Hiring grant options for Canadian employers


Student searching for work and grants on a computer.

Many Canadian companies benefit from hiring intern students and recent post-secondary graduates. Not only do youth candidates possess the skills and enthusiasm to support operational success, but they also help companies qualify for hiring grants and wage subsidies. For businesses and employers that are recovering from the effects of COVID-19, now is a great time to take advantage of an extra set of hands in the workplace, while for students, graduate and co-op job seekers, it’s a great time to look for internships and work.

For advice on how to manage your business during COVID-19, access FITT’s COVID-19 support resources here.

Canadian employers, specifically, can receive up to 50-70% of an intern’s wage to a maximum $5k-$7k, or up to 50% of a recent graduate’s wage to a maximum $12k-$15k in hiring grants.


Spring and summer are the ideal times to use these incentives since there is a large youth talent pool during these times and funding programs are generally open to applications. Since many hiring grants operate on a first-come, first-served basis, interested employers should start the recruitment process as soon as possible.

Hiring grant options and how they work

While many Canadian businesses know that hiring grants and wage subsidies exist, few understand how they help, how they impact the recruitment process, or what they must do to access funding.

Most hiring grants and wage subsidies in Canada are directed at two types of hires:

  1. Recent post-secondary graduates being hired into full-time, permanent positions.
  2. Student interns being hired into temporary roles that provide relevant work experience.

Hiring incentives are provided to employers for a couple of reasons. For students and recent graduates, paid work experience provides relevant, meaningful job experience that leads to a greater understanding of their strengths and interests. For employers, internships and first career opportunities give their business access to a young, energetic audience that can grow within their company.


Did you know, FITT’s Education Awards celebrate students who’ve shown exceptional academic performance in their international business program, every year? Students are selected from hundreds of candidates enrolled at any of the educational partner training organizations that deliver the FITTskills program or whose international business programs are recognized by FITT.

How much can employers receive in grants for graduates or co-op students?

When hiring recent post-secondary graduates, employers can receive up to 50% of the hire’s wages to a maximum of $12,000 to $15,000.

When hiring co-op students, employers can receive up to 50% of the intern’s wages to a maximum of $5,000. This increases to 70%/$7,000 if the intern is part of an under-represented group, such as women in STEM or newcomers to Canada.

How hiring grants fit into the recruitment process

Now that you know the options available when it comes to hiring grants, it’s important to illustrate how they fit into optimizing the recruitment process. Following these steps can help simplify the application process and maintain your funding eligibility:

  1. Develop a candidate pool for your position.
  2. Screen job candidates and select one person or more to tentatively fill the position(s).
  3. Apply for hiring grants, matching the position and candidate to a relevant funding program.
  4. Wait approximately five business days for the government’s response with the funding decision.
  5. Hire the candidate and complete any additional documentation needed.

After funding is in place, you can formally provide an employment offer to the candidate.

Also, be aware that hiring a candidate and placing them on payroll prior to government funding approval can significantly complicate the process and often leads to applications being deemed ineligible.


Receive support to identify and apply for hiring grants

With so many funding programs available, it’s often best to reach out to a specialist who can discuss your specific hiring needs and identify a program that works best for your company.

Contact Mentor Works to discuss your eligibility, identify the types of incentives providing support, and optimize the application process.

Mentor Works is a business support organization specializing in Canadian government funding. The Ontario-based business has helped hundreds of businesses build and execute their funding strategy through a mix of federal and provincial government grants, loans, and tax credits. Mentor Works offers free online resources, funding webinars, and news via their website at www.mentorworks.ca.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the contributing author, and do not necessarily reflect those of the Forum for International Trade Training.

About the author

Author: Alena Barreca

As a Marketing Coordinator at Mentor Works, Alena helps Canadian business owners by creating educational content about government funding.

disqus comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *