Talent Opportunities Program
The application portal is open for the Fall 2023 term (September – December 2023). Please note that funding is limited, and applications are not guaranteed funding. New applications will be placed on the waitlist and will only be moved into processing if funding is available.
There is a limited pool of funding to support subsidies at the 70% level for under-represented groups. Should 70% level funding be exhausted, your application will automatically be considered for a subsidy at the 50% level.
Eligibility rules can be found below and in the TOP Program Guidelines & FAQs. Please ensure you meet the eligibility criteria prior to submitting an application.
Are you an employer hiring post-secondary students on work-integrated learning (WIL) placements, such as cooperative education and internships? If so, you may be eligible for a wage subsidy of up to $7,000 per student!
The Talent Opportunities Program (TOP) is an initiative of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce designed to help employers located anywhere in Canada hire college and university students on WIL placements. Employers hiring eligible students may receive a wage subsidy up to 50% of the wages (to a maximum of $5,000) for each ‘net new’ placement or 70% of the wages (to a maximum of $7,000) for each ‘net new’ placement for the following under-represented groups: Indigenous people, person with disabilities, newcomer to Canada, first year student, visible minority and/or women in STEM. Please note that there is a limited pool of funding to support subsidies at the 70% level for under-represented groups. Should funding be exhausted, your application is still eligible for a subsidy at the 50% level.
Placements must be ‘net new’ to qualify for funding. Net new is determined by subtracting the number of students hired by an employer in the fiscal year prior to first receiving SWPP funding (through TOP or another SWPP delivery partner), also known as the baseline number of students hired, from the number of students the employer is intending to hire in the current fiscal year (including those already hired). Only incremental placements above the baseline number of students hired are eligible for funding. The fiscal year (April 1 to March 31) for which the baseline number of students hired is calculated is determined as follows:
- For employers that accessed SWPP funding for the first time in year 2017, 2018 or 2019, use the original baseline year prior to first receiving SWPP funding.
- For employers that accessed SWPP funding for the first time in year 2020, use year 2019.
- For employers that accessed SWPP funding for the first time in year 2021, use the lesser of year 2019 or 2020.
Employers must be a registered Canadian business or not-for-profit organization, may be located anywhere in Canada, and may operate in any industry sector. Remote work is allowed. Exclusions:
- Federal, provincial, territorial or municipal governments. Organizations which are extensions of a federal, provincial, territorial or municipal government, such as crown corporations, hospitals, public long-term care facilities, and post-secondary institutions are not eligible.
- Members of the House of Commons and the Senate.
- Organizations that engage in partisan political activities.
- Major and other financial sector employers, including businesses that underwrite loans (see FAQs for more information).
- Please note that this list of exclusions may not be exhaustive. The OCC reserves the right to amend eligibility criteria at our discretion.
Students hired on WIL placements must be registered at a recognized Canadian college or university, be enrolled in a program or course where a work placement is part of their study plan, and be Canadian citizens, permanent residents or persons to whom refugee protection has been conferred under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.
Please refer to the TOP Program Guidelines & FAQs for more information about the program and application process prior to starting an application. Please note that funding is available on a first-come first-serve basis. Funding will only be reserved after an application receives conditional approval and a Recipient Agreement is signed. Your application will be placed on the waitlist if funding is exhausted.
TOP is a program delivered by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce with funding from the Government of Canada’s Student Work Placement Program (SWPP).
If you are an employer and you meet the criteria for a wage subsidy, you are eligible to apply for this program.
Looking for a student to hire? Get in touch with your local post-secondary institutions and advertise your position.
If you are a post-secondary student interested in gaining paid work experience related to your field of study, connect with your school to see if placements are available. If you are already on a work placement, let your employer know that they may be eligible for a wage subsidy from TOP.
For POST-SECONDARY INSTITUTIONS
If you are a post-secondary institution, contact us to learn how we can partner to help employers hiring your students on eligible work placements access TOP wage subsidies.