We know you wouldn’t just hire anyone. The Interdisciplinary Co-op Education Program connects community partner employers with skilled and driven students to support your organization’s hiring needs while ensuring you can recruit with confidence.

Recruiting new talent through the Interdisciplinary Co-op Education Program at UBC Okanagan provides access to attentive, hardworking and innovative individuals. Through Co-op Education, students have the opportunity to gain knowledge and learn through applied experience while deepening their capabilities, creating new relationships, and strengthening their resiliency and confidence. If you’re interested in hiring through Co-op, this page will provide key details and frequently asked questions to support you, the community partner employers, and your recruitment goals. 

Hiring Through Co-op Offers: 

  • Flexible Terms: Hire for 4, 8 or 12 months at time, starting in January, May/June, or September of any given year. 
  • Top Talent: Students are pre-screened and receive UBC Co-op Pre-employment & Career Readiness support and learning. 
  • Interdisciplinary and Diverse Student Talent: At UBC Okanagan the Interdisciplinary Co-op Education Program includes multiple disciplines and subjects including: Arts, Fine Arts, Human Kinetics / Health & Exercise Sciences, Management, Media Studies and Science.  
  • Cost Effective: Experiences are paid at an appropriate salary to the industry and level of responsibility. 
  • Hiring Incentives: Grants can subsidize the cost of training and integrating co-op students into positions. 
  • Flexible Location: No matter your organization’s structure, co-op students are flexible in supporting remote, hybrid, and in-person work arrangements for organizations within Canada.  

Ready to Post?

The Co-op Hiring Guide is available to assist you as you navigate the job board and will ensure that your opportunity is correctly posted and viewable to all eligible Co-op students. If you require any assistance in order to self-post, please reach out as the co-op office will be happy to assist. 

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What Co-op Community Partner Employers Need to Know 

At the heart of Co-op work-integrated learning at UBC Okanagan is a desire to connect – through people and environments that expand our world view and enrich our learning, jobs, and daily lives. Co-op is an opportunity for diverse communities to come together around the shared purpose of collaborative learning.   

The Interdisciplinary Co-op Education Program is an invitation to both student and employer to partner and grow relationships through work-integrated learning that benefits communities. As a community partner employer, you have a unique opportunity to connect with an interdisciplinary network of students and researchers at UBC and gain fresh perspectives and expertise for direct impact to your organization.  

 

Recruiting new talent from an experiential education program such as Co-op provides access to attentive, hardworking, and innovative individuals. The UBCO Interdisciplinary Co-op Education Program provides community partner employers the opportunity to post opportunities and recruit from a candidate pool that includes a variety of subjects and programs including: Arts, Fine Arts, Human Kinetics / Health & Exercise Sciences, Management, Media Studies and Science.   

Whether you identify a critical project that requires assistance, or are in need of additional staff support, Co-op students offer diverse skills, fresh perspective, and are motivated to contribute and learn within your workplace.  

Our community partner employers report the best feature of Co-op is the quality of applicants. Interdisciplinary Co-op Education is a competitive program, and all students are pre-screened and complete Pre-employment & Career Readiness Training in advance of the work term experiences.  

Co-op is flexible to organizational needs with students available to start in January, May, or September of each year for four, eight, or twelve-month periods.  

The UBC Okanagan Interdisciplinary Co-op Program Office is available to assist with scoping a project, developing the job description, or exploring wage subsidies specific to hiring a Co-op student. Connect with us to access the talent of students, provide mentorship, contribute to student’s learning and explore the opportunities available to your organization.    

At this link you will find  a few helpful tips and important reminders when considering integrating Co-op students within your organization. 

The UBC Okanagan Interdisciplinary Co-op Education Program Office provides personal and customized support for community partner employers looking to simplify the recruitment process. We are able to assist with scoping a project, developing the job description, or exploring wage subsidies specific to hiring of a Co-op student. If you are seeking support throughout the posting process, please review the steps below, the Co-op Hiring Guide, and connect with us if we can be of assistance.  

Please refer to the Co-op Hiring Guide to walk you through the recruitment process and co-op job board, and reference the simple 3-step process below.  

Not quite sure on the details for your co-op position? The Co-op Program Office is happy to work with you to ensure alignment between student capabilities and job requirements, and can assist you with crafting a job description. 

 

1. Post your job 

We encourage community partner employers to self-post on the UBC Interdisciplinary Co-op Job board. The Co-op Hiring Guide is available to assist you as you navigate the job board and will ensure that your opportunity is correctly posted and viewable to all eligible Co-op students. If you require any assistance in order to self-post, please reach out as the co-op office will be happy to assist. Also, find out if you are eligible for hiring incentives and grants. 

