Funding for employers

Funding opportunities for employers
David Moss (right) of Patriot Electric hired Nathan Hardy (left) for a co-op work term - Nathan made such a good impression that he was hired on in a permanent position after graduation.

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 (extended to December 1 for 2019)
  • 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 4:30 p.m. on November 1 (extended to December 1 for 2019)
  • 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. Usually, SWPP funding would cover 50% of the wages (up to a maximum of $5,000) for every student hired through the program. Shortly, in response to COVID-19, SWPP funding will cover 75% of the wages - up to a maximum of $7,500 - for every student hired through the program.
  2. Usually, SWPP funding would cover 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, newcomers and Indigenous students. Shortly, in response to COVID-19, SWPP funding will cover 75% of the wages - up to a maximum of $7,500 - for every student hired through the program.
  3. Wages for the position cannot be funded by another federally funded program, but could be combined with non-federal funding.

Application 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, including post-secondary institutions (post-secondaries have been added in response to COVID-19).

What students are eligible?

Students must be:
  • registered in a post-secondary program that includes work placements;
  • a Canadian citizen, permanent resident or person with refugee protection given under the law; and
  • legally able to work in Canada according to the laws and regulations of the province or territory where they live

Temporary changes in response to COVID 19

As a response to COVID-19, SWPP has made the following changes to its requirements. These changes will be in place until March 31, 2021:

  1. The SWPP program provides funding in the form of wage subsidies to employers that offer quality work to post-secondary students: the amount of coverage will shortly increase to 75% of the wages (up to a maximum of $7,500) for every student hired through the program.  This increase will be prorated for placements that are underway when the change takes effect. This page will be updated as more information becomes available.
  2. SWPP now allows for flexibility in the start date and overall duration of the work term as long as the post secondary institution approves.
  3. Students can now work from home; this was previously not permitted. The work term still needs to be a quality WIL experience for the student.
  4. Employers may be offered a portion of the wage subsidy up front to help the employer offset the student’s wages.
  5. Where not already available, a pre-approval process is to be implemented by all SWPP providers so that employers will know sooner if they are eligible for the grant. 
  6. Post-secondary institutions can apply for SWPP through any of the 10 funding partners. Applied research projects will be considered but the more that the position can demonstrate the WIL opportunity for the student, the more likely it will be approved.

NOTE: Some individual delivery partners have made additional changes to requirements in response to COVID-19. Changes are under delivery partner descriptions below.

SWPP delivery partners - by sector

SWPP delivery partners - by sector

There are ten employer delivery partners, listed below by sector. Both Magnet and Venture for Canada 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

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.
  • COVID-19 update:
    • UVic departments that are hiring students are eligible for this funding. If you are part of a UVic department/office and are considering hiring a co-op student, please email employer@uvic.ca to have your information rolled into the consolidated UVic application. See other types of funding here
    • Employers must have a candidate before applying. 
  • 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 (such as the BC Tech Co-op Grant) such that the total grant amount covers up to $10,000 of the student's salary. 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
  • UPDATE ON SWPP funding availability: Venture for Canada has advised that funding for fall placements has been fully allocated.  Applications are being taken for January 2021 funding, with processing taking place in late September 2020, 
  • Contact and application information:

Aerospace/Aviation

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

  • For employers in these sectors: Aviation and aerospace sector, including supplier organizations and post secondary institutions. Research positions at post-secondary institutions are not eligible.
  • For students in these programs: No restriction.
  • Eligible roles: No restriction.
  • 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. May not be an educational institution.
  • For students in these programs: No restriction.
  • Eligible roles: Bioscience/healthcare sector employer or fulfilling a bioscience or health job function.
  • COVID-19 related changes: This funding may be stacked with other, non-federal funding (such as the BC Tech Co-op Grant) such that the total grant amount covers up to $10,000 of the student's salary. The combined value of grants cannot exceed the student's salary. See other types of funding here.
  • 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 candidate cannot start their co-op until approval has been granted. It can take up to 10 business days to process an application. 
  • 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
  • COVID-19 update: This funding may be stacked with other, non-federal funding (such as the BC Tech Co-op Grant) such that the total grant amount covers up to $10,000 of the student's salary. The combined value of grants cannot exceed the student's salary. See other types of funding here.
  • Contact and application information:

Environment

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.
  • COVID-19 related changes: This funding may be stacked with other, non-federal funding (such as the BC Tech Co-op Grant) such that the total grant amount covers up to $10,000 of the student's salary. The combined value of grants cannot exceed the student's salary. See other types of funding here.
  • 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:

Financial services

Toronto Financial International – Aspire Program

The Aspire program is a little different from other SWPP delivery partners’ because it does not fund student roles. However, it offers specialized training and support for students and promotional support to employers.

