COVID 19: Employer resources

The current situation surrounding COVID-19 is significantly impacting our lives in many ways, and especially changing the nature of how businesses and individuals work and collaborate. 

We at UCalgary Career Services are committed to providing organizations with the information needed for them to help keep students on track with their career and employment goals. In recent weeks, UCalgary students have proven their resilience and ability to adapt to our "new normal", especially the remote learning environments that are preparing them for a world where remote work could be the norm.

How employers are adjusting

How have you adapted to this "new normal"? In our early conversations with employers, we've learned how many are adapting to the situation so they can continue to support students. Below are some ideas:

  • Summer jobs and work-integrated learning: Many companies are adjusting start dates and introducing remote work for summer students and WIL placements that were scheduled to begin in May.
  • Virtual coffee chats: Many students are looking to build their networks and meet people in the industry. Skip the in-person information interview by connecting with students online instead! There are many video conferencing software options that make it easy to chat virtually.
  • Virtual workshops and career panels: Not only can you continue building meaningful relationships with students and within your industry, but you can also save on venue and catering with remote events.
  • Onboarding: Training new staff can be especially challenging with the shift to remote work. Many companies are considering online training programs by way of prepared videos and digital materials to facilitate training remotely and future-proof their onboarding strategy.
  • Online networking: Platforms like LinkedIn can be especially helpful for sharing company updates, networking and learning from other companies about how they may be handling COVID-19.

Financial resources for employers

Looking for financial incentives that can help you support student recruitment? There are many funding opportunities, including programs related explicitly to COVID-19, currently available to Canadian employers of all sizes.

  • The Student Work Placement Program (SWPP) Through the SWPP, employers are eligible for:
    • Up to $5,000 for every student you hire through the program
    • Up to $7,000 for every student you hire that is in their first year or is from an under-represented group including:
      • women in STEM
      • persons with disabilities
      • newcomers
      • Indigenous students
      • visible minorities
    • SWPP funding partners have also been authorized to remove the "net new" requirement for student placements. As such, any students hired may be considered for funding, not just new roles or more students than previous terms. Furthermore, they are now able to cover 75% of all student placements to a maximum of $7,500 per placement. This is in addition to the other flexibility measures in place and will continue to March 31, 2021.
  • Employers who are facing a decrease in business activity can apply for Work-Sharing, an EI program that helps them retain skilled employees.
  • Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) If you currently employ students, this subsidy is intended to keep people working and covers 75% of salaries for qualifying businesses, for up to 3 months, retroactive to March 15, 2020. All organizations are eligible.
  • Employers may also be eligible for a temporary 10% wage subsidy for three months. Learn more about the subsidy here.
  • Canada Summer Jobs (CSJ) program: Applications for the Canada Summer Jobs 2021 program are currently closed. However, if COVID-19 impacted your work-integrated learning initiatives, you're advised to contact your funding representative to determine if you're eligible for temporary flexibility measures. 
  • The Government of Alberta has a page of resources for Albertan businesses impacted by COVID-19 
    • Small to medium-sized businesses are eligible for up to $20,000 in funding to support their relaunch. This can be applied to wages in addition to other business needs.


Other resources

  • Visit the Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED) Canada page to get a custom list of supports from the Government of Canada
  • COVID-19 Continuity provides useful articles/email briefings to help organizations move forward with business operations
  • The Conference Board of Canada has daily updates and a number of free resources covering a number of areas affecting businesses and individuals
  • Brainstorm Strategy Group Inc. provides strategic advice, research, webinars and professional development for employers and educational institutions
  • McKinsey & Company has published several briefings to analyze the business impact of COVID-19 and help businesses navigate their situation
  • Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA) has an ongoing list of resources for Canadian employers who are navigating workplace and workforce issues related to COVID-19
  • Work in the tech sector? Visit The Helplist for information, community, and resources for businesses and individuals

Contact us

We'd like to hear from you. What is your organization doing in the face of COVID-19? How can we support you in your goals?

Email us at to connect.

The UCalgary COVIDCast

We recommend listening to: 

Episode 4: It's Far from Business as Usual

Episode 5: After the Curve

Episode 9: What Doesn't Kill Your Business Makes it Stronger

See all episodes

Faculty contacts

Faculty of Arts | 403.220.8636 

Faculty of Graduate Studies | 403.210.6814 

Faculty of Kinesiology

Faculty of Science | 403.220.8600 

Haskayne School of Business | 403.220.6743

Schulich School of Engineering | 403.220.2930