employer resources

Vancouver IslandUniversity

Funding Options and Employer Resources

Employer Resources

Employers of WIL Students

All host organizations participating in work-integrated learning (WIL), such as local employers, non-profit associations, community partners, as well as small & medium-sized enterprises are vital in shaping the workforce of the future. As an integral part in the development of soon-to-be graduates with workplace-ready skills, employers create the employees they need and students learn the skills required to meet industry expectations.

Work-Integrated Learning students bring fresh and creative ideas, new ways of thinking, and a keen interest to excel and contribute to regional organizations, like yours, in meaningful and practical ways.

So, in short, through work-integrated learning, employers win, students win, and Vancouver Island wins. Consider hiring a student today and view the list of list resources below to aid you before and during this process.

Funding Options

The B.C. Employer Training Grant provides funding to small, medium and large enterprises to support skills training for their workforces, including prospective new hires.

The intent of this program is to help British Columbians access the skills training required to adapt to the labour market’s changing job requirements, while also encouraging employer involvement in skills training.

The Employer Training Grant helps employers pay for training, which in turn helps employees experience increased job security or move into better jobs.

Employers can apply as often as they need and receive 80 per cent of the cost of training up to $10,000 per employee, with a maximum annual amount per employer of $300,000.

This program is facilitated through WorkBC.

Access the website to learn about the application process

The Student Work Placement Program (SWPP) is an initiative to increase the job-readiness of students registered in STEM, healthcare, business, and all other programs at Canadian post-secondary institutions.

The program gives employers the freedom to:

  • Gain access to funds to hire students
  • Leverage a pool of workers eager to enhance their skills
  • Develop new talent for future recruitment needs

Visit the Bio Talent Canada website to learn more.

CAHRC’s AgriTalent program supports the development of connections between post-secondary students, employers in agriculture and post-secondary institutions and contributes towards preparing a job-ready workforce for the Canadian agriculture industry. As part of this program, subsidized Work Integrated Learning (WIL) opportunities connect employers with post-secondary students to ensure higher participation by post-secondary students within the industry with special focus on including under-represented and equity-seeking groups.

Work Integrated Learning is an important component in attracting youth to the Canadian agriculture industry. CAHRC’s Growing Opportunities Student Wage Subsidy Program empowers employers to hire post-secondary students as part of the work-integrated learning components of their academic courses. The Program also presents activities such as webinars, networking sessions, business case competitions to engage students and post-secondary institutions with the industry and improve their job readiness.

Visit their website to learn more.

This funding is part of the Student Work Placement Program (SWPP), a program offered through Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) to help employers offer high-quality work opportunities to post-secondary students.

The CMPA is an inclusive organization that is committed to achieving greater diversity and representation from equity-seeking and sovereignty-seeking groups, including, but not limited to, Indigenous, Black, People of Colour, persons from the broad spectrum of sexes, gender expressions and sexual orientations, and persons with disabilities. As such, we welcome and encourage applications from equity-seeking and sovereignty-seeking groups, or persons with intersectional identities.

Mentee eligibility

  • Must be a post-secondary student enrolled in an accredited educational institution
  • Must be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident or person on whom refugee status has been conferred
  • Must be legally entitled to work according to the relevant provincial/territorial legislation and regulations
  • Cannot be an employee or family member of the mentor company

 Mentor company eligibility

  • Must be a member of the CMPA
  • Must be co-applying with a mentee candidate. The CMPA will, on a case-by-case basis, endeavor to pair mentor companies  with suitable candidates. This does not guarantee that an application will be successful given the limited number of spots available
  • Must contribute toward the mentee stipend as described above
  • A mentor applicant cannot be an employer or family member of the mentee with whom they are submitting a joint application

Visit the CMPA website to apply.

This funding is part of the Student Work Placement Program (SWPP), a program offered through Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) to help employers offer high-quality work opportunities to post-secondary students.

Propel offers registered Canadian businesses, startups, and not-for-profits related to the tourism and hospitality sector a subsidy on each qualifying student’s wages.

