Employer Tools > HR Planning > Student Work-Integrated Learning Program

Student Work-Integrated Learning Program

The 2017-2021 Student Work-Integrated Learning Program is now accepting applications*.

*Only 2018-2019 application forms will be accepted

The Student Work-Integrated Learning Program is an initiative to increase the job-readiness of students registered in STEM or business programs at Canadian post-secondary institutions. The program consists of two components: co-op wage subsidies to a maximum of $7,000 and curricula enhancements to better align biotechnology programs at post-secondary institutions with the needs of Canada’s bio-economy.

The program gives employers the freedom to:

  • Gain access to funds to hire co-op students
  • Leverage a pool of workers eager to enhance their skills
  • Develop new talent for future recruitment needs

Long track record of success

BioTalent Canada has a long track record of successful implementation of federal wage-subsidy programs, helping new talent gain the skills needed for employment in biotech while assisting companies in offsetting the costs associated with hiring.

Since 2013, BioTalent Canada has helped 168 biotechnology companies hire over 550 new graduates through Career Focus, another wage subsidy program geared toward new graduates.

Ask yourself, what could your company achieve with up to $7,000 in co-op wage subsidies?

Program description

Skills shortages and access to capital remain barriers to product development and business goals in Canada’s bio-economy.

The program’s co-op wage subsidies help knock down that cost barrier, by covering the cost of a co-op student’s salary by up to 50% to a maximum of $5,000 and up to 70% to a maximum of $7,000 for first-year students and under-represented groups including:

  • Women in STEM (Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics)
  • Women in business
  • Indigenous students
  • Persons with disabilities
  • Newcomers

The program enables you to bring on an eager-to-learn student for a special project – and at the end of the placement end up with a skilled candidate already oriented to your company who could meet your future recruiting needs.

Featured co-op programs:





Is your company eligible?

To qualify for the program, either the co-op position needs to have a biotechnology focus or the employer needs to have a biotechnology focus.

Examples of positions that could qualify

  • Sales and Marketing Assistant at a biofuels company
  • Software Engineer at a health technology company
  • Associate Research Chemist for safe food processing at a meat manufacturing plant
  • Laboratory Technologist for environmental management at an automotive company

Uncertain if your job qualifies? Don’t count yourself out.
Contact Mary at 1-866-243-2472, ext. 222 or mcarr@biotalent.ca, or contact Colleen, ext. 221 or chayes@biotalent.ca.

Terms and conditions


  1. The wages for this position must not be funded by another federally-funded program like IRAP, Mitacs, etc.;
  2. The company must provide a full-time work opportunity for a minimum of 16 weeks, 5 days a week, 7.5 hours a day;
  3. The wage subsidy covers the cost of a co-op student’s salary by up to 50% to a maximum of $5,000 and up to 70% to a maximum of $7,000 for first-year students and under-represented groups including: women in STEM, women in business, indigenous students, persons with disabilities and newcomers;
  4. The company must provide a minimum of $1 for each $1 of wage subsidy, or a minimum of $1 for each $2.33 for first-year students and under-represented groups;
  5. It is recommended that the company register as an employer on The PetriDishTM, BioTalent Canada’s online job board specific to the Canadian bio-economy, that also contains a section dedicated to co-op job postings;
  6. The company must not recruit and retain friends or family members as participants to the co-op wage subsidy program; 
  7. The company must reference the participant information web page to inform potential participants what their involvement in the co-op wage subsidy program will entail;
  8. The company must provide proof of co-op placement employment, start date, contract with participant, full wage and benefits of participant to BioTalent Canada upon request;
  9. The company must provide information about the placement to BioTalent Canada as required;
  10. The company must develop a Formal Learning Plan with the participant, before the start of the placement; and
  11. The company must provide BioTalent Canada with monthly financial claims and progress reports.

Participant placements:

  1. The company must enter into a Placement Contract with BioTalent Canada before the participant’s employment starts.

Employer application process

  1. Ensure your organization meets all terms and conditions stated above;
  2. Complete an Employer Application Form (included in the application package below) and submit it along with a brief company description, and a description of the intended participant’s co-op position;
  3. Have candidate complete the 2017-2021 Participant Information Form (PIF);
  4. If you already have a participant in mind, please include the participant information form, participant’s resume and a copy of the participant’s proof of post-secondary enrollment, if available. (if submitting electronically, please do not include the participant’s date of birth and Social Insurance Number);
  5. If you need to fill a position, you can post your job opening in the co-op section of The PetriDishTM, BioTalent Canada’s job board.
  6. The application process from submission to approval takes an average of 5-10 business days;
  7. For information regarding criteria for eligible job seekers, please visit the participant information web page

Download your Employer Application Package


  1. A formal learning plan must be submitted before the placement begins but does not have to be submitted with the initial application.
  2. If you do not already have a student in mind, you may also browse BioTalent Canada’s job seeker database, BioSkills Match, for qualified candidates.
  3. If your application is accepted, and a match with a participant is made, BioTalent Canada will draft a Placement Contract to be signed by both the employer and BioTalent Canada. You must also agree to provide all required documentation and reporting as required by the program.
  4. If, for any reason, a participant leaves the employment of the employer, the employer must immediately provide BioTalent Canada with a written notice regarding the termination/withdrawal and reimburse BioTalent Canada the amount collected in wage subsidies if program participation was less than 16 weeks.
  5. BioTalent Canada assumes no legal responsibility towards applicants or companies seeking subsidies. For further information, please contact Mary at 1-866-243-2472, ext. 222 or mcarr@biotalent.ca, or contact Colleen, ext. 221 or chayes@biotalent.ca.

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Funded in part by the Government of Canada's Student Work-Integrated Learning Program.