Student Employment Programs in the Federal Government



1. Introduction

In accordance with the Student Employment Policy, this document describes all student employment programs designated by the Treasury Board, as well as other programs offering non-paid assignments in federal government workplaces. In addition, the Terms and Conditions of Employment for Students sets out the working conditions, the benefits and the pay rates for all students employed under one of the programs.

2. Student Employment Programs

2.1 Federal Student Work Experience Program (FSWEP)

Purpose

This program is the largest of all federal student programs and since 1990 has provided over 9,000 assignments each year to Canadian youth. It is designed to offer employment opportunities for 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.
  • The assignments under this program need not be related to the student's field of study.

Eligibility

All secondary and post-secondary school students as defined in Appendix A of the policy are eligible. Managers will determine the minimum level of academic achievement that applicants need to do each job.

Duration of assignment and work schedule

During an academic term, a student may work part time. During a non-academic term (i.e. the summer), a student may work full time or part time. There are no limits as to the duration of each assignment, as long as the student continues to meet the definition of a student.

Recruitment and referral

Under the Public Service Employment Act, the Public Service Commission of Canada is responsible for the recruitment and referral, including re-employment, of all students under the Federal Student Work Experience Program. For this purpose, the Commission receives all applications directly from students, refers candidates to departments and sets out the guidelines governing student recruitment. These guidelines are revised periodically to ensure an effective process that supports the objectives of the Student Employment Policy.

Departmental programs

To facilitate recruitment, certain departments describe specialized employment programs in the Public Service Commission of Canada's guides and on its Web site. The descriptions contain detailed information on each departmental program, such as specific eligibility criteria and application deadlines, and ask students to indicate their interest on the FSWEP application form. Departmental programs must meet all requirements of the FSWEP, unless approved otherwise by Treasury Board.

Compensation

Pay ranges are published each year in the Terms and Conditions of Employment for Students. This document also includes special rates that may have been approved by the Treasury Board for departmental programs.

2.2 Post-secondary Co-op/Internship Program

Purpose

Since 1990, the federal government has employed over 4,000 students each year under this program and is the largest employer of Co-op and internship students in Canada. In addition to the general objectives listed in the policy, this program is specifically designed to provide post-secondary students with assignments related to their field of study and offer them the opportunity to use their academic knowledge in an actual work setting.

The academic institutions play an important role in the placement of students under this program. Although FSWEP students apply individually and without the involvement of their academic institutions, the partnership among the employer, the academic institution and the student is a mandatory and key element of the Post-secondary Co-op/Internship Program.

Eligibility

This program is available only to post-secondary students. To be eligible, they must be enrolled in a co-operative or internship program where work experience is a mandatory requirement for graduation. The Public Service Commission approves and publishes the list of recognized academic institutions and programs.

Duration of assignments and work schedule

The availability of co-op and internship students is based on the calendar of study terms and work terms in each academic institution. With over 600 approved programs across Canada, participants are available on a year-round basis.

A student's academic institution determines the duration of each work assignment. Co-operative assignments traditionally last four months but internship assignments may vary from 4 to 18 months. Managers may offer students back-to-back work terms with prior approval of the academic institution.

Students in this program normally work full time.

Recruitment and referral

Under the Public Service Employment Act, the Public Service Commission of Canada is responsible for the recruitment and referral, including re-employment, of all students under the Post-secondary Co-op/Internship Program. However, the Commission delegates most of the recruitment process to departments that may deal directly with the academic institutions. The Commission continues to ensure that the processes in place support the objectives of the Student Employment Policy.

Compensation

Pay ranges for Co-op and internship students are identical to those of FSWEP students and are published each year in the Terms and Conditions of Employment for Students.

2.3 Research Affiliate Program

Purpose

This program is specifically designed to give post-secondary students experience in applied research (design, execution, evaluation), when they must attain such knowledge and skills in order to graduate. It is also designed to help the Government of Canada conduct research; retain possession of intellectual property and patents; control the use of information; and promote the transfer of scientific findings.

Students are normally placed with ongoing research operations in federal government facilities. The research projects must be related to the student's current degree program and must help the student develop specific knowledge and research skills.

Eligibility

Post-secondary students whose academic program requires supervised laboratory or field research are eligible.

Duration of assignment and work schedule

There are no limits to the duration of each assignment as long as the student continues to meet the criteria listed in appendix A of the policy.

Students in this program work part time only, to a maximum average of 25 hours per week (two thirds of a 37.5-hour work week). Students working as full-time researchers must be hired under one of the other student employment programs and paid the relevant rate, not a stipend.

Recruitment and referral

Under the Public Service Employment Act, the Public Service Commission of Canada is responsible for the recruitment and referral, including re-employment, of all students under the Research Affiliate Program. For this purpose, the Commission develops and publishes administrative procedures, and revises them as required to ensure an effective recruitment process that supports the objectives of the Student Employment Policy.

Compensation

Stipends for students hired under the Research Affiliate Program are published each year in the Terms and Conditions of Employment for Students.

2.4 International Exchange Program

Eligibility

Non-Canadian, post-secondary students who are legally entitled to work in Canada and Canadian post-secondary students who would like to gain work experience in a foreign country are eligible.

Recruitment and referral

Recruitment and referral are the responsibility of organizations such as AIESEC and IAESTE, and does not require the participation of the Public Service Commission.

IAESTE Canada

Canada@iaeste.org or www.queensu.ca/iaeste/

AIESEC Canada

info@ca.aiesec.org or www.ca.aiesec.org

Compensation

The rates of pay for students participating in the International Exchange Program are established by the recruiting organization (AIESEC, IAESTE).

3. Non-paid assignments

3.1 General

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 where academic credit programs preclude payment of a salary, allowance, stipend or honorarium.

The following program is well established in most provinces and is recognized by the Treasury Board. However, managers may offer non-paid assignments to students participating in similar post-secondary programs, as long as the participant is indeed a student as defined in the Student Employment Policy.

3.2 Secondary School Co-op Education Program

Purpose

This program is designed to introduce secondary school students to the world of work while gaining academic credits towards graduation. It offers organized assignments that help them develop

  • effective work habits;
  • a sense of personal responsibility;
  • essential job skills; and
  • an awareness of occupational possibilities.

Eligibility

  • Students enrolled in an academically linked co-op program at a secondary school are eligible.
  • Adult students participating in a secondary school co-op education program, under the auspices of a school administration, are also eligible when they must participate in a non-salaried training assignment in order to graduate.

Duration of assignment and work schedule

Assignments run concurrently with school semesters or terms, typically over four months, and they are usually arranged on a half-day basis. This does not preclude other scheduling arrangements that the student, school and manager might negotiate. Assignments with working days longer than the standard 7.5-hour working day are not appropriate. The hours per week should not exceed an average of 18.75 over the duration of the assignment.

Recruitment and referral

Referral and placement is done through the academic institution and does not require the participation of the Public Service Commission of Canada.

Compensation

Students under this program do not receive a salary but the manager may pay them a travel allowance as defined in the Terms and Conditions of Employment for Students.

 



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