  • For employers in these sectors: Financial services.
  • For students in these programs: No restriction.
  • Eligible roles: No restriction.
  • 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) & information communications technology (ICT).
  • COVID-19 update: This funding may be stacked with other, non-federal funding (such as the BC Tech Co-op Grant) such that the total grant amount covers up to $10,000 of the student's salary. The combined value of grants cannot exceed the student's salary. See other types of funding here.
  • Employers can request funding before finalizing the selection of student hires. 
  • Contact and application information:

TECHNATION – Career Ready Program

  • For employers in these sectors: Private sector, non-profits, municipalities and hospitals but not federal or provincial government or post secondary institutions.
  • 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.
  • COVID-19 update: This funding may be stacked with other, non-federal funding (such as the BC Tech Co-op Grant) such that the total grant amount covers up to $10,000 of the student's salary. The combined value of grants cannot exceed the student's salary. See other types of funding here.
  • Contact and application information:

Mining

Mining Industry Human Resources Council – Gearing Up Program

  • Employer eligibility: Employers must be Canadian-owned or a Canadian subsidary, 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.
  • COVID-19 update: This funding may be stacked with other, non-federal funding (such as the BC Tech Co-op Grant) such that the total grant amount covers up to $10,000 of the student's salary. The combined value of grants cannot exceed the student's salary. See other types of funding here.
  • 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.

BC Tech Co-op Grants

Hiring a student for a co-op work term? Apply to receive a grant of up to $5,000!

NOTE: Due to high demand and funds available for the program, Innovate BC is no longer processing new applications for the BC Tech Co-op Grants Program for the remainder of their program year (April 2021). They will update us if they are able to re-open the waitlist.  

The BC Tech Co-op Grants Program provides up to $5,000, almost a 50% subsidy, towards a co-op student’s salary.  The program is designed to help employers who are hiring young talent and to introduce students to tech-related careers. BC businesses benefit from co-op students’ fresh ideas and readiness to learn, while students  gain work experience and valuable business and technical skills.

Changes related to COVID-19: In response to the challenges resulting from COVID-19, flexible working conditions (i.e., remote work) and placements of less than 16 weeks are permissible as long as they meet the requirements of the co-op office.

Grant stacking opportunities
Below is a list of Canadian hiring programs that have confirmed that companies can stack BC Tech Grants with theirs such that the total grant amount may cover 100% of the student's salary. Please be reminded that the combined value of grants cannot exceed the student's salary.

The following Student Work Placement Program (SWPP) funding providers have confirmed that their funding can be stacked - see more about how to apply for these funding opportunities here:

Learn more about your eligibility for a BC Tech Co-op Grant

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.

Changes in response to COVID-19:

The Canada Summer Jobs call for applications for the 2020 season closed on February 28, 2020. In response to the economic impacts created by the COVID-19 situation, the Government of Canada will work with Members of Parliament to identify organizations that provide essential services in the community and could provide youth jobs but did not apply for the Canada Summer Jobs program in 2020.

The temporary changes to the program for this year include:

  • an increase to the wage subsidy, so that private and public sector employers can also receive up to 100 per cent of the provincial or territorial minimum hourly wage for each employee. In previous years, private and public sector employers were only eligible to receive a wage subsidy of up to 50 per cent of the provincial or territorial minimum wage.
  • an extension to the end date for employment to February 28, 2021
  • allowing employers to adapt their projects and job activities to support essential services
  • allowing employers to hire staff on a part-time basis

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

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.

New Ventures BC ISI Grant

  • The Innovate BC ISI grant program offers up to $10,000 a year to BC-based companies to hire non-co-op post secondary students.
  • Tech company or tech-focused non-profit hiring for a business or tech role or a business or non-profit hiring for a tech role (new!).
  • Internships are eligible.
  • The grants are $1000 - $5000 and must be matched in full by the tech company.
  • Students must be currently enrolled part time or full time or be taking a term off (such as summer term).
  • International students are eligible.
  • The grant is stackable with other funding, up to 100% of the student's salary.

Find out more about this program at newventuresbc.com

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

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.

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.