 

2. Review applications 

Once the posting closes, a resume package of all the applications will be sent to you. You can review the package and then contact the Interdisciplinary Co-op Program Office (coop.ok@ubc.ca) if you would like assistance with interview scheduling: 

  • Names of shortlisted candidates 
  • Preferred interview dates and times 
  • Length of interview 
  • Interview location 
  • Interviewer(s) name 
  • Interview method (phone, zoom, in-person, etc.) 

 

3. Hire a Co-op student 

Once interviewing is complete and a hiring decision has been reached, we can assist with making the offer to an Interdisciplinary Co-op student from UBC Okanagan. Equally if you’d like to be in contact with the candidate(s) directly, please send an email to the student and CC coop.ok@ubc.ca so that we can continue to support students in their co-op work experience journey. 

As you prepare the student’s offer letter, if you require a template, please feel free to use the following. 

We also encourage reaching out to all other students shortlisted & interviewed to let them know the role has now been filled, and if you are able to provide any feedback to assist them as they continue to build their experience and learn through this process it would be greatly appreciated.  

The Interdisciplinary Co-op Education Program includes a diverse talent pool, with students concentrating their academic studies in a variety of degree programs including: 

  • Bachelor of Arts 
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts 
  • Bachelor of Human Kinetics / Health & Exercise Sciences 
  • Bachelor of Management 
  • Bachelor of Media Studies 
  • Bachelor of Sciences 

 

All students enrolled in the Interdisciplinary Co-op Education Program complete a comprehensive Pre-employment and Career Readiness Training curriculum prior to beginning their work term experiences. This training is designed to prepare students for their upcoming job search, interview process, and support their integration into their future co-op workplaces. 

The structure of the Interdisciplinary Co-op Education Program encourages students to explore diverse industries, workplaces, and positions and encourages students to seek roles that both challenge and inspire them to build capacities, further their self-awareness, and explore their career interests. From opportunities in technical lab settings and clinical environments to creative writing and administration positions, we work with a range of students and community partner employers to explore workplace experiences that both complement and expand on classroom learning and engage in critical reflection.  

You may view all program offerings at the UBC Okanagan campus here.  For those interested in recruiting across all UBC Co-op programs spanning both Okanagan and Vancouver campuses, please visit: https://coop.ubc.ca/ 

More Details

For a position to qualify as a co-op work term experience, the role must provide: 

Supervision: An identified workplace supervisor to the Co-op student employee providing regular support, constructive feedback, and reflection helping the student grow personally and professionally while engaging and effectively contributing within the workplace/role.  

Relevance to student’s academic program: The nature of the co-op work term experience should be aligned with the student’s academic pursuits and/or provide an opportunity to further develop capabilities and experience that will advance the student’s personal and career development. 

Challenging & relevant work experience: Co-op work terms should provide a challenging, relevant and instructive experience. The assessment of co-op students’ performance during a work term is based on evaluation from the community partner employer and on assignments submitted by the student. In addition, the Co-op Coordinators maintain contact with the student and employer to monitor progress on an on-going basis.   

Paid opportunity: Co-op work term experiences must be paid employment opportunities, and at an appropriate salary for the industry and level of responsibility. 

Appropriate duration: Co-op work term experiences must be a minimum of 420 hours and 12 weeks in length. Positions typically start in January, May and September each year. 

Adheres to employment standards: Co-op students are hired as employees of your organization, and are not permitted to be hired as independent contractors. All employers operating within BC must adhere to the BC Employment Standards Act. The UBC Okanagan Interdisciplinary Co-op Education Program reserves the right to deny participation to any employer contravening this Act. Employers located outside BC must adhere to their regional and federal employment laws. 

The UBC academic year provides the flexibility for you to hire for 4, 8 or 12 months at a time. Co-op students work year-round and are available to begin work terms starting in January, May and September each year. 

Community partner employers can begin recruiting at any time during the terms listed below, and are encouraged to begin the process as early in the term as possible to access a larger pool of available student candidates. We recommend the following: 

To hire for Post job during
May January – April
September May – August
January September – December

With grants and funding available through Federal, Provincial, and University-specific sources, we recognize navigating hiring grants can be a challenge. You can now view our Funding Toolkit for information on the various grant providers and their eligibility criteria, and also compare funding options that best suit your organization’s industry and roles for which you would like to hire.  