The wage subsidy is available for employers who hire students enrolled at a recognized post-secondary institution for a paid position to fulfil the co-op or internship component of their program. The wage subsidy can be accessed by businesses from all facets of the visitor economy: accommodations, food and beverage services, recreation and entertainment, transportation, and travel services. 

Apply through the TourismHR website.

Canada Summer Jobs (CSJ) provides wage subsidies to employers from not-for-profit organizations, the public sector, and private sector organizations with 50 or fewer full-time employees, to create quality summer work experiences for young people aged 15 to 30 years.

The application period typically runs from early January to early February.

Apply on the Service Canada website

Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) created the Career Launcher program in 2015 to help transition highly skilled students and grads to future-ready employment. Over the past few years, Career Launcher has branched out to include additional offerings and is now a platform for a range of CICan’s programs.

Their programs provide wage subsidies and hiring incentives to help address labour shortages, strengthen industries, and improve equity and diversity in the workplace. They help job seekers access meaningful employment and free training opportunities to kickstart their careers.

The Internship Programs help to strengthen specific sectors and encourage employers to hire students and grads by providing wage subsidies. These jobs ensure tomorrow’s workforce have the skills needed in Canada’s ever-evolving economy. Employers in clean techdigital technatural resources, as well as those that support Canada’s Sustainable Development Goal efforts can benefit from this program.

Apply for funding through their website.

The CEWIL iHub will operate as a centre of expertise that provides grant-based funding to enable and promote curricular work-integrated learning (WIL) focusing primarily on four types of WIL:

  • applied research/industry projects
  • entrepreneurial WIL
  • field placements
  • service-learning WIL 

The iHub supports the advancement of, and innovation in, these forms of WIL, extends access to WIL, and ensures WIL projects are delivered with appropriate quality and learning standards for students.

Post-secondary students throughout Canada have access to new, innovative work-integrated learning opportunities thanks to Co-operative Education and Work-Integrated Learning Canada and funding from the Government of Canada.

Visit their website to learn more!

This funding is part of the Student Work Placement Program (SWPP), a program offered through Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) to help employers offer high-quality work opportunities to post-secondary students.

Visit the Cultural Human Resources Council to learn more.

BC Tech’s Internship program provides skilled individuals with exciting internship experiences at technology companies and in tech roles at non-tech companies across the Province, while providing valuable subsidies to employers to help grow and scale your team!

BC Tech’s Internship Program specifically aims to help under-represented individuals gain real world experience working in the tech sector through a paid internship.

Visit the website to learn more.

Digital Skills for Youth (DS4Y) connects underemployed post-secondary graduates with small businesses and not-for-profit organizations where they can gain meaningful work experience to help them transition to career-oriented employment.

The program supports delivery organizations that have a strong network of small to medium-sized businesses (under 500 employees) and not-for-profit organizations that can create employment opportunities to help youth build the digital skills needed for the digital economy. The opportunities should help prepare youth to adapt to the major changes expected in tomorrow’s workplace, including in emerging areas where the jobs may not yet exist, such as those related to cybersecurity, the automation of knowledge tasks, big data and artificial intelligence, among others.

Visit their website to learn more.

ECO Canada's Co-op program partners with post-secondary institutions and aims to help students find work placements within their field of study.

Eligible employers can receive 50% wage coverage up to $5,000 of a student’s salary for a placement in a new full or part-time 6 to 16 week position with a minimum of 180 hours.

Visit the ECO Canada website to learn more.

This funding is part of the Student Work Placement Program (SWPP), a program offered through Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) to help employers offer high-quality work opportunities to post-secondary students.

Visit their website to learn more.

Excellence in Manufacturing Consortium, a preferred partner with the Government of Canada, delivers the Student Work Placement Program subsidy to Canada's manufacturing and related sectors.

The WILWorks Student Work Placement Program is designed to incentivize employers to offer more student positions than they did before leveraging funding. 

Visit their website to learn more.

The First Nations and Inuit Summer Work Experience Program is part of the First Nations and Inuit Youth Employment Strategy.

