Find answers to a list of common questions asked by employers about Co-operative Education.
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Work terms generally start in January, May and September and last for approximately four to eight months.
While the acceptance process may vary with each institution, students are required to apply to their co-op program. They also follow seminars on career development, interviewing and résumé writing.
There are no fees to participate in the Co-op process for the employer. Institutions expect employers hiring co-op students to comply with federal and provincial employment standards and human rights codes.
There are some federal, provincial and private organizations that provide subsidies to employers to hire students. Most of these subsidies are available during the summer months only. For more information, visit our “Where to get funding” page.
Information contained in this site is specific to post-secondary Co-op programs and may not pertain to other types of work experience programs, e.g., secondary school career preparation.
Please check Search Co-op Programs as programs vary per college and university.
The Co-op program is responsible for negotiating work terms with employers and with managing the procedures for matching students and employers. Until a final job assignment has been made, all communication should go through the Co-op office.
Employers decide the salary. The expectation is that the employer pay Co-op students an equitable wage in keeping with their experience and educational level. Your institution is available to offer guidance in determining a salary based on what current Co-op students are earning. Benefits are the responsibility of the employer and must be provided under the terms of a Collective Agreement or the Employment Standards Act; 4% vacation pay, or time off in lieu, should be provided during the work term.
For a Co-op work term to be successful, the supervisor and the student must establish an effective relationship. For the majority of placements, the student becomes an employee of the employing organization and is expected to be treated as any other temporary employee regarding benefits and other employment requirements as defined by the Employment Standards Act or a Collective Agreement. As such, the employer assumes responsibility, as they would for any other employee, for the period of the Co-op employment, and students accept the responsibilities of an employee.
In order to increase the student’s productivity and facilitate learning, it is recommended that employers: