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 new work-integrated learning (WIL) opportunities in electricity by providing subsidies of up to $7,000 per student position to the employers who create these new opportunities.
Eligibility is dependent on the participant, employer (organization-wide) and nature of employment.
Participants are eligible if they meet the following criteria:
- They are registered as a full-time or part-time student in a post secondary institution.
- They are a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or person with refugee protection in Canada.
- They are legally able to work in Canada according to the laws and regulations of the province or territory where you live.
Employers are eligible if they meet the following criteria:
- Firms whose primary activity is the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity.
- 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 generation, transmission or distribution.
This funding is intended to create work-integrated learning opportunities in the electricity sector. Part of the funding requirements is net new positions: funding is available for new positions that previously did not exist.
For example: If an employer participates in Empowering Futures with five students for one term, the same five positions cannot be funded for the next term. In a following term, if the employer hired seven students, only the two additional students are eligible for funding, as five of the seven positions have already been funded.
Employment is eligible if it meets the following criteria:
- 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, Indigenous students, first-year 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, or have a sufficient nepotism policy in place.
- The company must reference the participant application 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 the participant to EHRC 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 EHRC with monthly financial claims and progress reports
Frequently Asked Questions
If you are a student wondering if Empowering Futures is right for your future career, consider the following information:
Why Empowering Futures?
- Gain experience before entering the workplace
- Grow your confidence in your abilities
- Build a professional network
What is a work-integrated learning (WIL) opportunity?
A work-integrated learning opportunity is any placement including co-ops, internships, placements, applied projects, capstone projects or case competitions. These placements are provided to students looking to gain field experience. Empowering Futures can fund co-ops, internships and work placements with ties to the students’ studies.
What is the Student Work Placement Program?
The Government of Canada’s Student Work Placement Program (SWPP) brings industry stakeholders together to create new work-integrated learning (WIL) opportunities for students who will be better positioned to secure employment in their field of study.
Students participating in the program will follow this process:
- Check eligibility requirements and terms & conditions
- Secure the WIL position and inform your employer of their responsibilities for the program
- Complete the Participant Application Form
- Create a Learning Plan
- Begin program
- As you finish your placement, complete a Learning Plan Reflection
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.
Sarah Jourson, Empowering Futures Project Coordinator
t 613.235.5540 ext. 229
Resources & Additional Information
Empowering Futures supports hundreds of students in all sorts of educational programs connect their learning to their careers. Hear from fellow students about how Empowering Futures is helping them.
Zoee, Electrical Engineering Student
Tristan, Nursing Student
Natalie, Chemical Engineering Student
Alyssa, Business Finance Student
Abine, Environmental Sciences Student
The Student Work Placement Program (SWPP)
This project is funded in part by the Government of Canada’s Student Work Placement Program.