The Federal Government has just launched the Student Work Placement Program (SWPP) designed to assist help businesses with any technical assistance they require. Through SWPP businesses are able to hire Co-op College or University Students. College and University Co-op programs require that the Student get practical experience in their field of study, to complete their degree. Paid internships are a win-win situation for both parties – the Student gets valuable work experience and receives credits from the College or University for their work placement, and the Employer gets the assistance they need at a reduced cost. If your company is looking for any technical assistance or would like to build your future workforce  you should consider hiring  through SWPP for a 16 week work placement.

What types of Co-op Students can I hire?

SWPP is opened to students in the following fields of study – AI, Engineering, IT, Marketing Mathematics and the Sciences. SWPP students are able to fill a variety of roles within a company from IT and tech support, to website development, internet marketing, SEO, Quality Control and Engineering Support, Sales Support and branding.

How Do I find a Student?

Not every College or University intern qualifies for funding. If you find an intern that you are interested in hiring, you should contact the College or University they attend to make sure that you will receive funding for paying the Student during the internship.

If a Student qualifies for funding once they begin their internship they will provide you with a “Letter of Certification” that you will need to support your claim.

The Letter of Certification must contain:

  • the name of the Student
  • the name of the Employer
  • the name of the Educational Institution
  • the start date and end date of their work placement
  • the name/discipline of the qualifying co-operative education program

If you are looking to hire a College or University Co-op Student here is a list of some of the Colleges and Universities in Ontario that offer Internships that qualify for funding:

  • Colleges
  • Centennial
  • Fawshawe
  • Niagara
  • Seneca
  • Universities
  • Brock
  • Carlton
  • McMaster
  • University of Ottawa
  • Queens
  • Ryerson
  • University of Toronto
  • Waterloo
  • Western
  • Wilfred Laurier

Employment Requirements

In order for the placement to qualify for funding, the work placement must meet all of the following conditions:

  • the Student must perform employment duties related to their field of study
  • the work placement must be pre-approved by the Student’s school
  • the placement must be for a period of 16 weeks
  • the Company must agree to supervise and evaluate the job performance of the Student
  • the School must monitor the Student’s performance in the placement
  • the School  must certify the placement as a qualifying work placement
  • the Student must be paid for the work performed

What amount of Government Funding do I qualify for?

SWPP Students qualify for 2 types of funding:

  • SWPP funding – is 50% of the Student’s salary to a maximum of $5,000. The subsidy is increased to 70% to a maximum of $7,000 for Employers hiring Students from under-represented groups including:
  • Women studying Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths (STEM), or business
  • Indigenous students
  • Visible minorities
  • Recent immigrants (within 5 years)
  • Persons with disabilities
  • Students in their first year of study, or
  • Students on their first work-term (relevant to their field of study)
  • Co-opSalary Refunds  –  a refundable tax credit up $3,000  is available per Co-op Student per work term refundable 3 years. A company can hire multiple Co-op Students at one time, and qualify for funding for each placement.

Total cost to the Employer

The total out of pocket costs for Employer’s when hiring a Student for SWPP and receiving the maximum amount of funding is:

Co-op Student Wages 16 weeks x 40 hours/week x $16/hour = $10,240

SWPP Funding                                                                                       =      7,000

Co-op Salary Refund                                                                            =      3,000

Work Placement Terms

If you are interested in hiring a Co-op student through SWPP the student work terms are:

  • Winter (January – April)
  • Summer (May – August)
  • Fall (September – December)

Students can be employed full-time or part-time hours, and you can apply for consecutive placement periods with the Student.  Students must be employed as a fixed term employee and cannot be hired as a freelancer/consultant.