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).


Up to 11,500 new work-integrated-learning opportunities will be created by this program until 2021. The program was expanded in fall 2019.

Amount available

Seventy-five percent (75%) of all student placements to a maximum of $7,500 per placement.

Funding is available for 12 to 16 weeks. The program expanded in fall 2019 to include Arts programs supporting technology companies with roles in graphic design, UI/UX, etc.

Recent updates

In response to the current challenges, the Department of Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) has introduced the following temporary changes to the Student Work Placement Program. These measures will be in place until March 31, 2021.

  • June 25th update: The federal government has committed an additional 20,000 WIL experiences through March 31, 2021.
  • May 27th update: "Net new" requirement for student placements has been removed
  • May 27th update: cover 75% of all student placements to a maximum of $7,500 per placement
  • Employers will have the flexibility to postpone placement start dates and reduce hours to avoid rescinding placements
  • Preapproval for funding - employers can apply for funding before they finalize their selection of students to hire
  • Small- and medium-sized employers (500 or less employees) including not-for-profit organizations can receive up to 75% of the wage subsidies up-front, and the remaining 25% halfway through the placement
  • Students will be able to work from home or other safe, remote worksites
  • Post-secondary institutions (universities, colleges and polytechnics) will be able to be the employer of record to offer meaningful placements to students. Please connect with Conestoga’s Applied Research Office for information on ways to partner on applied research projects.

General eligibility

  • 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 and territorial governments are NOT eligible for SWPP funding

Industry partners

The program is being delivered through ten industry partners, and each partner is running the program a little differently. Key information on each partner is listed below. Visit the CEWIL Canada website for more information on the Student Work Placement Program.

SWPP Delivery PartnerEligibility/who can apply
Magnet Student Work Placement Program
For 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
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
Technation (formerly ITAC)Business and technology or technology capacity
There has to be an element of technology in the role
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
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
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.
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).

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.