Projects under the First Nations and Inuit Summer Work Experience Program allow youth to learn about career options and earn an income that can contribute to a university or college education.

Successful proposals:

  • include plans to offer wage subsidies to private sector and non-profit employers so they can hire eligible First Nations and Inuit youth
  • help First Nations and Inuit secondary and post-secondary students find summer employment and prepare for entry into the labour market
  • enable First Nations and Inuit youth to earn wages

The proposals will support work experience opportunities for First Nations and Inuit secondary and post-secondary students between May 1 and the beginning of the student's fall academic term.

Proposals are accepted for each fiscal year.

Funding recipients will determine the wage rate for participants. It must be at or above the applicable provincial or territorial minimum wage.

Visit the website to learn more.

This funding is part of the Student Work Placement Program (SWPP), a program offered through Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) to help employers offer high-quality work opportunities to post-secondary students.

Visit the website to learn more.

The Program offers Employment Counselling, Job Entry Skills, Certificate Training, Paid Work Experience, Mentoring and Post Job Placement Support to eligible youth 16-29 years of age.  Employers that hire and train eligible youth and provide full time sustainable employment are eligible for a negotiated Wage Subsidy incentive.

Visit the website to learn more.

WIL Digital is an innovative work placement program that benefits both employers and students. WIL Digital helps employers grow their businesses by providing a wage subsidy to hire post-secondary students while students gain meaningful work experience and on-the-job learning. WIL Digital is funded by the Government of Canada's Student Work Placement Program (SWPP). ICTC is among the first organizations to deliver this program.

In addition to work-integrated learning, ICTC also offers access to exclusive e-learning courses. Through taking these courses WIL Digital students develop foundational technology, business, and entrepreneurship skills.

Visit the website to learn more.

The National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP) delivers this program under the federal government's Youth Employment and Skills Strategy, which aims to help young Canadians get career information, develop skills, find good jobs, and stay employed. In addition to bringing new ideas to your organization, your participation also helps highly skilled young people transition into today's rapidly changing labour market.

How can a young worker help my business?

A student or young graduate hired through this program can work on business, technical, or technology-related projects to help you:

  • advance research and development, engineering and multimedia activities
  • develop new products and processes
  • conduct market analyses for new technology-based products
  • support business development related to science and technology activities
  • improve customer services

Visit the website to learn more.

The Student Work Placement Program (SWPP) Powered by Magnet brings together employers, students, and post-secondary school stakeholders to create quality work-integrated learning (WIL) opportunities.

The program provides employers with wage subsidies to hire post-secondary students for paid work experiences. Students in turn benefit with quality work experience so they can secure employment in their chosen fields of study.

Visit their website to learn more.

Gearing Up drives systemic change by aligning post-secondary student skills training with mining industry requirements through employer delivery of work-integrated learning (WIL) opportunities.

The program is creating over 2,000 new WIL opportunities, with wage subsidies up to $7,000 available to employers who offer work experience, co-op placements, internships, field placements or applied projects.

WIL opportunities better position post-secondary students to secure employment in their field of study. While Gearing Up is open to all eligible students, the program also encourages participation by underrepresented groups such as women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, recent immigrants, first-year students and members of visible minority groups.

Visit the website to learn more.

Mitacs is a nonprofit national research organization that, in partnerships with Canadian academia, private industry and government, operates research and training programs in fields related to industrial and social innovation.

 Learn more about funding through the MITACS Accelerate Program

Are you an employer hiring post-secondary students on work-integrated learning (WIL) placements, such as cooperative education and internships? If so, you may be eligible for a wage subsidy of up to $7,000 per student!

The Talent Opportunities Program (TOP) is an initiative of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce designed to help employers located anywhere in Canada hire college and university students on WIL placements. Employers hiring eligible students may receive a wage subsidy up to 50% of the wages (to a maximum of $5,000) for each ‘net new’ placement or 70% of the wages (to a maximum of $7,000) for each ‘net new’ placement for the following under-represented groups: Indigenous people, person with disabilities, newcomer to Canada, first year student, visible minority and/or women in STEM. Please note that there is a limited pool of funding to support subsidies at the 70% level for under-represented groups. Should funding be exhausted, your application is still eligible for a subsidy at the 50% level.

