Empowering Futures: Developing Electricity Talent Through Work-Integrated Learning

Hire smarter with the Student Work-Integrated Learning Program, which can cover up to 70% of a co-op student’s wages.

Get to Know Your Future Workforce:

The Empowering Futures Program is Canada’s Student Work Placement Program for the electricity industry. Aimed at preparing students for the future of work, the program will create 1000 new work-integrated learning (WIL) opportunities in electricity over three years, providing subsidies of up to $7,000 per student position to employers who create new WIL opportunities.

Why Empower Futures?

Employers Fund New Hires While Building Their Future Workforce

Gain access to funds to cover up to 70% of student's wages

Students Gain Experience Before Entering Workplace

Achieve valuable work experience before you graduate

Improve Industry-Education Partnerships

Strengthen essential professional skills before workplace entry

What is the 2018-2021 Student Work-Integrated Learning Program?

Learn More about the Student Work-Integrated Learning Program

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.

Project Objective

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.

How will this shape the future?

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.

Ongoing and timely information collection and analysis will be obtained and shared to the industry partners and post-secondary institutions to ensure program sustainability.

Why Apply?

With Empowering Futures, getting involved in efforts to prepare the sector’s future workforce is rewarding in more ways than one.
The program’s co-op wage subsidies help your organization to minimize the financial barrier of hiring students. The program covers the cost of a co-op student’s salary for science, technology, engineering, mathematics or business placements:

  • up to 50% to a maximum of $5,000 and
  • up to 70% to a maximum of $7,000 for students from an under-represented group. Under-represented groups include:  
    • First year students
    • Women in STEM (Science, technology, engineering, mathematics)
    • Indigenous students
    • Persons with disabilities
    • Newcomers to Canada
What is a WIL opportunity?

A work-integrated learning opportunity is any placement including co-ops, internships, field placements, applied projects, capstone projects or case competitions. These placements are provided to full or part-time students looking to gain field experience through a formal or informal placement. 

Are you a student looking for a work placement?

To participate in a student work placement in the electricity sector you must be registered as a full or part-time student in a post secondary institution in Canada.

  • be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or person with refugee protection in Canada
  • be legally able to work in Canada according to the laws and regulations of the province or territory where you live.

If you are interested in applying to a work placement or if you want to find out more about this program, you can contact our Empowering Futures Program Coordinator directly.

Are you eligible?

Firms whose primary activity is the generation, transmission and distribution of electrical power.

Sector support including renewables, in any of the following areas: R & D, business development, energy efficiency.

Firms engaged in manufacturing of equipment and the provision of services necessary to the generation.

How to Apply

1. Check eligibility requirements and terms & conditions

 The company must meet eligibility requirements

 The wages for this position must not be funded by another federally-funded program.

 The company must provide a full or part-time work opportunity for a student in post-secondary education, enrolled in a science, technology, engineering, mathematics, arts, or business program.

 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.

 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.

 The company must not recruit and retain friends or family members as participants to the co-op wage subsidy program.

 The company must reference the participant information form to inform potential participants what their involvement in the co-op wage subsidy program will entail.

 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.

 The company must provide information about the placement to Electricity Human Resources Canada as required.

 The company must develop a Formal Learning Plan with the participant, before the start of the placement.

 The company must provide Electricity Human Resources Canada with monthly financial claims and progress reports 

2. Complete Employer Eligibility Form

3. Send Participant the Participant Application Form

Getting Approval

The application process from submission to approval takes an average of 5-10 business days.

After Approval

4. Create Learning Plan

5. Set up direct deposit

6. Begin Program

7. We’ll email you when your monthly report and claim is due

When it’s time to submit your report and claim, we will contact you with the necessary forms. If you have not received or cannot access your email after a month, please contact us as soon as possible with your claim form and report attached.


Sarah Jourson, Project Coordinator
t 613.235.5540 ext. 229

Learn more about WIL
Student Work Placement Program: