Funding for employers

Funding opportunities for employers
UVic civil engineering alumna Elodie Forest (right) working alongside designer engineer Amrit Pal Singh (left) at RJH Engineers in Victoria.

Many employer funding opportunities are available to help organizations hire students. Students can also apply for student funding opportunities to help with various work term costs, which may also benefit the employer.

Funding changes in response to COVID-19: Many funding programs have adjusted their requirements in response to COVID-19 in order to increase opportunities for employers and students. Updates are listed within the individual funding sections below.

Resources to help employers hire students

We've listed a range of funding opportunities, including funding to hire UVic co-op students as well as other students and graduates. 

UVic funding to support hiring UVic co-op students

These funding opportunities are part of UVic's Strategic Framework Experiential Learning Fund (SF-ELF). Students can also access additional funding opportunities through this fund.

Co-operative Education Not-For-Profit Wage Subsidy Program

Who can apply

Through this funding, employer organizations who hold charity or not-for-profit status may be eligible for a wage subsidy to cover a portion of the cost of hiring a co-op student for a co-op work term (up to a maxiumum of $5,000).

Half of the funding will be provided to the employer at the end of the first month of the work term. The rest of the funding will be provided after the employer has completed the final competency assessment.

How to apply

  • Not-for-profit organizations must work with their UVic co-op coordinator to review the guidelines and discuss eligibility (outlined on the application form)
  • If eligible, not-for-profit organizations will complete the application form together with their co-op coordinator
  • The co-op coordinator will then submit the application for consideration

When to apply

The application deadline varies per term.

  • January - April work terms: 4:30 p.m. on November 1
  • May - August work terms: 4:30 p.m. on March 1
  • September - December work terms: 4:30 p.m. on July 1

Indigenous Co-operative Education Wage Subsidy Program

Who can apply

Through this funding, Indigenous community organizations may be eligible for a wage subsidy to cover a portion of the cost of hiring a co-op student for a co-op work term (up to a maxiumum of $5,000).

Half of the funding will be provided to the employer at the end of the first month of the work term. The rest of the funding will be provided after the employer has completed the final competency assessment.

How to apply

  • Indigenous community organizations must work with their UVic co-op coordinator to review the guidelines and discuss eligibility (outlined on the application form)
  • If eligible, Indigenous community organizations must complete the application form together with their co-op coordinator
  • The co-op coordinator will submit the application for consideration

When to apply

The application deadline varies per term.

  • January - April work terms: 4:30 p.m. on November 1
  • May - August work terms: 4:30 p.m. on March 1
  • September - December work terms: 4:30 p.m. on July 1

Funding to hire co-op students through the Student Work Placement Program (SWPP)

The Government of Canada's Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) supports partnerships between employers and post-secondary education (PSE) institutions to create more work placements for students enrolled in post-secondary studies across Canada. 

SWPP information and student eligibility

Originally set up to help post-secondary students in science, technology, engineering, math (STEM) and business programs get work experience, the Student Work Placement Program (SWPP) is now open to students in most post-secondary programs.

NOTE: See the section below on "Temporary changes in response to COVID-19" for the most current information about funding opportunities.

What is the SWPP?

The SWPP program provides funding in the form of wage subsidies to employers that offer quality work to post-secondary students:

  1. SWPP funding covers 50% of the wages (up to a maximum of $5,000) for every student hired through the program.
  2. SWPP funding covers 70% of the wages (up to a maximum of $7,000) for every student hired that is in their first academic year or is from an under-represented group including women in STEM, persons with disabilities, visible minorities, newcomers and Indigenous students.
  3. Wages for the position cannot be funded by another federally funded program, but can be combined with non-federal funding.

Application processes and deadlines differ, but generally, employers should apply for funding before students start their work terms.

What employers are eligible?

Registered Canadian businesses or non-profit organizations are eligible. Post secondary institutions are not eligible for funding.

What students are eligible?

Students must:
  • be registered in a post-secondary program that includes work integrated learning;
  • be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident or person with refugee protection given under the law; and
  • be legally able to work in Canada according to the laws and regulations of the province or territory where they live
  • be hired as employees, not as independent contractors
  • consent to releasing employment information to the funding delivery partner and the government of Canada. 

