Empowering Futures

Empowering Futures: Developing Electricity Talent Through Work-Integrated Learning

The 2018-2021 Student Work-Integrated Learning Program is now accepting applications 

Announced in the 2016 federal budget, the Government of Canada’s Student Work-Integrated Learning Program (SWILP) brings industry stakeholders together to create new work-integrated learning (WIL) opportunities for students to be better positioned to secure employment in their field of study.

Empowering Futures is the new WIL Program for Canada’s electricity sector. Led by Electricity Human Resources Canada (EHRC), Empowering Futures will create up to 1000 new WIL opportunities in electricity over three years. Wage subsidies up to $7,000 will be available to employers who create new WIL opportunities such as co-ops, internships, field placements, applied projects, capstone projects or case competitions. 

EHRC is proposing to strengthen research, development and innovation partnerships between Canadian employers, government, industry associations and post-secondary institutions to ensure that the curricula being delivered aligns with the needs of the sector.

The goal of the program is to help young Canadians make the transition from school to work through collaborative partnerships between the business community and post-secondary institutions, providing new entrants with practical skills and promoting practice-based learning opportunities for students through subsidized work integrated learning opportunities.

An Advisory Committee of committed stakeholders will be established to advise, guide, participate in, and assess project activities/outcomes; validate findings; assist with stakeholder engagement and communications and determine how the findings can be used to facilitate increased participation by employers and educational institutions across Canada.

The 2018-2021 Student Work-Integrated Learning Program is now accepting applications 

Program description

Electricity Human Resource Canada has long advocated for the need for closer ties and joint action by employers, trainers, unions and governments in order to expand the breadth and depth of the skilled workforce. Developing a skilled and diverse supply pool requires collective action to attract, train and employ the needed workforce. Working together, the electricity industry can make long term investments in human resources that parallel the investments in systems to deploy new capacity and upgrade infrastructure. 

The program’s co-op wage subsidies help minimize the financial barrier, by covering the cost of a co-op student’s salary by up to 50% to a maximum of $5,000 and up to 70% to a maximum of $7,000 for students studying in fields related to science, technology, engineering, mathematics and/or business as well as under-represented groups including: 

  • Women in STEM (Science, technology, engineering, mathematics)
  • Indigenous students
  • Persons with disabilities
  • Newcomers 

Collective actions to invest and promote this workforce will benefit Canada overall as well, adding skills and new thinking to communities nationwide, making Canada a more attractive place for potential immigrants, giving workers more career options, adding depth and applied industry interaction to our post- secondary institutions, and potentially spawning incremental innovations as training is applied.

Is your company eligible?

To qualify for the program, the company must be Canadian owned or a Canadian subsidiary and are part of the economic sector represented by:

  • Firms whose primary activity is the generation, transmission and distribution of electrical power
  • Firms engaged in the manufacturing of equipment and the provision of services necessary to the generation, transmission and distribution of electrical power
  • Firms engaged in supporting the sector including renewables, in any of the following areas: R & D, business development, energy efficiency, energy storage, electrical vehicle integration, smart cities.

Terms and conditions


  1. The wages for this position must not be funded by another federally-funded program
  2. The company must provide a full-time work opportunity for a minimum of 16 weeks, 5 days a week, 7.5 hours a day;
  3. The wage subsidy covers the cost of a co-op student’s salary by up to 50% to a maximum of $5,000 and up to 70% to a maximum of $7,000 for students and under-represented groups including: women in STEM, women in business, indigenous students, persons with disabilities and newcomers;
  4. The company must provide a minimum of $1 for each $1 of wage subsidy, or a minimum of $1 for each $2.33 for first-year students and under-represented groups;
  5. The company must not recruit and retain friends or family members as participants to the co-op wage subsidy program;
  6. The company must reference the participant information form to inform potential participants what their involvement in the co-op wage subsidy program will entail;
  7. The company must provide proof of co-op placement employment, start date, contract with participant, full wage and benefits of participant to Electricity Human Resources Canada upon request;
  8. The company must provide information about the placement to Electricity Human Resources Canada as required;
  9. The company must develop a Formal Learning Plan with the participant, before the start of the placement; and
  10. The company must provide Electricity Human Resources Canada with monthly financial claims and progress reports.

Employer application process

  1. Ensure your organization meets all terms and conditions stated above;
  2. Complete an Employer Application Form and submit it along with a brief company description, and a description of the intended participant’s co-op position;
  3. Have candidate complete the 2018-2021 Participant Information Form;
  4. If you already have a participant in mind, please include the participant information form, participant’s resume and a copy of the participant’s proof of post-secondary enrollment, if available. (if submitting electronically, please do not include the participant’s date of birth and Social Insurance Number);
  5. The application process from submission to approval takes an average of 5-10 business days.

Claim Processing:

Claim Form

Direct Deposit Form


Still need some answers?  Contact Mark Chapeskie t: 613-235-5540 x.223

e: chapeskie@electricityhr.ca