Considering Hiring a Student in 2020? – Digital Nova Scotia – Leading Digital Industry
Considering Hiring a Student in 2020?

As a result of the COVID-19 global health pandemic, many post-secondary students in Nova Scotia are struggling to find work term placements for the summer and fall 2020 terms – here’s where you can step in!

If you’ve been thinking about hiring a student, we have great news! There are not only many programs offering student placements, but there are also some great funding avenues to help cover any costs! One of the most significant changes to funding for students due to COVID-19, is the ability to combine or “stack” federal and provincial funding opportunities.

Funding Opportunities

Student Work Placement Program

The Student Work Placement Program gives post-secondary students across Canada paid work experience related to their field of study. The program’s student wage subsidies help knock down that cost barrier, by covering the cost of a student’s work term salary by 50% up to a maximum of $5,000 and 70% up to a maximum of $7,000, and due to COVID-19, they have recently modified their criteria to support employers hiring.

  • Small and medium-sized employers (who have fewer than 500 employees) and non-profit organizations will be able to use wage subsidies up-front when there is an operational cash flow need.
  • Post-secondary institutions (universities, colleges, and polytechnics) will be able to be the employers of record to offer meaningful placements to students. 
  • Employers will have the flexibility to postpone placement start dates to avoid rescinding placements or, if needed, reduce the duration of the placements due to the current COVID-19 situation.
  • Employers will be able to apply for funding before they finalize their selection of students to hire.
  • Students will be able to work from home.

How does it work?

Economic and Social Development Canada works with Employer Delivery Partners, a group of recognized associations and organizations that represent the interests of employers in industries.

They work with businesses and post-secondary education institutions to:

  • provide wage subsidies to employers that offer quality student work placements; and
  • create partnerships with colleges, universities, polytechnics and CEGEPs to recruit students for these placements.

Funding Details

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 50% up to a maximum of $5,000 and 70% up to a maximum of $7,000 for first-year students and under-represented groups including:

  • Women in STEM (Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics)
  • 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.

While the Student Work Placement Program cannot be stacked with other federal funding sources, stacking with the provincial NS Co-operative Education Incentive from the Department of Labour and Advanced Education (LAE) may be possible. The SWP Program must pay the maximum subsidy allowed by your placement details, and the total funding received from stacking funders cannot exceed 100% of the student’s salary for the term. Employers should contact LAE directly to confirm if funder stacking with an SWP Delivery Partner is an option.

SWP Program Delivery Partners

Provincial Co-op Education Incentive

The Co-op Education Incentive helps employers hire post-secondary co-operative education students for work placements across Nova Scotia. The program allows organizations to hire a student for a work term of 12-16 weeks, and receive a subsidy of $7.50 an hour ($9.00 if the student is a member of designated diversity group). Due to COVID-19, this program has also implemented some positive changes to support employers:

  • Cash Advance:  If employers are still able to provide a great work experience for a co-op student but are experiencing cashflow challenges, they may be eligible for an advance of 60% of the Co-op Education Incentive (CEI) subsidy at the beginning of the term, when the student starts work.
  • Timing Flexibility: More flexible in terms of work placement duration, start and end dates.  If the timing and work experience changes (for example, the student will work from home or on project-oriented work) and employers have confirmed that this is acceptable with the university or NSCC.
  • Incentive “Stacking”:  The CEI also currently allow the combining of CEI funds with other wage subsidy programs such as the Student Work Placement Project which is normally not an option.

Additional Funding Program Opportunities

Co-operative Education Programs
Nova Scotia Post-Secondary Institutions

Nova Scotia’s community of post-secondary institutions offer a diverse range of co-operative education placement opportunities. With students studying Sciences, Arts, Technology, and Business, co-op students are available from across the spectrum for organizations interested in filling specific roles. Explore some of the groups below:

Dalhousie University

Dalhousie’s cooperative (co-op) education programs provide students an opportunity to apply classroom learning in a professional work place. Students alternate semesters of academic study with semesters of full-time, paid employment in positions related to their discipline or career interests. Dalhousie Co-operative Education Website

St. Francis Xavier University

StFX Co-operative Education integrates relevant professional experience into a student’s degree through rotating periods of work and study. The StFX Co-op Office is a proud member of Co-operative Education and Work-Integrated Learning Canada (CEWIL Canada). The following Co-op programs have received CEWIL Canada accreditation: Schwartz School of Business, BSc in Biology, Computer Science, and BSc in Human Nutrition. StFX Co-operative Education Website

Saint Mary’s University

The Saint Mary’s University Co-op team helps get the employer-student relationship off on the right track. SMU provides professional support and facilitation of the intake, application and interview processes. SMU Co-operative Education Website

Acadia University

Work terms begin in January, May, and September of each year. Students are available for 4, 8, 12, and 16-month durations. Positions must be paid, discipline-related, and provide full-time employment for at least 12 weeks. Acadia Co-operative Education Website

Mount Saint Vincent University

Participating in the Mount Co-op program provides you with skilled and highly motivated employees on a short-term basis at student salaries. It’s the perfect solution for completing those hard-to-get-to projects. Mount co-op students have a desire to be contributing members of your team. Students are enthusiastic, motivated and committed. MSVU Co-operative Education Website

Nova Scotia Community College

Most NSCC programs combine classroom learning with learning on the job. Graduation from most programs is dependent on the successful completion of a work experience component. NSCC Co-operative Education Website

Offers over 50 diploma programs with an opportunity for a co-op placement.