Hiring grants are available to those community partner employers that can contribute to a student’s learning through a co-op work experience. Community partner employers can access up to $5,000 or 50% of the total cost through UBC Okanagan-specific funding for international students, or $5,000 per Co-op student hire, or 50% of the total cost through the Student Work Placement Program (SWPP) federal funding for domestic students. The following are a few current programs available within Canada: 

 

International Student (ISI) Co-op Hiring Grant

UBC’s Okanagan campus is pleased to offer a grant program to support community partner employers seeking to grow in diversity who value the intercultural development of their organization, and who, in turn, will support international Co-op students in gaining meaningful employment in Canada related to their field of study.  

The International Student Co-op Hiring Grant provides up to $5,000 to qualifying community partner employers to subsidize the cost of hiring, training and integrating UBC Okanagan International undergraduate Co-op students, in relevant experience with organizations within Canada. Funding is competitive and applicants are encouraged to apply early. 

Getting started: 

 

Student Work Placement Program (SWPP) Hiring Grants 

SWPP provides community partner employers with wage subsidies to hire post-secondary students, and brings together employers, students, and post-secondary institutions to create quality paid work-integrated learning experiences. Through the SWPP program, Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) disperses funds through more than twelve employer delivery partners; each of these agencies focuses on different types of role, expertise, or industry. New funding partners continue to be added.  

This wage subsidy covers 50% or up to $5,000 of the Co-op student’s salary. If the student identifies themselves as coming from an underrepresented group the wage subsidy will cover 70%, or up to $7,000 of the Co-op student’s salary. Underrepresented groups are defined as: visible minorities, women in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), Indigenous students, students with disabilities, and newcomers to Canada.

With many different delivery agencies offering wage subsidies, there is a program for nearly every industry partner to access critical support funds. As programs have limited funds and fill up quickly, we recommend submitting your application(s) early. If you would like any additional information around eligibility requirements for the SWPP wage subsidies, please view our funding guide or connect with us. 

 

Other Funding Resources for Co-op Community Partner Employers 

You may be eligible for other funding resources, check here for more information: www.co-op.bc.ca/funding 

Current Interdisciplinary Co-op Program Initiatives & Projects 

From 2019 – 2022, the Interdisciplinary Co-op Education Program has continued to advance program objectives of creating an interdisciplinary program grounded in reflective practice that seeks to create more equitable access to learners across the UBC Okanagan campus. With continued attention to fostering strong relationships with organizations in BC’s interior region that offer engaging workplace learning experiences locally with global relevance. Learn more about some of the initiatives that received BC Ministry of Advanced Education and Skill Development funding.

We piloted the first UBC industry-specific co-op education program in 2022. Through participation in this unique program students learn about the world of wine, and gain experience in one of BC’s most economically significant sectors – one that comprises a range of areas from viticulture and production to distribution, marketing and tourism. Students study with world-class faculty, and work with engaged members of the sector. A diverse set of people contribute their expertise to this new program, which is led by the Interdisciplinary Co-op Education Program, in collaboration with the UBC Wine Research Centre. With 14 students completing the required Introduction to the BC Wine Sector Letter of Proficiency course, and half a dozen work term experiences underway in the 2022-23 academic year, the program is proving to be an engaging learning experience. Learn more by clicking here. 

Throughout 2021-22, the Interdisciplinary Co-op Education Program integrated pre-employment & career readiness curriculum in close collaboration with the CTLT unit, creating a Canvas course – Co-op Learning Community. This Canvas course is now a hub of resources, supports and interactive exercises to assist students from time of entry until completion of their  UBC degree program. 

We recognise a need to continue to develop equitable access to Co-op Learning for all students. The recommendations in the report on Identifying Challenges, Creating Opportunities – Indigenous Students and Work-Integrated learning at UBC, 2020-2021 offer good building-blocks. Interdisciplinary Co-op continues to advance further focus in collaboration with Indigenous Programs and Services and all UBC Co-op programs. 

The Interdisciplinary Co-op Education Program seeks to ensure close relationships underpin all that we do. The Interior & Northern Work Integrated Learning Initiative (INWIL) in partnership with Thompson Rivers University, and the University of Northern British Columbia, explores barriers to participation in work-integrated learning through consultation with industry leaders and small and medium-sized organizations within the Interior and Northern regions of BC.

This regional engagement encouraged collaboration and coordination to support small and medium-sized organizations in connecting with students, and supporting the growth of the regional economy through work-integrated learning. Additional resources including an equity, diversity and inclusion guide has been developed for community partner employers. Efforts continue in identifying student values and perceptions of workplace learning, leading to increased access and engagement of co-op experiences based regionally within BC. Learn more about this initiative. 

