Funding changes + options to help you hire a B.C. student during COVID-19

2 min read
April 22, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has had an unprecedented effect on organizations of all types – especially when it comes to employment opportunities. 

We want to help B.C. companies navigate the overwhelming amount of information that has been circulating throughout this crisis by highlighting some opportunities that might help B.C. businesses looking to hire in the coming months.  


Tech Co-op Grants Program 

We have recently changed the program guidelines and funding available for our Tech-Co-op Grants Program (TCGP)B.C.-based companies with less than 500 employees can now receive up to $20,000 per year to hire co-op students.  

Worried about on-boarding and training a student once hired? Co-op departments are actively looking into ways to adapt co-op placements to the current circumstances so that you can continue to hire talent to your team. They want to help you find a way to keep the student on board, maintain a successful co-op placement, and qualify for TCGP  so don’t hesitate to reach out to them. 



Innovator Skills Initiative 

Our Innovator Skills Initiative (ISI) provides up to $10,000 a year for B.C.-based companies to hire undergrad and graduate students. This program has also recently been updated so that both tech companies and non-tech organizations can benefit from it 

If your company needs support in navigating this new remote working environment, the ISI grant can help you hire talent on a full or part-time basis. Whether you’re a non-tech company looking for a tech expert to develop your online presence or you're a tech company that needs support with business operations, we want to help you.  



Additionally, our grants are stackable with other Canadian hiring grants and programs, including:  

  • Federal Wage Subsidies
    • Career Ready Program: up to $7,000 for employers who hire students who are Canadian Citizens, permanent residents or protected persons.
    • Venture for Canada Internship Program: eligible employers can now receive 75% of their allowable wage subsidy upfront and work from home internships can be supported.
    • WIL Digital: up to $7,000 for employers who hire students from underrepresented groups (women in STEM, indigenous students, students with disabilities, recent immigrants, and first-year students).
    • Gearing Up: up to $7,000 for employers who create new work integrated learning opportunities in the mining industry such as co‑ops, internships, field placements, applied projects, capstone projects or case competitions.
  • The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy: The Federal Government is offering a 75% wage subsidy to all businesses that have lost 15% of their revenue. 


Canada Emergency Student Benefit

On April 22, the prime minister launched the Canada Emergency Student Benefit. The new benefit will give students $1,250 a month from May to August. Also, students who volunteer this summer in the fight against COVID-19 will be eligible for $1,000-$5,000 through the Canada Student Service Grant. Find out more here.


If you have any questions or if any of our program requirements are barriers to you hiring or retaining students during this time, we want to know. Fill out this form for TCGP and this form for ISI to tell us how your business has been affected by COVID-19 so we can try to find a way to help you.


Originally published: April 2, 2020


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