivery.
LoyaltyOne Co., Toronto. Marketing consulting; 1,231 employees. Organizes case study competitions to provide co-op students the opportunity to work with senior managers to create a solution for a current business challenge.
Manitoba Hydro, Winnipeg. Hydroelectric power generation; 5,980 employees. Is the largest employer of apprentices in Western Canada, with more than 400 corporate apprentices.
Manitoba, Government of, Winnipeg. Provincial government; 12,412 employees. Created an 18-month management internship program for graduates interested in civil service employment.
Manulife, Toronto. Insurance; 12,743 employees. Created a Co-op Council, selecting students from various business units to gather feedback on their experience.
McMillan LLP, Toronto. Law firm; 658 employees. Offers internships and practicums for law clerks, paralegals, legal administrative assistants and students who require work experience to complete a specialized program.
Metrolinx, Toronto. Public transit; 3,361 employees. Created the Rob MacIsaac Fellowship Program, a unique initiative that allows students to complete research in a public-sector environment.
Miller Group, The, Markham, Ont. Highway, street and bridge construction; 4,705 employees. Provides Professional Years training for students in their final year of civil engineering.
MTU Maintenance Canada Ltd., Richmond, B.C. Aircraft engine and parts manufacturing; 395 employees. Manages an internally developed apprentice program to help employees acquire their licence.
Northwest Territories, Government of, Yellowknife. Territorial government; 5,902 employees. Hosts a meet and greet for all students within the first few weeks of their employment.
Northwestel Inc., Whitehorse. Telecommunications; 506 employees. Tries to connect scholarship recipients with summer employment for the duration of their school program and offers full-time employment upon graduation.
NTT Data Canada, Inc., Halifax. Computer systems design; 913 employees. Created a "New Leader" certificate program, an 18-month leadership development program to help recent graduates accelerate their career development.
Nuance Communications Canada Inc., Montreal. Software publishers; 791 employees. Hosts executive lunch and learns specifically to allow interns to meet the company's senior executive team.
Oliver Wyman Ltd., Toronto. Management consulting; 138 employees. Launched its third annual global innovation competition to encourage employees to develop new ideas to help clients.
Ontario Public Service / OPS, Toronto. Provincial government; 62,205 employees. Provides law students interested in Aboriginal legal issues with opportunities to gain related work experience and foster positive relationships with Indigenous people through a dedicated summer law program.
PepsiCo Canada, Mississauga. Soft drink and food manufacturing; 9,433 employees. Offers an Emerging Leader development program to help grads transition to the workplace.
Procter & Gamble Inc., Toronto. Consumer product manufacturing; 1,710 employees. Created a New Hire Network for employees with less than three years of tenure.
R.F. Binnie & Associates Ltd., Burnaby, B.C. Engineering; 139 employees. Organizes Fireside Chats to enable young professionals to interact directly with senior management.
Rockwool, Milton, Ont. Insulation product manufacturing; 626 employees. Maintains a formal year-long mentoring program for participants in various business areas, pairing junior employees with a mentor experienced in a management role.
Rogers Communications Inc., Toronto. Telecommunications, cable, publishing and subscription programming; 22,304 employees. Created "Walk a Mile in My Shoes," a job-shadowing program that allows employees to work within different roles across the company.
Royal Bank of Canada, Toronto. Banking; 52,519 employees. Partnered with Ten Thousand Coffees to create RBC4Students Cafe, a networking platform that allows students to invite one of the bank's 600 members for a one-on-one coffee chat.
Samsung Electronics Canada Inc., Mississauga. Communications equipment manufacturing; 555 employees. Created a millennials employee resource group to connect peers and offer mentoring and networking opportunities.
SAP Canada Inc., Vancouver. Custom computer programming; 2,903 employees. Manages an Early Talent Ambassador Program for new or recent graduates with less than two years of professional experience.
Saskatchewan Research Council / SRC, Saskatoon. Research and development; 336 employees. Hosts students from Saskatchewan Polytechnic's chemical technology program for one-month internships.
SaskPower, Regina. Hydroelectric power generation; 3,431 employees. Manages "Youth Network," a resource group for employees under the age of 29.
SaskTel, Regina. Telecommunications; 3,054 employees. Launched the YOUTHnetwork mentorship program to connect employees with students through regular e-mail communication, as well as in-person afternoon meetings once a month.
Schneider Electric Canada Inc., Mississauga. Industrial automation and controls; 2,663 employees. Manages a rotational Commercial Leadership Program providing exposure to the main areas of the company's business over two to three years.
Siemens Canada Ltd., Oakville, Ont. Engineering; 4,022 employees. Created an Engineering and Technology Academy (SCETA) to help equip students with relevant education and experience for successful careers.
Sodexo Canada Ltd., Burlington, Ont. Food service contractors; 6,067 employees. Manages the "Sharing Across Generations" networking group, which organizes activities to help employees of all generations forge connections in the workplace.
StandardAero, Winnipeg. Aircraft engine maintenance; 1,216 employees. Created a student sponsorship program to award four of their current students $5,000 in tuition and books, along with a guaranteed summer term or one-year full-time placement.
Statistics Canada, Ottawa. Federal government; 5,239 employees. Manages a dedicated development program to recruit recent IT graduates.
Sun Life Financial Inc., Toronto. Insurance; 9,574 employees. Manages a rotational leadership development program to provide recent grads with opportunities to rotate through different roles.
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto. Hospitals; 6,362 employees. Accepts up to 75 high-school students annually as part of its Experiential Learning Co-Operative Program.
Surrey, City of, Surrey, B.C. Municipal government; 1,869 employees. Helps students gain career-level experience through co-op placements and a technical student program.
TD Bank Group, Toronto. Banking; 46,405 employees. Created a new development program for participants of the bank's campus and graduate programs.
UBC / University of British Columbia, Vancouver. Universities; 10,555 employees. Established a Postdoctoral Fellows Office which acts as a resource centre to help postdocs expand their professional skills.
Ubisoft Toronto Inc., Toronto. Software publishers; 4,043 employees. Organizes the "NXT Showcase," a bi-annual competition for art and animation students in their final year at Toronto-area postsecondary schools.
Vancouver City Savings Credit Union, Vancouver. Credit unions; 2,050 employees. Manages a Youth Intern Program to provide work experience to young people between the ages of 19 and 35 who face barriers to employment.
West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd., Vancouver. Sawmills; 5,643 employees. Participates in the University of British Columbia's formal mentorship program for forestry students.
Whistler Blackcomb, Whistler, B.C. Skiing and resort operations; 3,459 employees. Launched a Red Seal Chef Apprenticeship Program in the past year with the aim of employing three apprentices at each level every year.
YMCA of Greater Toronto, Toronto. Individual and family services; 1,733 employees. Offers young people opportunities to volunteer on the Youth Portfolio Task Force to help review the organization's strategic plan and make recommendations.
York Regional Police, Aurora, Ont. Police service; 2,207 employees. Offers summer employment to students enrolled in police foundations, criminology, law or related programs.
York, Regional Municipality of, Newmarket, Ont. Municipal government; 3,485 employees. Launched a three-year pilot initiative in its finance department to allow candidates with less experience to be considered for certain department-specific positions.