Employers hiring students for WIL can receive grants to subsidize wages through the Innovate BC’s Tech Grants program, and the Innovator Skills Initiative Grant program. The BC Arts Council’s Co-op Placement Program is also available for arts and cultural organizations in BC.
BC Tech Grants
The BC Tech Co-op Grants Program provides up to $5,000, almost a 50% subsidy, towards a co-op student’s salary. The program is designed to help employers who are hiring young talent and to introduce students to tech-related careers. BC businesses benefit from co-op students’ fresh ideas and readiness to learn, while students gain work experience and valuable business and technical skills. Each employer is eligible to receive a maximum of four grants each per program year (May 1 to April 30) valued at $5,000 (a total value of $20,000), to recruit and train between one to four distinct co-op students.
- Be a B.C.-based business.
- Have less than 500 employees on payroll.
- Be a tech company or tech non-profit hiring for any role.
- Be a non-tech company, organization or non-profit hiring for a tech role (A tech role is defined as a role primarily related to developing tech or providing tech support).
- Be hiring a student for a co-op work term. If you’ve hired a student for a co-op work term in the last 5 years, then you must hire a first-time co-op student.
NOTE: Innovate BC is no longer processing new applications for the Innovator Skills Initiative Grant Program for the remainder of their program year (April 2021)
Innovator Skills Initiative Grant Program
The Innovator Skills Initiative (ISI) offers up to $10,000 a year to hire a student to fill a business or tech role. The program connects undergrad and graduate students with an opportunity to bring their skills to a technology company looking for help or to a non-tech company looking to expand their innovation footprint. This program is delivered by our partner New Ventures BC.
Up to $10000 towards your student’s payroll, per term (amount is based on your student’s total salary). Up to two vouchers per year (running May – April), worth a total of $10,000.
- A tech company or tech non-profit hiring for a business or tech role, or
- A non-tech business or non-profit hiring for a tech role.
- Hiring a post-secondary student from an accredited institution in BC.
- Is not a co-op student.
- Will be hired for a business or technical role.
- Is enrolled at an accredited post secondary institution in BC.
You agree to:
- Offer entrepreneurial and business training to the student.
- Match grant funding in cash or a combination of cash and up to 25% in kind.
- Complete required surveys and comply with the terms of the funding.
NOTE: Innovate BC is no longer processing new applications for the Innovator Skills Initiative Grant Program for the remainder of their program year (April 2021).
BC Arts Council’s Co-op Placement Program
The BC Arts Council’s Co-op Placement Program assists arts and cultural organizations to hire students for professional work experience through co-op placement and work-integrated learning programs.
Organizations can apply for up to $10,000 for one term or $20,000 for two terms. All of the funding received will go towards the wages of the student.
Learn about eligibility and deadlines.