“If I have a choice between hiring a Co-op student or a non Co-op, I will choose the Co-op. I noticed that Co-op students consider the job as a learning opportunity, not just regular work; that allows them to stay both efficient and creative.”

–Nazim Ragimov, CEO, Saturn Animation Studios

 

 

Featured Community Partner Employer News

International Students Working in Canada

In October 2022, the federal government introduced temporary measures to increase flexibility for international students to work in Canada. These policies are subject to change and international students should consult UBCO Global Engagement Office (GEO) for the latest in regards to their specific situation.

Postings for January 2023 Now Open

We are now posting jobs for 4, 8 or 12 month work terms that start in January 2023. The Co-op Hiring Guide is available to assist you as you navigate the job board and will ensure that your opportunity is correctly posted and viewable to all eligible Co-op students. If you require any assistance in order to self-post, please reach out as the co-op office will be happy to assist. 

Confirmation of Co-op Enrollment

Once you have selected your candidate, a confirmation of registration letter can be requested from the student to confirm their enrollment in the Interdisciplinary Coop Education Program.

This letter may also be required by specific funding agencies to meet application requirements. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Below you will find detailed information from some of our most frequently asked questions to support your decision to hiring from the Interdisciplinary Co-op Education Program. If you have additional questions and would like to connect with a Co-op Advisor, please contact the Co-op Program Office. 

Yes. A position found outside of the Interdisciplinary Co-op Education job board will need approval by the Co-op Program Office and must satisfy the basic requirements for eligible co-op positions, which includes the ability to provide meaningful learning opportunities and whether the position is paid, full-time work. We will also verify that the student is enrolled and active in the Interdisciplinary Co-op Education Program. 

The Interdisciplinary Co-op Education Program is not a placement program, and community partner employers who post positions are not guaranteed to secure a Co-op student. Much like regular recruitment methods, Co-op is a competitive program; this means employers are able to select the best candidate for their position(s), and students can choose to apply for those position best suited to them. This means Co-op students are not guaranteed to find roles and must apply and complete the interview process as any job-seeker normally would.  

By joining the Interdisciplinary Co-op Education Program, students are required to complete Pre-employment & Career Readiness Training, which is designed to prepare students for their upcoming job search, interview process, and support their integration into their future co-op workplaces. This essential programming is unique to students engaging in co-op experiences. Successful completion of Pre-employment & Career Readiness Training is a requirement for co-op work term eligibility.  

The Interdisciplinary Co-op Education Program practitioners carefully design the curriculum ensuring relevant and current topics including: 

  • Resumé and cover letter writing skills 
  • Interview preparation 
  • Job search strategies 
  • Networking and professional relationship development 
  • Career management and career research strategies 
  • Professionalism and communication in the workplace 
  • Labour market information 
  • Workplace expectations and requirements 

Co-op students have exclusive access to an online job board of available opportunities and also have support to conduct an independent job search. 

If a student finds their own position during a self-search, that job must be approved by the Co-op Program Office to ensure it satisfies program requirements in order for it to be a registered co-op work experience. Which includes the ability to provide meaningful learning opportunities, a supported workplace with supervision and paid, full-time employment for a minimum of 420 hours and 12 weeks for each 4-month co-op work term. 

The UBC Okanagan Interdisciplinary Co-op Education Program Office provides personal and customized support for community partner employers looking to simplify the recruitment process. We are able to assist with scoping a project, developing the job description, or exploring wage subsidies specific to hiring a Co-op student. If you are seeking support throughout the posting process, please review the supports available throughout the recruitment process, and connect with us if we can be of assistance.  

Generally, we recommend posting anywhere and up to 4 months ahead of your position start which typically should be beginning of January, May or September each year. Students are actively job seeking during this period, and we recommend posting as early as possible to access the largest pool of candidates. 

Start and end dates can be somewhat flexible, but for a co-op work term to count on the student’s UBC record, the position must be a minimum of 420 hours and 12 weeks within one of the three academic terms UBC follows. 

While pay rates range largely dependent on industry specific standards and the role for which you are hoping to hire, and the qualifications required, the typical range we see for co-op work experiences posted with a pay range between $18 24 / hour. For more detailed information on co-op pay ranges by year, you are welcome to view our annual reports. 