Temporary changes in response to COVID 19

As a response to COVID-19, SWPP has made the following changes to its requirements for students hired for the Summer 2021 term (May 7 - Sept. 3, 2021), the Fall 2021 term, and the Spring/Winter (January) 2022 term.

  1. The SWPP program funding has increased to 75% of the wages (up to a maximum of $7,500) for every student hired through the program.
  2. The “Net New” requirement, where funded placements are only those that are over and above a baseline number from an earlier period, has been lifted. 
  3. Post-secondary institutions are termporarily eligible for funding for student work terms.
  4. Flexibility is permitted in the start date and overall duration of the work term as long as the post secondary institution approves.
  5. Students can work from home.
  6. A pre-approval process allows employers to know sooner if they are eligible for the funding.

SWPP delivery partners - by sector

SWPP delivery partners - by sector

There are eighteen employer delivery partners, listed below by sector. Several partners are open to employers in any sector. Eligibility and application processes vary across partners. Please see specific websites and contacts for more information.

Any sector

Fédération des chambres de commerce du Québec (FCCQ) - Accueillez un stagiaire

  • For employers in these sectors: No sector restriction; registered Canadian businesses or non-profit organizations, but not government organizations or financial sector employers; must be located in Quebec.
  • For students in these programs: No restriction; must be at an accredited institution in a program that includes field placements. 
  • Eligible roles: No restriction.
  • Contact and application information:

Magnet – Magnet Student Work Placement Program

  • For employers in these sectors: Any registered Canadian business or non-profit organizations. Municipal governments are not eligible for funding.
  • For students in these programs: No restriction.
  • Eligible roles: No restriction.
  • Employers must have a candidate before applying. 
  • Contact and application information:

Ontario Chamber of Commerce – Talent Opportunities Program (TOP)

  • For employers in these sectors:Any registered Canadian business or non-profit organization except large corporations in the financial sector.
  • For students in these programs: No restriction.
  • Eligible roles: No restriction.
  • Contact and application information:

Venture for Canada – Venture for Canada

  • For employers in these sectors: No sector restriction, targeted employers are SMEs, start-ups, social enterprises, non-profits, or charities located in BC, AB, MB, SK, NB, NS, PEI, or NL, with a maximum of 500 employees. This funding may be stacked with other, non-federal funding. The combined value of grants cannot exceed the student's salary. See other types of funding here.
  • For students in these programs: No restriction.
  • Eligible roles: No restriction
  • Contact and application information:

Agriculture and Environment

Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council (CAHRC-CCRHA)

No information is available yet for this new funding partner’s student work placement program.  Stay tuned.

  • For employers in these sectors:
  • For students in these programs:
  • Eligible roles:
  • Contact and application information:

ECO Canada – Student Work Placement Program

  • For employers in these sectors: Not restricted, except that federal, provincial, territorial and municipal governments are not eligible.
  • For roles that provide paid work in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art or Math (STEAM) and Business.
  • For students in these programs: Science, technology, engineering, art, math (STEAM) and business.
  • Eligible roles: Environmental roles.
  • Funding needs to be approved before the student starts their placement. Once your funding is secured, you can begin your search for qualified, talented students to fill the position.
  • Contact and application information:

Biotechnology

BioTalent – BioTalent Student Work Placement Program

  • For employers in these sectors: Bioscience/healthcare employer or fulfilling a bioscience/healthcare job function.
  • For students in these programs: No restriction.
  • Eligible roles: Bioscience/healthcare sector employer or fulfilling a bioscience or health job function.
  • Employers need to have a candidate before applying. Employers must hire the student first and once a candidate is identified they will apply for funding. The application needs to be submitted a minimum of 20 business days before the placement end date. The candidate cannot start their co-op until approval has been granted. It usually takes 3-5 business days to process an application. 
  • Student participants receive free access to BioTalent's Essential and Technical Skills Fundamentals training programs. 
  • Contact and application information:

Culture and Media

Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA)

No information is available yet for this new funding partner’s student work placement program.  Stay tuned.

