Student Work Placement Program


Due to overwhelming demand, BioTalent Canada’s 2023-2024 Student Work Placement Program (including Winter 2024 placements) has reached capacity.

Applications may be placed on a limited-capacity waitlist. Employers will receive an email notification if their application(s) has been placed on the waitlist.

Please contact Esra at [email protected] if you have any questions.

What could your organization achieve with up to $7,000 in wage subsidies?

YouTube Link to video on SWPP employer - Precision Biomonitoring 


click images for the full videos

Program description

The Student Work Placement Program (SWPP) is an initiative to increase the job-readiness of students registered in STEM, healthcare, business, and all other programs at Canadian post-secondary institutions.

The program gives employers the freedom to:

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

The program’s wage subsidies help knock down cost barriers, by covering the cost of a 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 science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM); indigenous students; persons with disabilities; members of a visible minority; and 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.

As a SWPP participant, you get the added benefit of free access to BioTalent Canada’s new training programs—“Essential Skills Fundamentals Training Program” and “Technical Skills Fundamentals Training Program”.  Access will be provided to you once your placement is approved.

Get the BioReady™ Edge by completing these programs and have a competitive advantage as you begin your career journey. A strong command of all the basics enables you to onboard easily, contribute quickly, and impress immediately.

Need help with your recruiting? Connect to our academic partners for student talent

University of ManitobaSchulich School of Engineering   Red River College                                   Western University                                                               


Long success record

BioTalent Canada has a long track record of successful wage-subsidy programs, helping new talent gain the skills needed for employment in biotech while assisting companies in offsetting the costs associated with hiring. The Student Work Placement Program has placed more than 11,000 students. Find out more about the positive impact SWPP has had on Canada’s bio-economy by reading the latest Driving the Potential report.

BioTalent Canada has issued a new report detailing the success of its national Student Work Placement Program (SWPP) and its positive impact on the severe Labour Market Shortages affecting Canada’s Bioscience industry.

This comprehensive report, titled “Biosciences Booster: Student Work Placement Program propelling Canada’s bio-economy forward,” highlights the remarkable success that has been achieved since the bioscience and healthcare SWPP program began in 2017.

Download the biosciences booster

Eligibility (as of April 1, 2022)

Update: Post-secondary institutions (universities, colleges and polytechnics) are no longer eligible to participate in SWPP as the employer of record.

Wage subsidies are available to all employers creating a work-integrated learning opportunity and meeting the program criteria. Biotechnology or healthcare organizations can hire students from any post-secondary institutions across Canada through BioTalent Canada’s Student Work Placement Program.

To qualify for the program, either:

  1. the position needs to have a biotechnology or healthcare focus or
  2. the employer needs to have a biotechnology or healthcare focus.

Participant/ Student must be:

  • Enrolled as a full-time or part-time student at a Canadian post-secondary education institution. Including undergrad, Masters, PhD or post-graduate students.
  • A Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or persons to whom refugee protection has been conferred and legally entitled to work in Canada in accordance with relevant provincial or territorial legislation and regulations
  • Studying in fields related to science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM), business and/ or any other program

Please also see the Participant information page for participant eligibility.

Participant/ Student can not be:

  • International students or
  • Students between programs (e.g. Graduated in the Spring from one program and starting another in the Fall.)

Placement criteria:

  • Provide full- or part-time work opportunity at a minimum of 10 hours/week, for a minimum of 4 weeks up to a maximum of 16 weeks.
  • Must be with a bio-economy employer or healthcare employer and/or fulfilling a bio-economy or healthcare job function.
  • The student placement being funded must be over and above (i.e. net new) your organization’s baseline number of students previously hired. This baseline number is on file with BioTalent Canada, or it will be requested if this is your organization’s first application for SWPP funding.
    • To show the impact of this funding program, BioTalent Canada is required to track the number of students an employer hired in the past, before they receive BioTalent Canada SWPP funding. Please provide the lower number of students hired in either 2019, 2020, 2021, or 2022 for which you received no government funding. For example, if 2 students were hired in 2019, 9 in 2020 and 7 in 2021, enter 2. If you did not hire any students in either year please enter 0.
  • The wages for the placement must not be funded by other Federal grants such as CIHR, NSERC, Canada Summer Jobs, or by another federally-funded program such as IRAP, Mitacs etc. Placements funded through a stipend, scholarship and/or bursaries do not qualify.
  • The student must be added to the employer’s payroll which includes Federal/Provincial tax deductions (CPP, EI, etc.). Participants are not eligible for the program as contractors.
  • Should the placement be longer than 16 weeks, please contact us as you could be eligible to apply for another funding term.

Employers, uncertain if your job qualifies?

Contact Colleen at 1-866-243-2472, ext. 218 or [email protected].

Apply online for SWPP funding in three easy steps:

  1. Sign in to your BioTalent Canada user account;
  2. On your dashboard, click on the “My Applications” under Wage Subsidy Applications; and
  3. Click on the “Submit new wage subsidy application” button to get started

Detailed Application Instructions 


What moving to an online application system means for you: 

  1. A streamlined application process – each form is passed to the next person for completion before submission which means less duplication of efforts – Organization information is entered once and will be saved for future applications.
  2. Saves time – Required fields are easily identified to save time so you know what must be included 
  3. Trackable – Application statuses will be viewable online through your dashboard.  
  4. Improved communication – Automated email notifications will be sent to you, your participant, and the academic contact so they know when to complete their forms. 
  5. Help with completing your application is just a click away with the new “Do you need help?” button. 
  6. Flexible -You can now save and exit the application to complete it later.   

As a direct result of your feedback, you will see the following enhancements (and more) to streamline the process from application to claims submission when 2023-24 applications open:

  • NEW! Application transfer – Easily transfer an application to another contact within your organization.
  • Improved instructions– more clarity on information required in applications to decrease the need to return and redo forms.
  • Easier identification of the Academic Contact – Students will now input their Academic Contact on the Participant Information Form – with clearer instructions on which contact information to include
  • Clearer communications – more specific application details in email notifications.
  • NEW Online claims submissions will allow:
    • Easy submission of your claims through the online system
    • Quick tracking of the status of your claims via your dashboard
    • Enhanced communications on the status of your claims with email notifications
    • Streamline claims processing

We will continue to make improvements to the online application system to give you a better user experience.

If you have any questions, please contact the Outreach Team at [email protected].

BioTalent Canada is only accepting applications submitted online. PDFs are no longer accepted. To access our online submission tools, please log into your account. If you do not have an account, you can create one.


Funded in part by the Government of Canada’s Student Work Placement Program.