Student Employment Policy

Encourages federal organizations to hire students in order to develop a pool of qualified candidates for future public service appointments.

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1. Effective date

The present document becomes effective January 1, 1999 and replaces the version dated January 1, 1998.

2. Policy objectives

To encourage federal organizations to hire students in order to develop a pool of qualified candidates for future Public Service appointments.

To provide employment opportunities for Canadian students that will:

  • enrich their academic programs;
  • help fund their education and encourage them to complete their studies;
  • develop their employability skills and improve their ability to find good jobs after graduation;
  • offer insights into future employment opportunities; and
  • help them evaluate their career options within the federal Public Service.

3. Policy statement

The federal Public Service is committed to offering students valuable learning assignments that represent structured pathways from a school environment to the world of work. While students are not to be regarded as lower-cost alternatives to regular employees, they are recognized as trainees and do not receive the same benefits as full-fledged employees.

4. Application

This policy applies to departments and agencies listed in Schedule I, Part I of the Public Service Staff Relations Act.

5. Policy requirements

5.1 Eligibility

To be eligible for assignment under one of the student employment programs, a candidate must meet the criteria defined in Appendix A.

The federal Public Service supports learning assignments for non-Canadian post-secondary students who are legally entitled to work in Canada, when reciprocal arrangements exist for an equivalent number of Canadian students studying in foreign countries. International students, however, are not to displace Canadian students. The work experience of international students is limited to the equivalent of 12 months of full-time work.

5.2 Departmental responsibilities

  1. Deputy heads or their delegates must:
    1. identify appropriate learning assignments and create a working environment that will allow students to help the organization meet its operational needs while developing and enhancing their employability skills;
    2. ensure that all students employed in the department are either on assignment under one of the programs described in Student Employment Programs in the Federal Governmentor appointed to a classified position; and
    3. determine the departmental compensation strategy in accordance with the present policy and the Terms and Conditions of Employment forStudents, or obtain prior approval from the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat to compensate students differently. This strategy will either establish departmental practices or authorize delegated managers to determine pay rates on a case by case basis.
  2. For each assignment, managers must:
    1. develop a structured learning plan, defining what the student should accomplish (see Appendices B and C for model learning plans) or use the generic plan provided by the academic institution combined with a description of the specific assignment;
    2. assess the progress of each student at the end of the assignment; and
    3. compensate students in accordance with the departmental compensation strategy.

5.3 Compensation plan

  1. Compensation must not differ for students from co-operative and non-co-operative programs. Student salary ranges are based on academic levels and all pay rates are proportional to the rates graduates would earn if recruited to the federal Public Service.
  2. Students are not to be regarded as lower-cost alternatives to regular employees. Instead, managers must ensure that, as they employ students to get work done, they also improve students' potential for future gainful employment by developing their employability skills. This is the trade-off they are asked to assume in meeting operational needs at a lower compensation cost than that generated by regular employees.
  3. Student rates are not directly related to the work performed, whereas classified rates are. Therefore, managers wishing to assign students a full set of classified duties should instead appoint them to a classified position through the regular staffing process, and pay them at the classified rate.
  4. Pay rates and other conditions of employment are specified in the Terms and Conditions of Employment for Students. For all other situations, compensation shall match that for employees appointed for specified periods of less than three months.

5.4 Non-paid assignments

The federal Public Service is a signatory to the Conference Board of Canada's Ethical Guidelines for Business Education Partnerships. In keeping with the spirit of these guidelines, managers are not to use free student labour, except when academic credit programs, primarily the Secondary School Co-op Education Program, preclude payment of a salary, allowance, stipend or honorarium.

6. Responsibilities

  1. The Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat will provide guidance to departments, consistent with its role as corporate employer, to ensure that the federal Public Service meets its commitment to students. Therefore, the Secretary of the Treasury Board, or his or her delegate, is authorized to develop and implement certain management practices, which include:
    • making amendments to the Terms and Conditions of Employment for Students, consistent with the objectives and guiding principles of this policy;
    • making exceptions to the Terms and Conditions of Employment for Students, consistent with the objectives and guiding principles of this policy, when operational circumstances make it necessary to do so;
    • disseminating best practices for departmental use;
    • establishing a Memorandum of Understanding with the Public Service Commission of Canada that outlines responsibilities, conditions and accountability criteria; and
    • representing the federal Public Service in gatherings that address student and education-related matters that concern employers.
  2. Under the Public Service Employment Act(PSEA), the Public Service Commission of Canada is responsible for the recruitment and referral, including re-employment, of all candidates for student employment programs designated by the Treasury Board, unless indicated otherwise in the program description. Under the PSEA, the Public Service Commission of Canada may delegate some or all of this responsibility to departments.
  3. Public Works and Government Services Canada develops and maintains the salary administration systems for the various programs.

7. Monitoring

  1. The Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat will monitor departmental performance by:
    • regularly collecting departmental salary administration data directly from the compensation system;
    • periodically reviewing departmental application of the policy; and
    • reviewing audit and evaluation reports on the application of the policy.
  2. The Public Service Commission of Canada conducts monitoring and audit activities it deems necessary to ensure conformity with this policy and with the Student Employment Programs Exclusion Approval Order.

8. References

8.1 Authority

This policy is issued pursuant to the Financial Administration Act, subsections 7(1) and 11(2).

