This release was issued under a previous government.

Summer employment program creates 3,000 jobs for students

STEP student Darian Neufeld shows Minister Gray some of the colourful plants growing in the Arch Enterprises greenhouse in Edmonton.

The program gives young Albertans the opportunity to develop important job skills while helping employers hire the staff they need. Eligible Alberta employers receive a $7-per-hour wage subsidy to hire students for summer jobs from May to August.

“Our government is proud to help students gain the skills and work experience they need to get good jobs while connecting employers with the next generation of bright and eager Albertans. This program will give between 2,500 and 3,000 students a competitive edge as they enter the workforce.”  

Christina Gray, Minister of Labour

Last year, STEP helped approximately 2,700 students acquire work experience with more than 1,100 employers across the province. Minor administrative changes were made this year to improve the application process, making it simpler for employers to hire multiple students under the program.

“It is terrific to have STEP students working at Arch Enterprises once again this year. They are a great addition to our team and do a fantastic job, whether helping our greenhouse customers or supporting an individual with a disability to achieve greater independence and connection with their community.”

Maggi Hegan, director of program services, Arch Enterprises

"Being involved with STEP has truly enhanced my experience as a student. It led to continued part-time employment with Arch Enterprises throughout the following school year. The opportunity to expand my skill set while working for an organization providing services to people with disabilities was a valuable and rewarding experience for which I am grateful."

Jade Arbuckle, 2016 STEP student

STEP is a four- to 16-week wage subsidy program available to small businesses, non-profit organizations, public libraries, school boards, publicly funded post-secondary institutions, municipalities, First Nations and Métis settlements.

The program was restored in 2015 after being cut in March 2013 by the previous government. Budget 2017 has $10 million budgeted for STEP.

To find out more about this program, please visit

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