  • For employers in these sectors:
  • For students in these programs:
  • Eligible roles:
  • Contact and application information:

Cultural Human Resources Council (CHRC)

  • For employers in these sectors: Cultural sector
  • For students in these programs: No restriction. Registered as a student in a recognized PSE institution in any program or field of study. SWP/WIL placement objectives include students in the following funding priority groups: 10% for Indigenous students, 10% for BPOC students, 5% for persons with disabilities, 5% for official language minority
  • Eligible roles: Creative & Artistic Disciplines (Crafts, Dance, Digital Media, Film & Television, Music, Theatre, Visual Arts and Writing), Cultural Management, Technical & Operational, Heritage Collection & Preservation
  • Contact and application information:

Electricity

Electricity Human Resources Canada – Empowering Futures

  • For employers in these sectors: Firms whose primary activity is the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity. Sector support including renewables, in any of the following areas: R & D, business development, energy efficiency. Firms engaged in manufacturing of equipment and the provision of services necessary to generation, transmission or distribution.
  • For students in these programs: Science, technology, engineering, mathematics, arts, or business program.
  • Eligible roles: No restriction
  • Contact and application information:

Food and Beverage Processing

Food Processing Skills Canada (FPSC-CTAC) – SWPP+

  • For employers in these sectors: Canadian food and beverage manufacturing industry.
    • This can include food and beverage processors, restaurants, grocery stores.
  • Role eligibility: Position or employer are related to food and/or beverages.
  • For students in these programs: No restriction as long as the placement is related to food and/or beverages.
  • Contact and application information:

Information and communication technology

ICTC - WIL Digital Program

  • For employers in these sectors: Advanced manufacturing, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, Fintech, intelligent retail, big data, clean tech, connected transportation, entertainment and gaming, e-health.
  • For students in these programs: Science, technology, engineering, math or business.
  • Eligible roles: focused on digital sectors, including emerging information technology (IT) and information communications technology (ICT).
  • Employers can request funding before finalizing the selection of student hires. 
BC Employers
As of June 1st, 2021 all WIL Digital employers that are registered and operating in BC may be eligible to receive an additional 25% wage subsidy, up to a maximum of $2,500 through the Innovator Skills Initiative top-up for each student hired.  Employers located in B.C. who apply to the WIL Digital program will be automatically considered for the Innovator Skills Initiative top-up funding to their WIL Digital program subsidy. Apply here.

TECHNATION – Career Ready Program

  • For employers in these sectors: A registered Canadian business or non-profit organization, but not federal or provincial government organizations or large financial sector employers.
  • For students in these programs: No restriction.
  • Eligible roles: Students will be immersed in technology in a manner that is relevant to their field of study.
  • Contact and application information:

Manufacturing

Excellence in Manufacturing Consortium (EMC) – WILWorks Program

  • For employers in these sectors: Any company in the manufacturing sector.  Employers with approved placements will receive temporary membership to EMC.
  • For students in these programs: No restriction.
  • Eligible roles: No restriction.
  • Contact and application information:

Mining

Mining Industry Human Resources Council – Gearing Up Program

  • Employer eligibility: Employers must be Canadian-owned or a Canadian subsidiary, and in one of the following categories: Small, medium or large companies involved in the mining or mineral exploration sector; post-secondary educational institution; or not-for profit organization. 
  • For students in these programs: Science, technology, engineering or math (STEM), or business.
  • Eligible roles: No restriction.
  • Contact and application information:

Tourism

Canadian Tourism Human Resource Council – Propel Student Work Placement Program

  • For employers in these sectors: Registered Canadian businesses, startups, and not-for-profits related to the tourism and hospitality sector
  • For students in these programs: No restriction
  • Eligible roles: With a tourism/hospitality employer and/or related to a tourism/hospitality job function. Roles can be at employers representing all facets of the visitor economy: accommodations, food and beverage services, culinary, recreation, entertainment, culture, events, transportation, travel services, and more.
  • Contact and application information:
    • Apply here
    • Email: propel@tourismhr.ca
    • Phone: 1-800-486-9158

