Where to get funding for hiring IT students

By NestorE. Arellano

Does you business need some help with IT issues? Are you looking for someone to fill in for a temporary absence?

For some businesses hiring a regular employee might not be an option due to budget constraints.

Nestor Arellano

Increasingly many small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) as well as larger enterprises are turning to interns and trade school students for help.

In a majority of instances, this alternative has proven to be beneficial for both employer and student. The intern gains valuable hands-on experience, a chance to practice their training, mentorship as well as develop contacts for future employment. Employers that do their homework, get their crack at skilled individuals, fresh with tech knowledge and an eagerness to prove themselves in the workplace for the brief period that the program covers.

The practice need not be expensive either as government and industry associations often provide wage subsidies as an incentive to companies that hire interns and students. Subsidy arrangements typically involve the organization shouldering part of the talent’s salary.


Subsidies could be as much as $12,000 for the duration of the internship but there are programs that contribute as much as $30,000 towards the salary of a post-secondary graduate hired by a company.

Related story: How to hire a tech-savvy student worker

Here are some sites you can visit to learn more about how to get assistance:

Apprenticeship Job Creation Tax Credit – This Government Canada and Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) program provides a tax credit of equal to 10 per cent of the salary of an apprentice that your business hires. The maximum credit is $2,000 per year. Find out more about the Apprenticeship Job Creation Tax Credit here.

Connect Canada – A federally funded national internship program. Internships last four to six months with at least 50 per cent of the intern’s time spend at facilities of the industry partner. The value of the  stipend is $10,000, paid for equally by Connect Canada and the industry partner. Connect Canada recently announced a $5-million, five year-program to place 750 master’s and PhD students across the country by 2016.

Canada Science and Technology Internship – The CSTI provides opportunities for recent graduates of science or engineering courses to gain relevant work experience within their field of studies. Any non-federal government organization can apply for this assistance when it hires an eligible intern. The maximum contribution per internship from the program is $13,200 over a period of 52 weeks. Get more details here.

Small Business Internship Program – An Industry Canada program, the SBIP enables Small businesses to hire a student for a 12-week period to work on information and communication technology projects. Businesses are given up to $10,000 towards the intern’s salary. Businesses are responsible for paying 25 per cent of the intern’s wages and related costs. The program reimburses the employer for the remaining 75 per cent of the cost. Learn more about the SBIP here.

Canada Summer Job – The opening of the CNE signals that summer is on its way out. But it’s never too late to plan for next year. Government Canada’s Canada Summer Job program could help you pay up to 50 per cent of an eligible full-time student. Students must be 15 to 30-years-old and your business must have more than 50 full-time employees Get more info here.


Alberta Innovates r&D Associates program – Government Alberta’s Advanced Education and Technology offers financial assistance to Alberta-based companies to recruit Master’s and PhD graduates to conduct research that will help accelerate their business’s growth. The annual stipend is $55,000 for up to two years. An annual research allowance of $7,000 is also included to cover qualified costs. Majority of the employee’s time must be spent on research and development activities. Find out how to apple here.

Career Focus – This wage subsidy helps businesses pay part of the salary of college or university graduates employed in positions that provide work experience relevant to their career. Employer must provide full-time work for four months to year and give coaching and experience in the graduates field of study. Learn more here.

Youth Employment and Training Programs (Nunavut) – Your business can receive money for hiring unemployed, underemployed or out of school Aboriginal and Inuit youth of the Kitikmeot Region. Find out more here

General Employment and Training Programs (Nunavut) – The KitikmeotEconomic Development Commission also has a program that provides money and workplace support for business that hire unemployed individuals or persons with disabilities in the Kitikmeot Region. Learn more here.  

Student Work and Services Program (Newfoundlandand Labrador) – For-profit and not-for-profit business may get wage subsidy for hiring a post-secondary student. Businesses could receive $5.00 per hour towards the student’s salary for a minimum of five weeks to a maximum of 14 weeks. Apply here.

Computer Animation and Special Effects Tax Credit (Ontario) – Find out if your company qualifies for a 20 per cent refundable tax credit based on labour expenses for performing computer animation and special effects activities. View your options here.

Manitoba Mentorships – Businesses in Manitoba can get wage subsidies of $3.40 per hour for up to 200 hours of employment. To qualify, employers must provide an average of eight to 16 hours per week of part-time career related employment for post-secondary students during the school term. Visit this Web site for additional information.

For more on government wage subsidy programs visit the Canada Business page of the Government of Canada Web site.

Nestor Arellano is a Senior Writer at Follow him on Twitter, connect with him on LinkedIn, read his blogs on Blogs, email nestor at [email protected] and join the Facebook Page.

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