Student Work Placement Program funding for University of Waterloo employers

South entrance of the University of Waterloo campus

Information last updated on February 10, 2021.  

You should know: The temporary flexibility to SWPP, which allows post-secondary institutions to be eligible for funding, is only valid until April 30, 2021. Click here for more information on Spring 2021 funding.

Hiring co-op student as a staff or faculty member has become more flexible due to recent updates to eligibility requirements. Due to these changes, it’s now a great time to take full advantage of the funding available and you can support UWaterloo co-op students by providing work-integrated learning opportunities that also advance your work. A true win-win.

Learn about the updates, UWaterloo’s access of funding from the Student Work Placement Program (SWPP), steps you can take to access SWPP and hiring co-op students and get answers to some frequently asked questions.


New flexibilities to hiring co-op students for UW faculty and staff members

In light of the global pandemic, Canada's Student Work Placement Program (SWPP) has opened up eligibility for campus co-op employment in two ways:

  1. Post-secondary institutions now qualify for SWPP wage subsidies of up to 75% (max. $7500) per student hired
  2. Research positions are now eligible for SWPP funding

Please know that these new updates to SWPP may be temporary and eligibility changes will be valid until April 30, 2021.


UWaterloo accessing SWPP

    • The University of Waterloo accessed this funding starting in Spring 2020, where we applied for SWPP funding for:
      • ~300 Online Learning Assistants (OLAs) and Senior Online Learning Assistants (SOLAs); these students assisted faculty with the transition of teaching materials to online learning. These roles were 100% fully funded through a combination of SWPP and University of Waterloo central funds.
      • ~100 Student Retention students; these students created student engagement activities to support the retention of University of Waterloo students. These roles were 100% fully funded through a combination of SWPP and University of Waterloo central funds.
      • ~300 other co-op students; these students were employed by various Faculties, academic support units and ancillary units throughout campus (research and non-research) and were funded by SWPP and departmental funding.
    • Funding is still available for the Winter 2021 term. Note: Funding for Winter 2021 has been secured from January 1, 2021 to April 30, 2021. CEE Business Services will apply on behalf of UWaterloo for approximately 800 co-op jobs each term, including:
      • OLAs and SOLAs: these roles are 100% fully funded through a combination of SWPP and University of Waterloo central funds
      • Student Retention jobs: these roles are 100% fully funded through a combination of SWPP and University of Waterloo central funds
      • Other on-campus co-op students employed by various Faculties and academic support units, including research and non-research co-op jobs 

    Seven steps to access SWPP funding for UWaterloo employers

    1. If you are intending to hire, post your jobs on WaterlooWorks.
    2. Our team at Co-operative and Experiential Education Business Services (CEE Busniess Services) will look at every job posted to determine eligibility and inform hiring managers of their eligibility. CEE  Business Services will support all faculty and staff by:
      • Confirming SWPP eligibility
      • Applying for SWPP funding on your behalf 
      • Managing the distribution of funds that are available
    3. For all eligible positions, CEE Business Services will contact your students to obtain their consent to release information required to administer the funding (i.e. full name, hourly wage, hours worked, gross and net pay during their co-op work term).
    4. Once student consent is obtained, CEE Business Services will submit the applications for eligible positions on your behalf. 
    5. Following the completion of the work term, CEE Business Services will provide the final data to the SWPP partner.
    6. The SWPP partner will calculate the subsidies and provide the funds to UWaterloo.
    7. The CEE Business Services financial department, working together with Faculty financial officer and Academic support unit financial officers, will manage the distribution of the funds.     

    What you need to know as an employer

    As the employer or hiring manager, there are some key things that you should be aware of

    • SWPP funding cannot be stacked with federal funding, but provincial funding can:

      • For example: if you’ve already received NSERC funding for your co-op student, you will not be eligible for SWPP funding.

    • You can only receive funding from one SWPP partner:

      • If you prefer to accept funding assistance through CEE Services but you've already applied directly to a SWPP partner, you should cancel your already-submitted application first.

      • Please advise your Faculty Relations Manager if you are choosing to accept funding outside this process.

      • Note: All SWPP partners have similar methods in calculating wage subsidies.

    • Students don't need to be on a credited co-op work term to qualify for SWPP funding

      • All forms of work-integrated learning (WIL) are eligible for SWPP funding. 

      • CEE Business Services can support only co-op WIL experiences on WaterlooWorks. For all other forms of WIL, you would need to apply on your own so that SWPP partners can review the position and ensure that it provides a quality WIL experience. Learn more on our SWPP funding page.


    Frequently asked questions from UW staff and faculty