Student Work Placement Program

Wage subsidies for 2021

About SWPP

As part of the Government of Canada's Student Work Placement Program, employers can access up to $7,500 in wage subsidies to hire UCalgary students in paid work-integrated learning experiences. 

At UCalgary, internships and co-operative education placements are paid experiences providing valuable opportunities for skill development and career exploration. Employers are reimbursed at 75% of the provincial minimum wage for eligible student placements.

The funding is administered by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) through our delivery partners, Magnet and the Ontario Chamber of Commerce.

Important dates and deadlines

External employers

January 22, 2021 – Deadline for retroactive applications for fall 2020 funding

February 15, 2021 – Deadline for winter 2021 funding applications

Internal UCalgary employers

January 5, 2021 – Deadline for retroactive applications for fall 2020 funding

March 15, 2021 – Deadline for winter 2021 funding applications

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Who is eligible?

If you meet the following requirements, you will likely be eligible for SWPP funding; however, the final decision lies with SWPP funding partners. 

Employer eligibility 

SWPP represents an opportunity for employers to develop talent and advance projects. Employers must be: 

  • A registered Canadian business or organization, including non-profits. Employers can also be from post-secondary institutions. 
  • Not a federal or provincial government organization. 
  • Financially capable of hiring a student for a part- or full-time work term and pay them consistently. 

Student eligibility

The SWPP program is designed to create meaningful work-integrated learning placements for students. Students must be: 

  • Enrolled in a co-operative education or internship program at UCalgary.
  • Enrolled full-time in an undergraduate and graduate prorgram. 
  • Be Canadian citizens, permanent residents in Canada or hold refugee status. International students are ineligible.

Use CareerLink to find students who are enrolled in co-op or internship programs at UCalgary. 

I need to create a new co-op position. What do I need to consider?

Hiring co-op and internship students is different than hiring for other positions. A co-op or internship position is intended to be a learning opportunity for professional development. Meaningful employer engagement can help students thrive: 

  • Develop a job description that clearly outlines the main functions and activities that they will be expected to carry out in the role. Project-based work is often rewarding, especially when the length of the contract is shorter. 

  • Engage the student in productive, career-related work. Think about what skills and competencies they need to be successful in the workplace or in a given field and how they can start to develop those skills.  

  • Set learning goals and create a work plan. Supervise the student and provide ongoing performance feedback.

Our co-op and internship offices can support you and provide you with more in-depth information around your responsibilities as an employer. 

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External employers: How do I apply for funding?

Funding is available for both fall 2020 and winter 2021. If you have a co-op position taking place over both terms, you will need to fill out a separate agreement for each term. 

If you are applying retroactively for funding, your student may choose not to participate in the program; in this case, funding cannot be provided for the position. 

Send us an email

Contact with a brief description of the co-op or internship opportunity (new or existing placement) and the type of student you would like to recruit (graduate or undergraduate, discipline). 

Complete the Employer Acceptance Form

One of our co-op/Internship staff will reach out to you to complete the Employer Acceptance Form. A separate employer acceptance form is required for each student placement. We will support you in completing this form. 


Compile additional documentation

UCalgary will work with your organization to compile documentation required for SWPP, and then connect you with the SWPP Delivery Partner (Magnet), to set your organization up as a vendor in order to receive the wage subsidy (for eligible placements). 

Provide proof

Be prepared to collect first and last pay stubs from all students. 

Internal UCalgary employers: How do I apply for funding?

Funding is available for both fall 2020 and winter 2021. If you have a co-op position taking place over both terms, you will need to fill out a separate agreement for each term. 

If you are applying retroactively for funding, your student may choose not to participate in the program; in this case, funding cannot be provided for the position. 

Submit your expression of interest

Provide us with some basic information around the co-op position(s) you would like to hire for including start/end dates, job title and job description. 

Submit here

Post your position

Post your position on the co-op and internship job boards on CareerLink and hire a student. 

Compile additional documentation

Through the co-op placement, we will ask you to provide additional documentation including the student consent form, an employer exit survey and a complete accounting string for the reimbursement. 


Co-op and internship opportunities should be posted to the co-op and internship job boards on UCalgary’s CareerLink system. This will ensure they are visible only to students enrolled in co-op or internship at UCalgary. If you are unsure of a student’s eligibility, you are encouraged to reach out to the co-op and internship offices listed below. 

External employers
Employers are responsible for paying 100% of their student’s wages, including pay in lieu of vacation and pay in lieu of working statutory holidays. Reimbursements are processed once all documentation has been submitted at the end of each term. We will help you navigate that process with our delivery partner but UCalgary does not reimburse funds directly. 

Internal UCalgary employers
If you are an internal UCalgary employer from one of our faculties or units, our delivery partner assesses eligibility and issues the total wage subsidy to the University of Calgary. Funds are then distributed to units with eligible SWPP placements. This means, you must have sufficient budget to cover the entire cost of a student’s wages. 

SWPP funding can be stacked with some other sources of funding, but cannot be stacked with another government source (municipal, provincial or federal).

For example, SWPP funding cannot be stacked with the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS), Mitacs, SSHRC, CIHR or NSERC.



Undergraduate students in co-operative education and internship programs work full-time (35 hours/week) while on a work term. Work terms for undergraduate students must be a minimum of 12 weeks.

Across Canada, colleges, universities and institutes can access the SWPP program until March 31, 2021. Graduate students who have completed the first year of their program may work part-time or full-time through the Transformative Talent Internship. Graduate student work terms may be as short as 210 hours (full- or part-time), or up to eight months full-time. If your unit has sufficient funding to employ a student into April, you are encouraged to do so. Any hours worked after March 31, 2021 would not be eligible for the wage subsidy. In other words, the students’ salary would be paid exclusively by the unit.

For questions about eligibility for SWPP, budgeting for a co-operative education or internship student, how to post opportunities for co-operative education and internship students, or other general questions about the wage subsidy, please contact

Campus offices for co-op and internship programs may also be able to support you in developing a student job description and posting the opportunity to the appropriate job boards in CareerLink. They can also confirm applicants’ eligibility for SWPP prior to interviewing candidates.

Undergraduate internships and co-operative education placements 
Arts, Business, Engineering and Science all have students available to work in January for full-time co-op or internship roles. Positions must be a minimum of 12 weeks and be full time. Our teams are available to support you in hiring a UCalgary student. Undergraduate positions for January-April should be posted as soon as possible. Please reach out to one of the programs below for more information. Ideally, undergraduate positions for Winter 2021 should be posted by January 8, 2021.  


Graduate internships 
Graduate students from various degree programs are available for full and part-time internships (minimum, 210 hours). Graduate internships are flexible and may begin at any point in the term. To learn more or to create a graduate internship, please contact Natalie Wilkinson-Houghton at  

I thought SWPP was only for new co-op or internship positions? Can I access it for existing co-op/internship placements? Under special COVID-19 flexibilities, the federal government has waived the “net new” policy for SWPP. Until March 31, 2021, eligible employers may access SWPP for new and existing work-integrated learning positions.  

Currently, there is no limit to the number of positions that can be funded by SWPP by an organization. 

Under special COVID-19 flexibilities, the federal government has waived the "net new" policy for SWPP. Until March 31, 2021, you can access SWPP funding in subsequent terms. The program is managed on a term-by-term basis, so the documentation is completed each semester.


Co-op & Internship Office Contacts

Arts Co-op:

Graduate Studies Transformative Talent Internship:

Haskayne School of Business Co-op:

Science Internship:

Schulich School of Engineering Internship:

Hiring co-operative education and internship students

Human Resources has a job aid for completing the Template Based Hire for Co-op Students. Please use the specific template for “Co-op Student Hourly.”

View template

Employer toolkit for co-op and internship

Co-operative Education Work-Integrated Learning (CEWIL) Canada offers an employer toolkit with resources on creating job descriptions, interviewing and mentoring students.