Placements must be ‘net new’ to qualify for funding. Net new is determined by subtracting the number of students hired by an employer in the fiscal year prior to first receiving SWPP funding (through TOP or another SWPP delivery partner), also known as the baseline number of students hired, from the number of students the employer is intending to hire in the current fiscal year (including those already hired). 

Visit the website to learn more.

Are you looking for a student who can help your organization advance climate change solutions? Apply for a PICS internship. 

These annual awards support hiring a university student at the workplaces such as provincial government offices, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), private companies, Indigenous communities, and Crown corporations pursuing climate change mitigation and adaptation research, planning or implementation. Students gain vital experience and exposure in a competitive growth job market while helping our solution seeker partners advance solutions.

PICS will provide $12,000 to BC governments and BC-based non-governmental agencies,  Indigenous communities, private companies, and Crown corporations to hire a student intern for a minimum of 13 weeks, or an alternative arrangement that distributes an equivalent number of total hours. Successful applicants may top up this contribution to provide an appropriate wage for the student’s level of education and experience.

Visit the website to learn more.

This project offers a 50% wage match, with up to $6,000 CAD in reimbursements, to employers hiring youth aged 15-30 into Green Jobs. A Green Job is one that supports nature-based solutions for a more sustainable planet. Green jobs are typically involved in, but not limited to, jobs in the forest sector, parks, conservation, natural resource management, environmental education, sustainable food systems, climate change, carbon sequestration, species maintenance and recovery, water quality and quantity, and more. 

Visit the website to learn more.

The Science & Technology Internship Program (STIP) - Green Jobs provides funding to eligible employers across Canada to hire, train, and mentor youth in the natural resources sector, including in energy, forestry, mining, earth science, and clean technology.

Eligibility requirements for employers

  • Organizations in the natural resources sector who can offer youth full-time (min. 30 hours/week, some exceptions may apply) work experience for up-to-12 months
  • Legal entities incorporated or registered in Canada, including for-profit and not-for-profit organizations
  • Indigenous organizations and groups
  • Provincial, territorial, regional, and municipal governments and their departments and agencies

Visit their website to learn more.

In partnership with Employer Delivery Partners, the Student Work Placement Program gives post-secondary students across Canada paid work experience related to their field of study.

Learn more about SWPP 

As part of the Government of Canada’s Student Work Placement Program (SWPP), TECHNATION’s wage subsidy program, Career Ready supports businesses by financing their decision to hire a student for a work-term placement. This in turn creates a rewarding opportunity for the student to apply their learning in real-world settings and puts them on a path to a bright career.

The program provides 50% (to a maximum of $5000.00) of a student’s pay in wage subsidies to employers.

An increased subsidy of 70% (to a maximum of $7000.00) is awarded to employers hiring students from under-represented groups:

  • Women studying Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths (STEM)
  • Indigenous students
  • Visible minorities
  • New Canadians (within 5 years)
  • Persons with disabilities
  • Students in their first year of study

To learn more or apply for funding, please visit their website.

This program works to increase the job readiness of students registered in post-secondary programs. Employers can take advantage of a wage subsidy up to a maximum of 70%, up to $7,000 for every student work placement provided. This not only reduces current overhead costs of hiring and training new talent but builds your talent pool for the future with experienced candidates. The work placements also help highlight the variety of opportunities available within your company to soon to be graduates who are actively looking for post-graduate employment opportunities.

 To learn more or apply for funding, please visit their website.

This program provides a 50-70% wage subsidy (capped at $7,000), per student per term. Employers are required to pay Interns a minimum wage of $15.00/hour or higher via payroll. This funding subsidizes both hourly wages. Half of your allowable subsidy is paid within six weeks of your intern's start date, and the remainder is paid upon completion of the placement.

Visit their website to learn more.