Transportation and Logistics

Canadian Council for Aviation & Aerospace (CCAA) – Student Work Placement Program (SWPP)

  • For employers in these sectors: Aviation and aerospace sector, including supplier organizations.
  • For students in these programs: No restriction.
  • Eligible roles: No restriction.
  • Employers must have a candidate before applying.
  • Contact and application information:=
    • Apply here
    • Email: pportelance@avaerocouncil.ca
    • Phone: Pascale Portelance, Project Coordinator at 613-727-8272, ext. 236

Trucking Human Resources Canada

  • For employers in these sectors: Canadian truck transportation and logistics industry
  • For students in these programs: No restriction
  • Eligible roles: Any role within the trucking and logistics sector
  • Contact and application information:

Funding for co-op work terms

BC Arts Council's Co-op Placement Program

The BC Arts Council's Co-op Placement Program assists arts and cultural organizations to hire students for professional work experience through co-op placement and work-integrated learning programs.

Organizations can apply for up to $10,000 for one term or $20,000 for two terms. All of the funding received will go towards the wages of the student.

Learn about eligibility and deadlines.

Federal and provincial funding opportunities summarized by ACE-WIL

The Association for Co-operative Education and Work-Integrated Learning BC/Yukon has summarized a range of funding opportunities.

Funding, grants and wage subsidies summarized by the BC Chamber of Commerce

Access a range of provincial and federal funding options as summarized by the BC Chamber of Commerce.

Innovator Skills Initiative (ISI)

The Innovator Skills Initiative program provides up to $10,000 to help BC employers hire underrepresented people in tech or tech-related roles. Employers can receive up to 10 grants for 10 different employees each year.

Grant stacking opportunities

It is possible to stack funding from the Innovator Skills Initiative program with Federal funding. The program has partnerships with two federal funding programs:

Learn more about Innovator Skills Initiative funding or read the Program Guidelines.

Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions funding

The Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions (PICS) may provide funding to provincial ministry employers who wish to hire co-op students to work on projects that meet PICS main objectives. These objectives include low-carbon emissions research and research related to sustainable communities. For details, visit the PICS website or contact your co-op office.

School Works: Co-op Wage Subsidy Program

The School Works: Co-op Wage Subsidy program is now accepting applications. The program provides $8/hr wage subsidies to employers in Columbia Basin Trust’s region to help them hire post-secondary students enrolled in full-time education and participating in a recognized university or college co-op education program.

Funding for summer co-op work terms

Canada Summer Jobs

Hiring a student for the summer? Canada Summer Jobs provides funding to help employers create summer job opportunities for students. It's designed to focus on local priorities while helping both students and their communities.

Employers can apply for this funding through Service Canada (check this website for application dates and deadlines). The application period typically runs from early January to early February, but please refer to the Service Canada website for specific dates.

Canadian Heritage - Young Canada Works

Young Canada Works (student summer job programs and graduate internships) are designed to meet your hiring needs in the arts, heritage, cultural and official languages sectors.

First Nations and Inuit Summer Work Experience Program

This program provides youth with summer employment opportunities where they can gain work experience and develop important skills such as communication, problem-solving and teamwork.

The First Nations and Inuit Summer Work Experience Program is part of the First Nations and Inuit Youth Employment Strategy.

Learn more.

Funding for research co-op work terms

National Research Council Canada – Industrial Research Assistance Program

National Research Council Canada's Industrial Research Assistance Program provides innovation and funding services to accelerate the growth of business.

NSERC Experience Awards (discontinued)

NSERC’s Experience Awards (previously Industrial Undergraduate Student Research Awards (IUSRA) offered companies access to talented natural sciences and engineering undergraduate students for a work term.

This program was discontinued in January 2019, as NSERC is designing a new, modernized and improved Research Partnerships program. As a result, the NSERC Experience Awards program is being discontinued. No further Experience Awards applications are being accepted. Commitments for existing awards will be honoured.

Additional funding information provided by the Government o Canada can be found through Innovation Canada's Concierge Service.

