Access Student Talent Resource Page

Working with post-secondary students can be a great source of creative/innovative ideas, expertise, and temporary resources for small businesses and not-for-profit organizations and we know that it can be difficult for these organizations to connect with students.  The resources on this page will help you to get started or to continue your journey of working with post-secondary students.


Work-integrated learning (WIL) is an umbrella term describing the process of learning where students incorporate what they have learned academically into an experience working with an industry partner. Explore below to learn more about the types of WIL and find out what works for your business.

How can my business work with students?

Businesses and organizations can work with post-secondary students through work-integrated learning (WIL) opportunities in a variety of low or no-cost ways. Please see the resources below for more information.

We recommend connecting with the Access Student Talent program as early as possible. Post-secondary schools tend to recruit employers and industry partners approximately a semester in advance. Reaching out early will give your business greater flexibility and better access to the opportunities that run each semester.

For example, if a business would like to work with a student during the Winter semester (January to April), reaching out during the Fall Semester (September-December) would be a great idea.

Resource TitleResource Type Source
Types of Work-Integrated LearningWeb PageBHER
Find Your Work-Integrated LearningInteractive ToolBHER
WIL Readiness Self-Assessment PDFUniversity of Waterloo
COVID-19 WIL ResourcesWeb PageCEWIL
Roles, Responsibilities and Assessment Strategies for Employers in WILPDFBHER
What are Field Placements?VideoCEWIL
What are Applied Research Projects?VideoCEWIL
What is Co-operative Education? VideoCEWIL
Tips for Supporting Co-op Students RemotelyVideoUniversity of Waterloo
Co-op Recruiting Guidelines and Expectations Web PageWilfrid Laurier University
Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Strategies in WILPDFBHER

*  BHER – Business + Higher Education Roundtable

* CEWIL – Co-operative Education and Work-Integrated Learning Canada

What funding opportunities are available for my business?

There are funding options through the Student Work Placement Program (SWPP) and tax credits available to employers to help ease the cost of working with post-secondary students.  Learn more about SWPP and the different funding opportunities available below.

Note that there are also a variety of unpaid work-integrated learning opportunities for businesses to engage with students such as Applied Research Projects and Field Placements. More information about the types of work-integrated learning options available can be found in the Working with Students 101 section.

Resource TitleResource TypeSource
Student Work Placement Program (SWPP)Web PageUniversity of Waterloo
WIL Financial Supports CataloguePDF BHER
Canada Summer JobsWeb PageGovernment of Canada
Apprenticeship Job Creation Tax Credit (AJCTC)Web PageGovernment of Canada
Co-operative Education Tax CreditWeb PageGovernment of Ontario
Funding Opportunities For Businesses Who Want to Hire Students WebinarWebinarAccess Student Talent
Funding Opportunities For Businesses Who Want to Hire StudentsBlog PostAccess Student Talent
Interactive ROI CalendarWeb PageBHER
Apprentice & Journeyperson Incentives Web PageConestoga College

*  BHER – Business + Higher Education Roundtable

* CEWIL – Co-operative Education and Work-Integrated Learning Canada

What are the benefits of work-integrated learning for my business?

Work-integrated learning (WIL) opportunities provide a wealth of benefits to businesses, students, and educators. Read below to explore the benefits of WIL.

Resource TitleResource TypeSource
Employer WIL BenefitsWeb PageBHER
Benefits of WIL for Students, Educators and Employers Web PageBHER
Benefits of Businesses Working with StudentsBlog PostAccess Student Talent
Why The Chamber is Passionate About Work-Integrated LearningBlog PostAccess Student Talent
Benefits of Taking on an ApprenticeVideoCEWIL
Benefits of Engaging with Internship StudentsVideoCEWIL
Benefits of Work ExperienceVideoCEWIL

*  BHER – Business + Higher Education Roundtable

* CEWIL – Co-operative Education and Work-Integrated Learning Canada

What have local businesses said about their experience working with students?

Are you interested in how other businesses have benefited from working with post-secondary students? Below you will find feedback from local businesses and not-for-profit organizations about how students have supported them.  In addition, you can also read success stories from businesses across Canada that have worked with students.

Resource TitleResource Type 
Testimonials from Local Small BusinessesWeb PageAccess Student Talent
How Students Can Help: A Discussion with Small BusinessesWebinarAccess Student Talent
Building a Better Workforce Through Connecting Students and BusinessWebinarAccess Student Talent
Canadian Success Stories Interactive Web PageBHER

*  BHER – Business + Higher Education Roundtable

* CEWIL – Co-operative Education and Work-Integrated Learning Canada

Opportunities for Businesses

There are many options that businesses have for working with students from our local partner schools, Conestoga College, Wilfrid Laurier University, and the University of Waterloo. Depending on your business needs, there are different opportunities that are available for businesses to connect with post-secondary students including marketing and social media, office administration, business development opportunities, and more. We have compiled a non-exhaustive list of examples for you to explore.

Recent Blog Posts

Why the KW Chamber of Commerce is passionate about work-integrated learning

Funding opportunities for organizations who want to hire students



We would love to hear from you! Fill out our contact form to be connected with Allison Mitchell, Program Manager of the Access Student Talent Program. Our team will then connect you with the appropriate contact to help your work with students.