Financial incentives and benefits

Tax credits, government funding and programs

If you are an employer in Ontario and would like to provide valuable work experience, you may qualify for a significant tax break – from 25 to 30 per cent of eligible expenses up to a maximum of $3,000 for each four-month work term a student completes.

  • Many of Conestoga’s co-operative education programs qualify for the Government of Ontario’s Co-operative Education Tax Credit
  • The CETC is a refundable tax credit for employers equal to 25 per cent (30 per cent for businesses with payrolls less than $400,000) of the salaries and wages paid to eligible post-secondary students in a qualifying co-op work term of at least 10 consecutive weeks. A maximum tax credit of $3,000 is available per student per four-month qualifying work term
  • Letters confirming eligible co-op student employment are emailed at the end of each co-op term (September, May or January) to the email address provided in the Work Term Agreement

For additional details, please see Co-operative Education Tax Credit.

Funded by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC).

April 20, 2021 update: The new federal budget proposes to invest $239.8 million in the Student Work Placement Program in 2021-22 to support work-integrated learning opportunities for post-secondary students. This funding would increase the wage subsidy available for employers to 75 per cent, up to $7,500 per student, while also increasing an employers' ability to access the program.

Hiring for Spring 2021

SWPP partners have begun processing applications for the spring term. Temporary flexibilities introduced due to COVID-19 have not been extended past April 30. Applications will be processed based on previous eligibility requirements including:

  • Organizations within Canada that offer full-time employment opportunities between 12-16 weeks for full-time post-secondary students can receive wage subsidies:
    • up to 50% of the wage cost for the placement (up to a maximum of $5,000 per placement) per student, OR
    • up to 70% (up to a maximum of $7,000 per placement) for under-represented students including first-year students, women in STEM, indigenous students, persons with disabilities, and newcomers.
  • SWPP partners have developed a pre-approval checklist so you can find out if you're eligible for funding before going through the hiring process
  • Employers can hire students in program (i.e.: Engineering, IT, Arts, Business, Science, etc.) Note: skilled trade (apprentice) programs are not included
  • Students must be Canadian citizens, permanent residents, or a person to whom refugee protection has been conferred under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act for the duration of employment to qualify for funding from SWPP
  • Provincial, territorial governments and post-secondary institutions are NOT eligible for SWPP funding
  • Positions must be net new to qualify for SWPP funding (i.e.: positions over and above what employers hire last year at the same time)

Industry partners

The program is being delivered through industry partners, and each partner is running the program a little differently. Key information on each partner is listed below.

SWPP Delivery PartnerEligibility/who can apply
ASPIREFinancial sector partner
This program is funded under Activity Stream 2 (Develop new partnerships for sustainable Work-Integrated Learning (WIL) between industry partners and PSE institutions).
Bio Talent CanadaSTEAM and business programs
Employers within the biotechnology industry or employers in any industry that are hiring for a job role with a biotechnology focus
Canadian Council for Aviation and Aerospace (CCAA)STEAM and Business programs
Organizations in Canada in the aerospace and aviation industry (can’t be a research position in a school lab). Employers- small and medium sized
Electricity Human Resources Canada (EHRC)The employer must be in an electricity related industry e.g. generation, transmission, distribution, support services including: R&D, business dev., energy efficiency, energy storage, electrical vehicle integration and smart cities
Environmental Careers Organization of Canada (ECO Canada)STEAM and Business programs
Organizations in Canada working in the environmental sector
Excellence in Manufacturing Consortium (EMC)Manufacturing and related sectors - (e.g. North American Industry Classification - NAICS codes 31-33)
Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC)STEAM and Business programs
Emerging technology and digital sector e.g. focused on fintech, intelligent retail and advanced manufacturing, also, entertainment, gaming, e-health, connected transportation, big data, green technology
Magnet Student Work Placement ProgramFor employers not represented by any of the other SWPP partners below. The program is expected to generate up to 20,000 paid student work placements yearly across Canada by 2021-22
Mining Industry Human Resources Canada (MIHRC)STEAM and Business programs
Companies must be involved in the mining or mineral exploration sector or a post-secondary institution or a not for profit organisation.
It is possible for students to work on a faculty led research project which is in partnership with aiming related business
Ontario Chamber of CommerceAny industry sector. Some restrictions apply.
For registered Canadian businesses and non-profit organizations
Technation (formerly ITAC)Business and technology or technology capacity
There has to be an element of technology in the role
Venture for CanadaWage subsidies to Atlantic, British Columbia and the Prairies Canadian organizations (business or non-profits) from any industry, who have fewer than 500 employees.

Conestoga, in partnership with six other post-secondary institutions, has received the Career Ready Fund (provincial government funding) to increase the quantity and quality of experiential learning opportunities available to post-secondary students, recent graduates, and apprentices in Ontario's automotive manufacturing and advanced manufacturing sectors. Eligible employers could receive between $3,000 - $15,000 per student.

Contact us to discuss your business needs and how your organization can support students to develop in-demand skills and experience at

A complete list of incentives for Apprentices and Journeypersons can be found on the School of Trades & Apprenticeship website.

Training incentives may be available for eligible employers committed to providing work-related training and development that prepares individuals to perform the full responsibilities of the job. Training incentives are designed to offset some of the employers' cost of training and encourage employers to retain the participant after the placement ends.

For more information, contact the Conestoga Career Centre.

For provincial incentive programs in Ontario, see the Government of Ontario website.

Learn about the funding opportunities (grants and contributions) offered by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), the Labour Program and Service Canada by browsing the Government of Canada ESDC website.

For a full list of Federal Government Employment Resources for employers hiring young workers visit the Government of Canada Services for Youth website.

Conestoga Co-op students

  • are cost-effective, temporary employees for peak periods of activity, seasonal variations in workload or short-term projects,
  • give you the opportunity to explore new employment positions without extensive investment or long-range commitment,
  • raise your organization’s profile with students and graduates as an employer of choice,
  • add bright, motivated, fresh talent to your organization,
  • allow you to evaluate candidates before consideration for permanent employment; the work/study approach to education assists employers in recruiting mature, experienced graduates,
  • allow you to familiarize prospective full-time employees with your organization, decreasing orientation and training when hiring graduates,
  • give your rising stars a chance to supervise and develop their people management skills, and
  • contribute to the enhanced education and training of Ontario’s future skilled workers.