As the Co-op Education Program at the UBC Okanagan campus is an interdisciplinary program, students from Arts, Fine Arts, Human Kinetics / Health & Exercise Science, Management, Media Studies, and Science will be able to view and apply for your posting(s). Students are encouraged to explore experiences they identify will challenge, provide relevance and instructive experience leading to new capabilities, and critical reflection. If you are interested in posting a role with other UBC Co-op Education Programs please visit: https://coop.ubc.ca/

There are many ways you can write an intriguing job description to capture the attention of eligible and available students. We invite you to view our Co-op Hiring Guide for detailed information on writing an inclusive job description, access a job description template, and more.  

A few key tips include: 

  • Ensure inclusive and accessible language is used throughout the posting 
  • Detail the supervision and mentorship provided throughout the work experience. 
  • Ensure a competitive salary for the industry and role for which you are hiring 
  • Provide details on your organization’s workplace culture 
  • Provide a detailed overview of the role, including student learning opportunities. This may include how the role will contribute the candidate’s personal and professional growth, and how that role will help your organization achieve its goals.  
  • Provide as much detail as you are able in regards to logistics of the role: start and end dates, working hours and hours per week, work arrangements (hybrid, remote, in-person). 
  • Highlight any benefits or unique experiences/events the student will experience during their time with you (travel, conferences, etc.) 

If you would like to post across various Co-op Programs at both UBC Vancouver and Okanagan campuses, please click here. 

If you are interested in other Co-op Programs at UBC Vancouver, you may explore them by clicking here.

Currently, Co-op students in the UBC Okanagan Interdisciplinary Co-op Education Program are unable to pursue experiences outside of Canada as we continue to work through the legalities and risks stemming and learned from the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Interdisciplinary Co-op Education continues to enhance, broaden and explore relationships with community and employer partners to collaborate and develop a wide range of meaningful work experiences for students. At this time, we are encouraging students to explore the many regionally based opportunities available. These curated regional experiences offer students the opportunity to broaden their network with employers and community locally, develop skills in-demand within the region, and build a resumé with experiences to support post-graduation career possibilities. 

Yes, the Co-op Program Office assists international students in applying for a co-op work permit at the start of a student’s job search process, so permits are already in place by the beginning of their work terms. This means that as the community partner employer, you do not have to support the student in applying or accessing their work permits. It is important to note that international students are not eligible to apply for federal government postings or positions that require government funding; however, there are hiring incentives and grants available that support the hiring of international students. 

On October 7, 2022, the federal government introduced a temporary measure to allow greater flexibility for international students to work in Canada. Learn More.  

As Co-op Education is a form of experiential learning, one of the main objectives is to engage the student in critical reflection. There are four assignments a student is required to complete during each term of co-op work experience. 

  • At the beginning of the co-op work term the student will establish learning goals that align with the objectives for the position. The student will submit these to the Co-op Program Office and is encouraged to connect with their workplace supervisor to ensure the goals are relevant, and tangible. This should be done within the first two weeks of the work term. 
  • Midway through the work term a representative from the Interdisciplinary Co-op Program Office will arrange a virtual mid-term meeting to discuss the student’s work progress and student work term assignment. This meeting involves about 30 minutes of the workplace supervisor’s time and 40 minutes time of the student.   
  • To assist student professional development, we ask that you complete an employer evaluation which assesses the student’s progress throughout their work term. We strongly recommend that you discuss this content with the student before they leave the workplace. At the end of the evaluation, you will be asked to provide an assessment of the student’s performance. Please note that an unsatisfactory evaluation means the student has failed their co-op work term. In addition, the student is required to complete a work term report / assignment. These projects help students develop writing skills or presentation experience and provide the employer and UBC with documentation of the students’ work term. Active engagement by employers is an important contribution to the student’s learning path. If the student chooses to present organization-specific content, such as a paper or a project, the student will require approval from the community partner employer in advance.   

Yes! If there is ever anything you need or questions you have while you are working with a student from the UBC Okanagan Interdisciplinary Co-op Education Program, please don’t hesitate to connect with one of our Co-op Advisors

Yes! The Co-op Program Office encourages community partner employers to use the program for longer-term recruitment purposes. If you would like to extend your student for another term, please connect in with the student directly and if both parties are agreeable to extend the student should notify the Co-op Program Office. You may then proceed with a contract extension as you normally would.  

If you would like to hire your student into a permanent position after their co-op work term, please keep in mind that as a part of this education programming, students are required to return to studies after completing their co-op work terms. As such, students may not have capacity to remain a full-time employee while balancing the remaining school work. We encourage you to consider this when engaging your student in this conversation.