Mitacs Accelerate BC

Interested in pursuing a joint research project with UVic? Through Mitacs Accelerate BC, you can hire a graduate co-op student to spend half of a four-month work term researching a topic of interest to the student, their faculty supervisor and your company.

Mitacs Accelerate BC and you, the employer, will both contribute $7,500 for a four-month work term. The student will spend half the work term at your workplace and the other half at UVic, where they’ll work on research under the guidance of the faculty supervisor.

Mitacs Accelerate BC is a chance to expand your company’s research and development, foster a deeper relationship with UVic and help out future collaborative projects. To learn more about Accelerate and its eligibility conditions, contact your co-op office or visit Mitacs Accelerate.

COVID-19 update: An expedited approval process and leverage funding model for COVID-19-related research projects has been announced. For a limited time, SMEs responding to COVID-19 can incorporate a research internship with a reduced contribution of $3,750 for a $15,000 award. 

Scientific Research and Experimental Development Tax (SR and ED) Incentive

The following funding opportunities may be available to employers hiring engineering, computer science and math/stats students:

Funding to support hiring youth

Digital Lift Internship Program

The Digital Lift Internship Program provides skilled individuals with hands-on internship experience at technology companies across the Province. The internships specifically aim to help Indigenous Peoples, women, rural youth and transitioning workers gain real world experience working in the tech sector by preparing individuals through a 4-month paid virtual internship. Opportunities exist to work with some of BC’s best technology companies.

Get Youth Working

Funded through the Canada-BC Labour Market Agreement, Get Youth Working! offers BC employers a $2,800 hiring incentive to hire eligible youth 15 to 19 years of age, as well as a $1,000 training fund for the newly hired youth.

Project Learning Tree Canada

Project Learning Tree Canada is offering 50% wage-matching for students who are 15-30 years of age, returning to school, 8-16 weeks in length, and who are working in green jobs.

Funding programs for employers in Alberta, Manitoba, New Brunswick and Saskatchewan

Alberta Temporary Employment Program (STEP)

  • For small businesses (1-49 employees), non-profits, libraries, school boards, municipalities, First Nations, Métis Settlements, and publicly-funded post-secondary institutions
  • Students must be residents of Alberta and meet other specified criteria.

Learn more.

Manitoba STEP Services

  • The official student employment placement service for the government of Manitoba
  • Students must be attending school and meet other specified criteria

Learn more.

Future Ready NB

  • For employers: in New Brunswick with fewer than 50 employers (100% wage subsidy) or more than 50 employees (up to a 50% subsidy). The hourly wage varies but is typically $14/hr or less. 
  • Students must be registered as full-time students or approved by the institution. 
  • Eligible roles: Quality experiential role
  • Contact and application information: 

Saskatchewan Student Summer Works (SSW)

  • For eligible employers operating in Saskatchewan in the Sports and Recreation Sector, Cultural Sector and Environmental Sector
  • Students must be residents of Saskatchewan and meet other specific criteria

Learn more.

Resources to help employers hire graduates

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada - Career Focus Program

Career Focus provides funding to organizations for the creation of agricultural internships that provide career-related work experiences for recent graduates.

  • each year, employers must apply between November 1 and November 30 for their project to be considered
  • if approved, projects can start on or after April 1 of the following year
  • approved projects will be eligible to receive 50% of total eligible costs, up to a maximum of $20,000 in matching funds
  • applications will be reviewed on a first come, first served basis as long as funds are available. Applicants are strongly encouraged to apply early

Learn more.

BC Employer Training Grant (ETG)

The B.C. Employer Training Grant (ETG) provides up to $8 million in funding for employers to support skills training for their current and new employees in the fiscal year 2018/2019.

This program is designed to assist employers in providing skills training to new or current employees that will develop skills and certification, upgrade skills needed due to automation and enhance productivity.

Learn more.

Career Launcher Internships - Government of Canada

The Career Launcher Internships program is funded by the Government of Canada as part of the Youth Employment Strategy.

Employers can reeive up to $30,000 to hire skilled graduates.

Learn more.

Clean Leadership Professional Internship wage subsidy program - Clean Foundation

Clean Leadership’s professional internship stream, proudly funded through Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Science Horizons Program, is a wage subsidy initiative to help recent graduates from college or university acquire work experience in STEM (science, technology, engineering, or mathematics) positions with an environmental focus.

