Co-operative education (co-op) is a new work-integrated learning option for Durham College (DC) students. Co-op offers students full-time paid work experiences, with each work term lasting 12 to 14 weeks in duration. The Co-op office supports employers throughout the co-op recruitment process and up to the completion of the work term. Employers can apply for the Ontario Co-operative Education Tax Credit of up to $3,000 per co-op student, per work term.
What are the benefits of hiring a co-op student?
There are many advantages of hiring a Durham College co-op student. Here are some commons reasons:
- Students are a vital source of talent to fill temporary staffing needs or short-term projects.
- Students bring energy and a deep motivation to work – our students are the top students in their cohort as they have met specific GPA cut off requirements.
- Students complete an extensive 14-week Co-op and Career Preparation course helping to facilitate a smooth onboarding process for employers.
- Hiring a student aids in the vetting of hiring future employees.
- Students give employers the opportunity to mentor students and play a crucial role in shaping their futures.
- Your organization’s profile in the community and on campus will be increased.
Which programs offer co-op?
Program descriptions are available by visiting https://durhamcollege.ca/programs/co-op.
How to hire a co-op student
You can post a position on DC’s Hired portal, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us directly at 905.721.3034 – our staff is here to assist you every step of the way.
Step 1: Post your co-op position
There are two ways to post a co-op position:
- Visit the Hired portal at https://hired.durhamcollege.ca. Create an employer account or log into your account (if you already have one). Use the job posting form to enter the details for the co-op opportunity . Once your posting has been submitted, we will publish the co-op opportunity or contact you for more information. Once approved, the position will be live on Hired for co-op students to view.
- Email your posting directly to us at email@example.com and we will post the opportunity on Hired for you. We will reach out to you if we have any questions. You will receive an email with your account information and confirming your job postings.
Step 2: Review applications
Once the deadline of your co-op opportunity has been reached, a bundle containing the names of the candidates along with their applications will be sent to you. Applications may consist of cover letters, resumes, grade reports or all of the above as per your request.
Step 3: Interview candidates
Once you have screened and selected the candidates, there are two ways in which interviews can be conducted.
- You can reach out to the candidates and schedule your interviews at your location.
- You can contact the Co-op office, and we will schedule interviews on your behalf at your location or on campus. Once the interview schedule has been made, we will contact you with all of the details.
Step 4: Make an offer
Once you have selected the student(s) you would like to hire, there are two ways an offer can be made:
- You can reach out to the successful student and make the offer.
- You can contact the Co-op office, and we would be more than happy to extend the offer to the student.
Step 5: Finalize
Tax credits and funding
There are a number of grants, tax credits and funding programs that subsidize the cost of your hire, which may help to offset your costs.
Below are two funding opportunities that employers often take advantage of:
Co-operative Education Tax Credit
A key financial benefit to companies that hire a co-op student is the Co-operative Education Tax Credit (CETC). Ontario businesses that hire students enrolled in a post-secondary co-operative education program are eligible for the tax credit. The tax credit is based on salaries and wages paid to a student during a co-operative education work term. Corporations can claim 25 per cent of eligible expenditures (30 per cent for small businesses). The maximum credit for each work placement is $3,000.
Durham College’s Co-op office will provide employers with a letter of certification to use in the CETC application.
Student Work Placement Program (SWPP)
SWPP gives post-secondary students in science, technology, engineering, math (STEM) and business programs across Canada paid work experience related to their field of study. Over 11,500 paid student work placements will be created by this program through 2021.
Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) works with Employer Delivery Partners. Employer Delivery Partners are a group of recognized associations and organizations that represent the interests of employers in industries. The ESDC works with businesses and post-secondary education institutions to:
- Provide wage subsidies to employers that offer quality student work placements; and
- Create partnerships with colleges, universities, polytechnics and CEGEPs to recruit students for these placements.
Student work placement activities can include, but is not limited to: mentorship programs, co-op placements, practicums and applied research projects.
Our co-op coordinators are available to support your recruitment needs – everything from application collection to scheduling of interviews. We will promote your organization and opportunities on campus. The Co-op office will stay connected with you throughout the work term to do everything we can to make the experience successful for all parties involved.