8.2 Legislation

  • Financial Administration Act
  • Public Service Employment Act(Student Employment Programs Exclusion Approval Order)
  • Public Service Staff Relations Act
  • Public Service Superannuation Act

8.3 Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat publications and Web site

  • Student Employment Programs in the Federal Government(January 1999)
  • Terms and Conditions of Employment for Students(January 1999)

http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/

8.4 Public Service Commission of Canada publications and Web site

  • Choices that Count
  • Federal Student Work Experience Program - Manager's Guide
  • Federal Student Work Experience Program - Student's Guide

http://www.psc-cfp.gc.ca/

8.5 Organizations that co-ordinate the International Exchange Program

For all information about the International Exchange Program, please contact:

9. Enquiries

Enquiries about this policy should be referred to the responsible officers in departmental headquarters who, in turn, may direct questions regarding policy interpretation to the following:

Office of the Chief Human Resources Officer
Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat
Email: wpp-ppt@tbs-sct.gc.ca


Appendix A - Glossary

Accredited academic institution (Institution reconnue d'enseignement)
means any institution authorized by a province or territory to grant diplomas or degrees.
Academic level (Niveau d'études)
means the student's post-secondary educational program, that is, collegial, undergraduate, master's or Ph.D. studies. The academic level thus differs from the year of academic study (e.g. academic year 1, academic year 2).
Employability skills (compétences relatives à l'employabilité)
The Conference Board of Canada defines these as the generic skills, attitudes and behaviours required of the Canadian workforce. They are developed in school and through a variety of life experiences outside school, such as work assignments. These skills include:
  • academic skills (the ability to communicate, think and learn);
  • personal management skills (positive attitudes and behaviours, a sense of responsibility and adaptability in the workplace); and
  • teamwork skills (the ability to work with others).
Entitled to work in Canada (Droit de travailler au Canada)
Canadian students and non-Canadian students with a Canadian employment authorization are entitled to work in Canada.
Student (étudiant)
To be considered for employment by the federal government under one of the student employment programs, a person must be:
  • registered as a full-time secondary or post-secondary student in an accredited institution;
  • currently recognized as having full-time status by the academic institution; and
  • returning to full-time studies in the next academic term.

Students who are in their final year of academic study and who are not intending to return to full-time studies are eligible to work part-time up until the time they graduate. Managers must ensure that students hired in their final year are not employed under a student employment program beyond their graduation date.

There are two variants:

  • students with full-time status classified by their educational institution as having physical and/or emotional disabilities; and
  • adult students participating in education and retraining programs at the secondary level, operated under the authority of a school administration.

Students in these latter categories, though not full-time students, are eligible for student employment programs under this policy and, where an appropriate match exists, their placement is encouraged.

Appendix B - Model for learning plan (high-school students)

Student's name: ____________________________________________

Supervisor's name: _________________________________________

Student's job title: __________________________________________

The student will develop or enhance the following employability skills: Expectations
Communication, thinking and learning skills Not met Met Exceeded
  • communicating effectively orally, using means and styles appropriate for the audience
     
  • communicating effectively in writing, using means and styles appropriate for the audience
     
  • reading, understanding and using written material related to the activities
     
Teamwork skills Not met Met Exceeded
  • understanding and contributing to organizational goals
     
  • understanding and working within the culture of the department
     
  • ability to co-operate with others to achieve set results
     
Personal management skills Not met Met Exceeded
  • displaying positive attitudes and behaviours (e.g. self-confidence, integrity, initiative and willingness to learn)
     
  • ability to set goals and priorities, and able to plan and manage time and resources to achieve them
     
  • ability to begin new tasks when it is appropriate and showing the energy and persistence to get the job done
     
  • recognizing and respecting workplace diversity and individual differences
     
  • generating new or innovative ideas to get the job done when the situation warrants it
     
  • taking responsibility for actions and decisions
     
  • being adaptable to changing priorities and circumstances in the workplace
     
  • understanding the standards of the workplace and producing work which meets these standards while acting responsibly and safely towards oneself and others
     

  Reviewed at the beginning of the student's assignment, in conjunction with the job description (attached)

______________________
Student's signature

Date:

______________________
Supervisor's signature

Date:


Reviewed at the end of the student's assignment, in conjunction with the job description (attached)

______________________
Student's signature

Date:

______________________
Supervisor's signature

Date:


Appendix C - Model for learning plan (post-secondary students)

Student's name: _____________________________________________

Supervisor's name: __________________________________________

Student's job title: ___________________________________________

The student will develop or enhance the following employability skills: Expectations
Communication, thinking and learning skills Not met Met Exceeded
  • communicating effectively, using means and styles appropriate for the audience
     
  • developing and delivering training sessions to groups of students
     
  • collecting and analyzing data related to the student labour market
     
  • evaluating student needs and providing advice and guidance
     
  • using technology and information systems effectively
     
Personal management skills Not met Met Exceeded
  • displaying positive attitudes and behaviours (e.g. self-confidence, integrity, initiative and willingness to learn)
     
  • ability to set goals and priorities
     
  • ability to plan and manage time and resources
     
  • recognizing and respecting workplace diversity and individual differences
     
  • generating innovative ideas and strategies for delivering programs
     
  • taking responsibility for actions and decisions
     
  • being adaptable to changing priorities and circumstances in the workplace
     
Teamwork skills Not met Met Exceeded
  • planning the program activities of the office and making decisions in conjunction with others
     
  • understanding and contributing to organizational goals
     
  • understanding and working within the culture of the department
     
  • ability to co-operate with others to achieve set results
     
  • leading others, where appropriate (for team leaders only)
     
  • providing direction, co-ordinating and influencing the work of others (for team leaders only)
     

Reviewed at the beginning of the student's assignment, in conjunction with the job description (attached)

______________________
Student's signature

Date:
______________________
Supervisor's signature

Date:

Reviewed at the end of the student's assignment, in conjunction with the job description (attached)

______________________
Student's signature

Date:
______________________
Supervisor's signature

Date:

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