The program provides a wage subsidy (to a maximum of $15,000) to help employers anywhere in Canada hire the talent they need and help increase the supply of highly qualified professionals in the environmental sector. Internships must be completed by March 31st, 2020 and the ideal end goal of the program is for the intern to be hired on full-time or decide to return to academia to further their studies in the STEM field.

Funding is limited, so be sure to visit their website to apply as soon as possible.

Employment and Social Development Canada - Career Focus

Career Focus is a Canada-wide program that offers funding for employers to help post-secondary graduates find career-related work opportunities in Canada and internationally.

Environment and Climate Change Canada with ECO Canada - Science Horizons Internship Program

The Science Horizons Internship Program provides up to $15,000 in wage funding for green jobs in STEM which aim at establishing and growing a clean, safe, and sustainable environment for all of Canada. 

Eligible roles fall within Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, are full-time, permanent* and have a positive environmental impact. *Placements typically last 8-12 months and are intended to lead to permanent employment. Eligible candidates are currently 30 years of age or younger, unemployed or underemployed, graduated from a recognized post secondary institution with a 4 year degree or 2 year diploma, and are a Canadian citizen, permanent resident or refugee.

Eligible employers are Canadian owned or a Canadian subsidiary or a Municipal or Provincial Government Department.  They are hiring for a new, environmentally-related position in STEM.

Questions?

coop@eco.ca, Toll-free: 1-800-890-1924

Program page: Wage Subsidy Program to hire Environmental Students

IRAP Youth Employment Program

The IRAP Youth Employment Program offers financial assistance to offset the cost of hiring young talent to work on projects with R&D, engineering, multimedia or market analysis components or to help develop a new product or process.

Innovation Science and Economic Development Canada - Digital Skills for Youth Program

Digital Skills for Youth (DS4Y) provides up to $20,000 in wage subsidies to small businesses and not-for-profit organizations to help them hire underemployed recent post-secondary graduates. The funding makes possible meaningful work experience for new graduates to help them transition to career-oriented employment. Funding is available from a range of delivery partners and also allows for up to $4000 towards extra training for the graduate.

Learn more.

National Resources Canada - Green Jobs - Science and Technology Internship Program (STIP)

To help young Canadians get started in a green career, Natural Resources Canada is investing more that $16 million to create 1,200 jobs through our Green Jobs - Science and Technology Internship Program (STIP), part of the Government of Canada’s Youth Employment Strategy.

Funding is available for both students and employers through this program. Learn more.

Science Horizons Youth Internship Program

The Science Horizons Youth Internship Program provides wage subsidies to eligible employers across Canada to hire university, college and polytechnic graduates for internships in the environmental science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.

Up to $25,000 in funding for wage subsidies and up to $5,000 in funding for skills development, training, and wrap-around services are available to eligible employers. Internship opportunities lasting 6 to 12 months provide youth hands-on experience working on environmental projects.

Program funding is aimed at employers in the environmental science, technology, engineering and mathematics sectors.

The funding is offered through the following delivery organizations:

BioTalent Canada – biosciences sector

Clean Foundation – green solutions in energy efficiency, water health, waste reduction and sustainable transportation; based in Atlantic Canada

Colleges and Institutes Canada – association promoting research into climate change and other environmental challenges

ECO Canada – environmental sector

Electricity Human Resources Canada - Canadian electricity sector

The United Nations Association in Canada (UNA-Canada) - civil society organization with the mandate to educate and engage citizens on the work of the United Nations including climate change, natural resource management, clean technology development and contributing to environmental sustainability.

WorkBC Wage Subsidy Program

WorkBC’s Wage Subsidy service provides funding to eligible employers as an incentive to hire and provide work experience to WorkBC clients. Learn more.

Young Canada Works

The Green Spaces program provides a wage subsidy for eligible employers who hire summer work placements in parks and natural settings across Canada.

The program is funded in part by the Government of Canada's Summer Work Experience Program, in partnership with the United Nations Association in Canada.