Work-integrated learning placements for students in Windsor 

News release

August 6, 2021              Windsor, Ontario              Employment and Social Development Canada

Young people, especially students, were among the hardest hit when the pandemic struck. That is why the Government of Canada continues to make historic investments to ensure that youth have the supports and opportunities they need to build long and successful careers. Since the start of the pandemic, the Government has created over 300,000 youth and student employment opportunities to ensure young Canadians do not become a lost generation.

Today, Irek Kusmierczyk, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, and Member of Parliament for Windsor–Tecumseh, visited the University of Windsor to highlight work-integrated learning and its benefits to post-secondary students and employers in Windsor, Ontario. The Government of Canada is funding four organizations through the Student Work Placement Program: Biotalent Canada, Electricity Human Resources Canada, Magnet and Technation. In partnership with the University of Windsor, the Government of Canada created 2,293 placements during the fall 2020 and winter 2021 semesters. This included 578 placements for first-year students and under-represented students such as newcomers; persons with disabilities; women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM); and Indigenous students.

Through the Student Work Placement Program, the Government of Canada provides funding for organizations in Canada to: establish partnerships with employers and post-secondary education institutions, provide eligible employers with wage subsidies, recruit new employers to offer student placements, and offer supports to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in recruiting students. The types of work-integrated learning opportunities available include co-op placements, internships and practicums in a variety of fields such as STEM, business, health care, arts, humanities and social sciences.

The Student Work Placement Program is one of many initiatives supporting the Government of Canada’s goal to ensure that all post-secondary students who want a work-integrated learning opportunity can get one. It allows post-secondary students to graduate with work-ready skills, gives employers more qualified candidates coming out of school and builds stronger relationships between employers and post-secondary education institutions. The Student Work Placement Program is a hallmark of the Government’s plan to help youth through the pandemic.

Taken together, the Government of Canada’s response to the current crisis represents one of the largest youth support packages in the world.



“By investing in partnerships between industry and post-secondary education institutions, we are creating quality work-integrated learning experiences that will help students build career skills, build their resumes and make connections that will open doors to future job prospects upon graduation, all while helping support local economies build back better.”

– Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough

“Work-integrated learning gives post-secondary students real-life work experience needed for real-life jobs. The funding provided from the Student Work Placement Program to create partnerships between the University of Windsor and local employers is one more way that the Government of Canada is expanding learning opportunities for local students so they can be ready to work when they graduate.”

– Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion and Member of Parliament for Windsor–Tecumseh, Irek Kusmierczyk

“The Employment and Social Development Canada Student Work Placement Program has been a fantastic catalyst for university-industry collaborations and an incredible boost for our students, local employers, and our regional economy. The program has provided wage subsidies for over 1,275 University of Windsor student salaries from Summer ‘20 through Winter ’21. We are grateful to our Employer Delivery Partners, Magnet, Technation, Biotalent Canada and Electricity Human Resources Canada, for their efforts, and to all of the local employers who gave our students these amazing opportunities to learn and grow.”

– President of the University of Windsor, Dr. Rob Gordon

“Programs like the Student Work Placement Program that open doors for students—specifically under-represented groups such as newcomers, Canadians with disabilities, women in STEM, and visible minorities—will play a vital role in the bio-economy’s ability to meet the large talent demands of the next decade. Employers that take advantage of hiring students have a leg up in attracting and retaining young, bright, motivated contributors.”

– Rob Henderson, President and CEO, BioTalent Canada

Quick facts

  • Through Budget 2021, the Government of Canada committed an additional $5.7 billion over the next five years to help young Canadians pursue and complete their education, to provide additional relief from student loan debt for young graduates, and to create 215,000 new job skills development and work opportunities. This is on top of the $7.4 billion already invested in young Canadians during the pandemic. 

  • To build on the success of and high-demand for student work placements, Budget 2021 committed more than $239.8 million in 2021–22 to fund the Student Work Placement Program, creating 50,000 placements (an additional of 20,000) for post-secondary students through both existing and new delivery partners across Canada. 

  • Since creation of the Student Work Placement Program in 2017, 45,000 student work placements have been created in Canada, of which 40% have been for students from under-represented groups and first-year students. 

  • Under the Student Work Placement Program, more than 10,000 employers have partnered with more than 236 post-secondary education institutions to offer student work placements across Canada, with 90% of employers being small and medium-sized enterprises.

  • The new Innovative Work-Integrated Learning Initiative, which is part of the Student Work Placement Program, works with organizations to create new types of work-integrated learning opportunities such as virtual and short-duration internships, hackathons, and business and community-based classroom projects. These innovative ways of learning are particularly beneficial for those facing barriers to employment, since they can gain on-the-job work experiences remotely.

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For media inquiries, please contact:

Ashley Michnowski
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough

Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
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