Financial incentives and benefits

Tax credits, government funding and programs

Co-operative Education Tax Credit (CETC)

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 .

Student Work Placement Program (SWPP) Government Funding

Funded by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC).

July 15, 2021 update: More than $239.8 million in funding announced for 2021–22 to fund the Student Work Placement Program, creating an additional 50,000 placements for post-secondary students through both existing and new delivery partners across Canada.

Hiring for Winter 2022

SWPP partners have begun processing applications for the winter term. 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.
Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council (CAHRC)Agricultural businesses targeting students in both agriculture-related programs and disciplines not related to agriculture.
Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA)Companies engaged in the development, production and distribution of English-language content for TV, feature film and digital media channels.
Canadian Tourism Human Resource CouncilTourism-related organizations - work placements with formal learning and applied experiences for students seeking careers in the visitor economy.
Cultural Human Resources CouncilOrganizations in the Canadian cultural sector, focusing on relevant needed skill sets in the sector, including technology and business.
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.
Food Processing Skills Canada Food and beverage manufacturing and related sectors delivering student work placements in the food and beverage manufacturing 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.
Trucking Human Resources CanadaOrganizations in the truck transportation and logistics sector.
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.
Career Ready Fund - Government of Ontario funding

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 .

Apprentice & Journeyperson Incentives

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

Employment Ontario Employment Services Placements

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 .

Additional Government Programs

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 .

Benefits of Hiring Co-op Students

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.