Your job posting will be advertised via the DC Hired portal to the appropriate co-op students.
The key components of what the job ad should include are: position title, location of work, job description/work scope, qualifications, hourly wage, targeted programs, application method and deadline.
Yes, some employers require prospective employees to complete employment pre-screening assessments including criminal record checks and security clearances. Co-op students are responsible for any costs associated with pre-screening assessments required by employers. Co-op students acknowledge that many co-op employment offers and positions may be conditional upon successful completion of these assessments and checks.
Submit your co-op opportunities as early in the academic semester before the work term as possible to provide adequate time for application submission, interviews, and job offers.
There are no fees to advertise job postings, have us collect applications, or use our campus space for interviews. The only costs are related to compensating your co-op or internship student for the duration of the work term(s).
Each work term is 4 months. They follow the same schedule as our academic calendar:
- Summer: May through August
- Fall: September through December
- Winter: January through April
Not all programs offer a co-op work terms in all three semesters and some programs offer consecutive work terms. Students participating in consecutive work terms will be registered in separate 4-month work terms for enrolment purposes.
While the acceptance process varies with each program (i.e. differing semester GPA requirements), students are required to apply to transfer the co-op option of their program and the process is competitive. In addition, DC co-op students must complete a 42-hour Co-op and Career Preparation course to help prepare them for their job search and the workforce.
The co-op work term is like a course and in order for the experience to be acknowledged on a student’s transcript, the same academic deadlines for grades submission are followed. For co- op, students will receive a “PASS” on their transcript for successful completion of each work term or “FAIL” for unsuccessful completion.
A key financial benefit to companies that hire a co-op or internship student is the Co-operative Education Tax Credit (CETC). Companies are eligible to claim the CETC which provides them with a 25-30 per cent cost savings (claimed as a tax credit), up to $3000 per work term per student hired. The eligible students must be enrolled in a co-operative education program at an Ontario university or college.
Durham College’s Co-op office will provide employers with a letter of certification to use in the CETC application. For more information, please visit: https://www.fin.gov.on.ca/en/credit/cetc/
- To provide students with meaningful employment related to their field of study.
- To provide remuneration for work performed and any benefits as appropriate. The employer’s Workplace Accident and Injury insurance coverage is applicable to co-op and internship students as they are considered employees during their work terms.
- To provide accurate, informative job descriptions to stimulate student interest.
- To provide an orientation to familiarize students with their work environments, job responsibilities, organizational policies and procedures, etc.
- To discuss and approve performance and practice goals at the beginning of each work term with each DC co-op student hired.
- To provide students with supervision and training by individuals who understand and are interested in co-op.
- To provide mid-term and final performance feedback of the students.
- To advise the Co-op office immediately of any job-related performance issues (e.g. poor attendance, punctuality, quality of work).
- To provide increasing responsibilities in successive work terms for returning students.
- To participate fully in the co-op process.
- To conduct themselves in a professional and ethical manner through the application and hiring process, as well as on the job.
- To maintain the minimum academic standards required to be eligible for co-op and internship options of their program.
- To adhere to all Durham College policies and procedures including any and all co-op guidelines.
- To conform to company policies and procedures and follow safety rules explicitly.
- To establish performance and practice goals in consultation with their employer for each work term.
- To advise their co-op co-ordinator of any work term concerns they cannot resolve with their employer.
- To complete all required assignments and documentation for every scheduled work term.
- To develop and maintain relevant curricula reflecting the needs of employers.
- To prepare students for their work terms with appropriate skills and attitudes.
- To define and administer the co-op and internship processes (recruitment, work term administration, etc.).
- To provide program information to employers and students.
- To assist employers in the recruitment process.
- To endorse for employment consideration only those students meeting the established guidelines set out by the college.
- To monitor and evaluate student progress and performance in co-operation with participating employers.
- To mediate any work term issues or concerns working to find appropriate resolution on behalf of all parties.
- To maintain co-op student files and work term records.
- To issue certification letters for the CETC for employers in Ontario that hire co-op and internship students.
How can I contact the Durham College Co-op office?
Co-operative Education Co-ordinators:
Anna De Grauwe