The WorkBC Wage Subsidy program covers a part of employee wages so employers can hire job seekers and provide work opportunities. Both unemployed individuals and employers in B.C. can benefit from WorkBC Wage Subsidy.

Wage subsidy offers employers opportunities to

  • Cover a portion of wages for employees
  • Re-hire laid off employees
  • Hire new employees
  • Fill various hiring needs
  • Support existing operations or expansion
  • Reduce work-related barriers for an employee with disabilities

Visit their website to learn more.

Young Canada Works (YCW) offers eligible employers wage subsidies and access to a pool of talented youth with innovative ideas and competitive skills. Subsidies to eligible employers enable the creation of about 2,300 job opportunities per year in the fields of heritage, arts, culture and official languages.

Visit the website to learn more.

How to Create a Winning Job Posting

1. Include a clear job title.

Most job seekers search for posted jobs by job title—choose a title that reflects the position (e.g., “summer research assistant” is more clear than “summer student”).

2. Identify the essential qualifications and skills, and those that are important.

Great candidates may avoid applying to a job if they don’t have every qualification, so be specific about what’s required and what would be an asset. This may include degree requirements/certifications, work experience, software knowledge, etc.

3. Be clear about what the role entails, why it’s important, and how it fits within the larger organization.

Provide specific details of what is expected of someone in the posted role (if there’s someone in the position currently, check in with this person for an update on the current responsibilities as the role may have changed since the last time it was posted). How does the role fit within the organization? How much responsibility is involved and what is the reporting structure? Remember, what seems obvious to you may not be evident to the applicant.

4. Describe your workplace culture.

Include information about the organizational culture so that candidates get a sense of what your organization is like beyond the posted position.

Is your organization entrepreneurial, with flexible work hours, dress code and time off? Are your work hours structured? What are the expectations for innovation, support and learning?

5. Describe the type of work style that you’re looking for.

What type of personality will fit well within your organization? Do you have staff members who are interested in changing all the time, or staff members who follow protocol well?

6. Be direct.

Avoid using workplace or local jargon— This is your chance to be descriptive and clear.

7. Point out what makes your organization and industry interesting.

Is your organization growing? Is the industry changing? Sell the positives of your organization, industry and this position to attract candidates who are excited about contributing their skill set and energy.

8. Address salary expectations and other benefits.

It may be helpful to list a salary range or explain that salary will depend on experience. This will help candidates determine if the remuneration fits with their budget constraints. Listing additional benefits such as training or transportation can also help your posting stand out.

9. List contact information.

Include details on how applicants should submit their applications, and to whom they should address their applications.

10. Include the following information, if appropriate:

Job location, whether the role is full-time, permanent or temporary, and an outline of the recruitment process.

11. For co-op positions, list the competencies that you’re looking for.

If you’re posting a co-op position, consider including the core, program-specific, intercultural and professional competencies that students can expect to develop on the work term.

12. For co-op positions, ask for feedback.

If you’re posting a co-op position and have a current co-op student in your workplace, ask this student to contribute feedback. He or she may be able to provide insight on what would attract another student to the role.

Credit: ACE WIL BC / UVic

Webinars for Employers

Discover funding options available to businesses looking to hire students. These funding options are available across Canada

Discover Funding Options 

Increasing diversity brings in new ideas and varying perspectives. Learn how to successfully manage your team when welcoming in international students and diverse talent.

Learn How to Foster Diversity in the Workplace

In BC, various options exist that are designed to help you and your business fund student talent. This webinar cover a few of these options. Learn about funding options provided to you and your business.

Learn about funding options provided to you and your business

Successfully planning in advance and onboarding, are essential when hiring a student employee, regardless of your budget.

Discover how to plan, onboard, and hire student employees

Onboarding is a process that sets student employees up for success.

Learn how to successfully onboard a WIL student

Additional Funding Information

It’s not always easy to find the resources to hire students, so we’re here to help. The following opportunities support employers with wage subsidy and grant programs to reduce the financial burden of hiring.

Additionally, please explore funding opportunities offered by InnovateBC and by NewVenturesBC


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