Summer Temporary Employment Program (STEP)
Eligible organizations can apply for a wage subsidy to hire high school or post-secondary students into summer jobs.
The minimum wage goes up to $15/hour on October 1.
The application period for STEP 2018 is now closed.
Employers approved for STEP 2018 must submit their completion forms (Form C) within 30 days of the last STEP position ending.
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 $13.60 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
Each position can only be subsidized by one provincial or federal government source. Employers cannot access STEP and other programs such as Canada Summer Jobs or Young Canada Works for the same student.
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 2018: STEP 2018 Opens
- Apply using Employer Application Form (Form A)
February 2018: STEP 2018 Closes
April 2018: Students Hired
- Apply using Student Hiring Application Form (Form B)
May 1, 2018: Summer positions start
June 15, 2018: Due date for submitting Student Hiring Application Form (Form B)
August 31, 2018: Summer positions end
September 30, 2018: 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 Métis 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.
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.
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
Trouble opening PDF forms?
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- Launch Adobe Reader.
- Open the PDF from within Adobe Reader. You can now fill and save your form.
The application period for STEP 2018 is now closed. STEP will open again in early 2019.
Step 3. Mail the application
Mail the completed and signed form to:
PO Box 1016
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 2M1
STEP cannot accept forms by courier.
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 email@example.com 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) (PDF, 176 KB) and mail it a minimum of 2 weeks before position start date.
When a student’s employment ends
When the student is finished their summer job, you must submit the Completion Form (Form C) (PDF, 137 KB) within 30 days.
If a student quits early
You can find a new student to hire and submit a new Student Hiring Form (Form B) with an attached explanation as soon as possible.
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
To connect with STEP: