Student Work Placement Program

Wage subsidies for 2021-2022

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.

SWPP funding is administered by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) and a host of delivery partners. Supervisors within UCalgary are eligible to apply to SWPP through a centralized process facilitated by the Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning. Further information on the process is included below.

External employers are encouraged to access SWPP directly through one of the program’s delivery partners.

Important dates and deadlines

Internal UCalgary employers

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

March 15, 2021 – Deadline for winter 2021 funding applications

Online store

Who is eligible?

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

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. Until March 31, 2022, post-secondary institutions can also leverage the SWPP program as part of the federal COVID-19 flexibility measures.
  • 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.
  • 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. 

Rocket lady

External employers: Where can I apply for funding?

Internal UCalgary employers: How do I apply for funding?

Funding is available for both fall 2021 and winter 2022 (until March 31). If you have a co-op or internship placement taking place over both terms, you will need to submit documentation for the placement for both terms. The Taylor Institute, working in partnership with our co-op and internship programs and key partners in HR, Finance and Legal Services supports a bulk application to the SWPP program.

Submit your expression of interest

Provide us with some basic information around the position(s) you would like to hire for including start/end dates, job title, job description, supervisor information and information about how the position is funded. 

Submit here

Post your position

Post your position on the co-op and internship job boards on Elevate and hire a student. Be sure to communicate that the position is funded by the SWPP, and that applicants should be eligible for the program. Contact for a sample job description and/or sample offer letter.  

Compile additional documentation

Through the WIL placement, we will ask you to provide additional information including the student’s name and contact information. You will need provide an accounting string for the reimbursement and will be asked to submit a survey at the end of the program.


Co-op and internship opportunities should be posted to the co-op and internship job boards on UCalgary’s Elevate 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. 

UCalgary departments leveraging the SWPP program 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 after the end of each term for UCalgary’s bulk application. 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. Ultimately, decisions about eligibility and the total subsidy amount for each placement are made by our delivery partner.

Employers are reimbursed at a rate of 75% of the provincial minimum wage for eligible student placements up to a maximum of $7,500/placement. You cannot access SWPP funding if your position is also funded by another federal source (e.g. SSHRC, NSERC, Mitacs, CIHR, CEWS, Future Skills Centre).

UCalgary must disclose any additional municipal or provincial sources access to fund positions submitted to SWPP (excluding operating funds from the Province). While the program allows the 'stacking' of funding between municipal/provincial sources of funding and SWPP, total funding cannot exceed 100%; UCalgary must disclose the other source of funds in our bulk application, and the amount of funding per position coming from a municipal or provincial source. The delivery partner uses this information to determine the total eligible wage subsidy.

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. Graduate students may work full or part time as long as their internship is a minimum of 210 hours.

Across Canada, colleges, universities and institutes can access the SWPP program until March 31, 2022. Many teams will hire students in the winter term until the end of April and this is highly encouraged, however students' wages for hours worked between April 1-30 are the sole responsibility of the hiring department.

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 Elevate, our careers, advising and student experience portal. They can also confirm applicants’ eligibility for SWPP prior to interviewing candidates. Contact information is listed below.

Undergraduate internships and co-operative education placements

Arts, Business, Engineering and Science co-op and internship programs require students to work full-time. Work placements vary in length, but are a minimum of 12 weeks/semester. Students must secure a placement in advance of the add/drop deadline in order to pursue a work placement for that term. The add/drop deadline is September 16 for Fall 2021 and January 20 for Winter 2022.

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  

Under special COVID-19 flexibilities, the federal government has waived the “net new” policy for SWPP. Until March 31, 2022, eligible employers may access SWPP for new and existing work-integrated learning positions.   

Across the institution, UCalgary has reserved up to 50 placements per term with our delivery partner. Placements are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. If you have capacity to fund and support multiple roles, you are encouraged to do so and submit an Expression of Interest for each of them. 

Under special COVID-19 flexibilities, the federal government has waived the "net new" policy for SWPP. Until March 31, 2022, you can access SWPP funding in subsequent terms. Many units across campus hire students for subsequent work-terms. The program is managed on a term-by-term basis, so the documentation is completed each semester. This means we will ask you to submit placement information 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.