The federal government has pledged just over $1.1 million to support internship programs for McMaster University students, MP David Sweet announced Wednesday.

The funds will go towards creating positions within southern Ontario businesses for graduate students and graduates of the science and engineering faculties.

"Our government is committed to creating jobs, growth and long-term prosperity for southern Ontario," said Sweet, the MP for Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale.

"This investment will help McMaster's young scientists and engineers to get the professional experience, mentorship and business skills they need as they develop into the next generation of leaders in business and innovation."

The money is being provided through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario's Graduate Enterprise Internship (GEI), which provides funding for not-for-profit organizations and post-secondary institutions to arrange internship and mentoring opportunities for recent graduates.

"The FedDev GEI program will create an important bridge for recent graduates from the Faculty of Science who wish to enter the workforce," said Dr. Peter Sutherland, Acting Dean of the Faculty of Science at McMaster University.

"The internship model will allow our students an opportunity to complement their academic training with relevant work experience and it will give employers access to new talent with cutting edge skills."

McMaster's science and engineering faculties place around 700 students in co-op work terms each year.

"We are proud of what our McMaster graduates bring to the marketplace," said Art Heidebrecht, Acting Dean of the Faculty of Engineering. "We are very grateful to the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario. The Graduate Enterprise Internship program will kick-start the professional careers of young McMaster graduates in science and engineering, and will help build the next generation of leaders in innovation."