The Student Work Integrated Learning Program (SWILP) is an initiative of the Federal Government through Employment and Skills Development Canada (ESDC). This four-year project intends to distribute 73 million dollars in funding to support co-op placements in STEM and Business, through offering wage subsidies to employers that hire co-op students. The goal of this program is to align the skills of post-secondary students with the needs of Canada’s industries and foster a culture of work-integrated learning.

Funding is provided through Employment and Skills Development Canada, through 10 Canadian associations that provide service in the science, technology, engineering, math (STEM) and business sectors. Confirmed associations include EcoCanada, the Information and Communication Tech Council (ICTC), Information Tech Association of Canada (ITAC) and the Canadian Council of Aerospace and Aviation (CCAA). These subsidies provide eligible employers 50-70% of a co-op student’s salary up to $5,000 or $7,000.

Eligible employers:
  • Employers may be eligible if they are a relevant STEM or business related organization (each organization has their own eligibility requirements in terms of industry relevance; most define these quite broadly)
  • Funding is available for companies, faculty, non-profit organizations, and research centres. Federal government departments and agencies are not eligible for this funding.
  • The remainder of the salary must be topped up through the employer, NOT through another federal wage subsidy program.
  • Application and eligibility requirements differ by association
Eligible students:
  • Any student in a registered co-op program at a Canadian institution is eligible for $5,000 in wage subsidies if they are employed by an eligible organization. Undergraduate students are eligible. At this time, most associations have not made international students eligible.
  • Students may be eligible for $7,000 in funding if they are from one (or more) of the following under-represented groups:
    • Indigenous student
    • Student with a disability
    • Newcomer (permanent resident in the last 5 years)
    • Woman in a non-traditional role
    • First-year student