STEP has been reviewed as part of Budget 2019: A plan for jobs and the economy and will not be accepting applications for 2020. STEP 2019 will continue to process and pay out completion applications to finish out the 2019 year for employers who made deadlines and are eligible.
STEP will no longer be using paper forms. STEP will only accept 2019 applications online through Labour’s Workforce Grants Portal.
STEP Employer Application (Form A) deadline: February 8, 2019.
STEP Student Hiring Application (Form B) due date: June 15, 2019.
STEP Employer Completion Form (Form C) due date: Sept 30, 2019.
The Summer Temporary Employment Program (STEP) provides funding to eligible Alberta employers to hire high school or post-secondary students into summer jobs from May to August.
Summer positions created through STEP provide students with the opportunity to build meaningful work experience, increase their skills, gain workplace insight and help prepare them for the future.
It is up to employers to find students they would like to hire through STEP.
For more information, see the STEP Guidelines.
Funding and wages
The Government of Alberta will provide an employer with a wage subsidy of $7 per hour for a minimum of 30 hours per week (on average) and a maximum of 37.5 hours per week.
Employers are encouraged to pay an appropriate wage based on the type of position, but must pay at least minimum wage (currently $15.00 per hour) for a STEP employee.
The wage subsidy is paid at the end of a student’s employment, once the employer has submitted a completion form (Form C).
Accessing other government funding
If approved for STEP funding, the employer cannot accept any other federal, provincial or municipal government financial contributions for wage subsidies for the same STEP position, regardless of time period.
However, employers can access training funds for the employee through other programs, such as the Canada-Alberta Job Grant, if they meet the other program’s eligibility requirements.
January 2019: STEP 2019 Opens
- Apply using Employer Application Form (Form A)
February 8, 2019: STEP 2019 Closes
April 2019: Students Hired
- Apply using Student Hiring Application Form (Form B)
May 1, 2019: Summer positions start
June 15, 2019: Due date for submitting Student Hiring Application Form (Form B)
August 31, 2019: Summer positions end
September 30, 2019: Due date for submitting Completion Forms (Form C)
|Eligible employer types||STEP positions per year|
|Small businesses excluding franchises and corporately owned chains (1 to 49 employees only)||3|
|School boards (Public, Separate, Francophone)||2 to 5*|
|Municipalities, First Nations, and Metis Settlements||2 to 40*|
|Publicly funded post-secondary institutions in Alberta||10 to 35*|
* Number of STEP allocations is based on size of organization. See the STEP Guidelines for details.
The following employers are not eligible for STEP:
- federal or provincial governments, including legislative assembly and constituency offices
- political parties and organizations that are affiliated with a party or group with a political mandate
- medium (50 to 499 employees) and large (500+ employees) sized businesses
- franchises and corporately-owned chains
- publicly funded organizations including but not limited to emergency services (such as police, firefighters, etc.) and health care providers (such as hospitals, long-term care facilities, etc.)
- provincial or federal Crown agencies, boards, and commissions or corporations
Full-time positions (minimum of 30 hours per week) of any skill level are eligible for the grant, except for apprenticeship trades and occupations.
The employment standards website has some information on youth employment laws that contains information on youth between 16 and 17 years of age.
STEP positions cannot fund existing employment programs and placements (such as co-ops and employer internships). Students in a co-op work term are registered in programs approved under the Post-secondary Learning Act and the work placement is part of their program. STEP students are working a summer job which isn’t a part of their program.
Contracted positions are not eligible for STEP. Students must be directly employed by the employer and paid from their payroll.
Employers can hire students under the STEP program if they:
- are at least 15 years old
- are a Canadian citizen, a permanent resident, or protected person under the Canadian Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and legally entitled to work and study in Canada
- reside or attend school in Alberta with an Alberta address
- are returning to high school or a post-secondary institution no later than November 1
- are enrolled in a program that will result in a Certificate, Diploma, or Degree
- technical training for an Apprenticeship is not eligible
- are available for full-time summer employment
- participate in only one STEP position during the summer
- are not currently employed in the organization
- are not immediately related to the owners or staff responsible for hiring in the organization
See the STEP Guidelines for complete criteria.
International students and Temporary Foreign Workers are not eligible for STEP.
How to apply
Step 1. Read the guidelines
Step 2. Complete the forms
Access Labour’s Workforce Grants Portal to complete the forms.
After you apply
The following considerations will be applied when assessing STEP applications:
- an eligible application does not guarantee funding
- applications will be assessed by employer types as the program allocates different levels of funding
- applications will be assessed by region to ensure there are STEP positions throughout the province
- applications will be assessed on a first-come, first-serve basis, if required
All decisions regarding the eligibility of the employers, students and reimbursable costs will be made by the Ministry of Labour (“Ministry”) at the Ministry’s sole discretion.
Finding a student to hire
It is up to employers to find students they would like to hire through STEP. Employers can post their employment opportunities on the Job Bank.
If you don’t find a student to hire, you can withdraw from STEP. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your reference number and the reason for the withdrawal.
After a student is hired
Once you have hired a student employee, you must fill out the STEP Student Hiring Application (Form B) by accessing Labour’s Workforce Grants Portal and submitting the online Form B a minimum of 2 weeks before position start date.
Providing payment information
The Government of Alberta's preferred method of payment is Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT). It is a faster and more secure way to ensure your company is reimbursed without error. If you wish to receive payment by way of an EFT, you must upload the Request for EFT – Direct Deposit form (PDF, 131 KB) along with a void cheque into Labour’s Workforce Grants Portal after submitting your Student Hiring Application (Form B).
When a student’s employment ends
When the last student is finished their summer job, you must submit one online Employer Completion Form (Form C) for all STEP students within 30 days. To submit a Completion Form, Form C, please access Labour’s Workforce Grants Portal.
You can find a new student to hire and replace the one who has quit. For more details, please contact STEP.
Labour’s Workforce Grants Portal
Labour’s Workforce Grants Portal allows employers to:
- Apply for the Summer Temporary Employment Program (STEP)
- Submit Forms A, B and C
- View application status
- Upload documents to application
- Update company information
To access the Labour’s Workforce Grants Portal
- You must have a MyAlberta Digital ID for Business account
- MyAlberta Digital ID for Business is used for logging into Labour’s Workforce Grants Portal. If you already have an account, please use the same username and password to access Labour’s Workforce Grants Portal.
- First time users will need to create an account. You will be given the option when you try to access the portal. Please use the Creating a MyAlberta Digital ID for Business document (PDF, 599 KB) to guide you.
Resources for employers
The resources below will help you find, develop and retain your STEP student.
- Job attraction and retention articles
- Attracting Staff in Rural Alberta
- Orientation checklist
- X-treme Safety
- Learn How To Be An Effective Mentor
- Eight Great Ways to Develop Your Employees
- Bridging the Generation Gaps at Work
- Employment Standards youth page
Alberta Workforce Information
Subscribe to the Alberta Workforce Information mailing list for the latest updates on STEP and receive information about:
- hiring in Alberta;
- labour information and how to use it;
- changes and updates to employer programs and services; and
- retaining employees through development and training programs.
Connect with STEP: