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 postsecondary students in paid work-integrated learning experiences. Under current COVID-19 flexibility measures, employers are reimbursed at 75% of the provincial minimum wage for eligible student placements.

SWPP funding is led by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) and administered by a series of delivery partners. The program was announced as part of budget 2017 and is scheduled to conclude on March 31, 2022, unless the federal government announces a renewal of this funding.

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Who is eligible?

Eligibility is determined by 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. 
  • Not funding a student placement through another federal source (e.g. SSHRC, NSERC, CIHR, CEWS, Mitacs, Future Skills Centre, etc.)

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.
  • Be Canadian citizens, permanent residents in Canada or hold refugee status. International students are ineligible.

Hiring co-op and internship students

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 (listed below) can support you and provide you with more in-depth information around your responsibilities as an employer. 

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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. 

Employers are responsible for paying 100% of their student’s wages, including benefits. The wage subsidy is processed after the completion of the work placement. Ultimately, decisions about eligibility and the total subsidy amount for each placement are made by the delivery partner.

Currently, 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). 

Employers must disclose any additional municipal or provincial sources access to fund positions submitted to SWPP. While the program allows the 'stacking' of funding between municipal/provincial sources of funding and SWPP, total funding cannot exceed 100%. Employers must disclose the other source of funds in their application. The delivery partner uses this information to determine the total eligible wage subsidy. 

Undergraduate students in co-operative education and internship programs at UCalgary 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 at UCalgary 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 employer.

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.

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  

Please contact a delivery partner directly to confirm eligibility.

Please contact a delivery partner directly to confirm available funding.


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 UCalgary hiring managers 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.