Student Work Placement Program

Health and Biosciences


1. All participants to receive free access to the new Essential and Technical Skills Fundamentals training programs.

2. Healthcare organizations are now eligible to apply for student wage subsidies

3. To support employer and post-secondary institutions to hire students during COVID-19 please see expanded eligibility details below.

4. Applications are being accepted for all placements starting before March 2021.

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What could your organization achieve with up to $7,500 in co-op wage subsidies?

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

Program description

The program’s wage subsidies help knock down that cost barrier, by covering the cost of a student’s salary by 75% up to a maximum of $7,500.

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 Seneca College  Red River CollegeUniversité de Sherbrooke Ryerson UniversityMcMaster UniversityUniversity of GuelphBrock UniversityQueens University logo     University of Ottawa logo                            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 over 1700 students.


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

Please note: international students are not eligible.

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.

COVID-19 eligibility and process update:

  • Employers will have the flexibility to postpone placement start dates to avoid rescinding placements.
  • Employers and positions can be pre-approved for funding before employers finalize their selection of students to hire.
  • If requested, small and medium sized employers (who have fewer than 500 employees) and nonprofit organizations will be able to receive up to 75% of the wage subsidies up-front.
  • Students will be able to work from home.
  • Post-secondary institutions (universities, colleges and polytechnics) will be able to be the employer of record to offer meaningful placements to students.
  • The requirement to hire above an organization’s co-op/student hiring baseline has been removed.
  • A wage subsidy will cover up to 75% of the salary to a maximum of $7,500.

Participant/ Student must be:

  • Enrolled as a full-time or part-time student at a Canadian post-secondary education institution
  • 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.

Placement criteria:

  • Provide full-time or part-time employment up to a max. of 16 weeks.
  • Must be with a bio-economy employer or healthcare employer and/or fulfilling a bio-economy or healthcare job function.
  • The balance of the wages cannot be funded by another federal program.
  • The student must be added to the employer’s payroll which includes Federal/Provincial tax deductions (CPP, EI, etc). Co-ops paid through a stipend or grant are not eligible. Participants are not eligible for the program as contractors.
  • Should the co-op be longer than 16 weeks, please contact us as you could be eligible to apply for another funding term.

For application details and instructions please download the application forms.

BioTalent Canada is processing applications as quickly as possible. To ensure timely approval and processing please ensure your application includes all forms fully completed and signed along with required supporting documentation.

Employers, uncertain if your job qualifies or would like to be pre-qualified before you hire? 

Contact Benita at 1-866-243-2472, ext. 234 or, or contact Colleen, ext. 221 or  or Hannah, ext. 215 or For BC residents contact Sue at (604)669-9909 ext. 207 or

You may also be interested in our Career Starter wage subsidy if you are hiring employees other than students.


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