Frequently Asked Questions:

Why should a company hire a student for a temporary placement?

Temporary student placements provide businesses with skilled workers to support their ongoing business needs, new initiatives, and work projects. It also creates and sustains a talent pipeline for future employees with the skills necessary for the food processing industry. 

What does Food Futures provide?

Receive wage subsidies of 50% of wages paid, up to $5,000 per placement. 

When are the deadlines to apply for a Food Futures placement?

There are no deadlines to submit placement applications to the program. Placement approvals are dependent on remaining funds for each program year (Jan 1 - Dec 31), and Food Futures has received funding until the end of 2025. 

How does my company get involved with the Food Futures program?

Applying to Food Futures is easy. The best way to start is by filling out an Employer Application to get in our system. Placement applications can be submitted at anytime. 

How long does it take for my application to be processed?

Once we have received all applications for a placement (i.e. Employer, Placement, and Student Applications have been submitted), your application will typically be processed in 2-5 business days.

What job positions are eligible for placements?

Placements can be in any area relevant to the industry, including but not limited to: nutrition and food science, agriculture, technologists, accounting and finance, human resources, IT, logistics, safety, web development, engineering, business, etc. 

Students hired on WIL placements must be registered at a recognized Alberta post-secondary institution and the placement must provide meaningful work experience relevant to their area of study.

Can I get wage subsidies for more than one placement?

Yes. You can submit multiple placements to Food Futures and receive a 50% wage subsidy up to $5,000 for each student placement.

Do I have to fill out the Employer Application each time I want to submit a student placement?

No. You only have to fill out the Employer Application once as long as your point-of-contact and company information hasn’t changed. You may submit new Placement Applications at any time.

I already have a student I want to hire, how do I apply for a wage subsidy?

We encourage employers to bring their own student candidates to the program. If you already have a student candidate, please fill out the Placement Application for each different placement, then ask your student to fill out the Student Application form so we can confirm their eligibility.

How do I find qualified students?

Employers are encouraged to use their usual recruitment channels to hire students. Employers may also contact the Co-op/Career Services department in nearby post-secondary institutions. Many academic institutions have dedicated job board portals and career events to facilitate the recruitment process. If you have questions on how to navigate these resources, please ask a program specialist for more information.

Who selects the student for a work placement?

The employer is responsible to arrange interviews and make all hiring negotiations/decisions with student candidates. 

How much should a student be paid?

You must pay students at least the Alberta minimum wage. We ask that employers pay a fair and reasonable wage, based on industry standards. Remember that competitive wages will attract more talent.

Can an employer receive a wage subsidy for a recent graduate?

Yes, Food Futures can support student placements for recent graduates if their placement starts within 12 months of graduation.

Can Food Futures support a student in an apprenticeship program?

No, traditional apprentice positions are not supported by the Food Futures program.

Can Food Futures support international students?

Yes. We can support any student who is attending an Alberta post-secondary institution, resides in Alberta, and is legally allowed to work in Alberta.

Can Food Futures support high school students?

No, this wage subsidy is only for Albera post-secondary students.

Can I hire the same student more than once?

No, all eligible WIL Placements should be a one-time funding opportunity (i.e. have not previously received WIL funding).  

One of my current employees is a post-secondary student—can I apply for a placement for their position?

Yes. We do allow current employees to be submitted to the program if they are current post-secondary students and fit all other eligibility requirements. Reimbursement will be calculated based on wages paid after the date of approval.

I am looking for a new permanent employee, can they be submitted for a Food Futures placement?

Food Futures supports temporary student placements. If you are looking for permanent employees, please consider a temporary placement as a trial period for new hires to receive support from our program.

If an employer hires a student as an independent contractor, are they eligible for Food Futures?

No, the student must be hired as an employee of the firm and have equal rights and obligations as other employees.

When do I receive my wage subsidy reimbursement?

Reimbursements are made after the completion of each Food Futures placement. After a placement concludes we will request proof of wages, feedback on how the placement went, and information to process an Electronic Funds Transfer for your reimbursement. Payments are generally processed within 4 weeks of being submitted by the Alberta Food Processors Association.

Is a placement eligible for a Food Futures placement if they also receive subsidies from a federal grant (such as a SWPP WIL program)?

All employers are encouraged to leverage any federal funding programs available to them to help offset the cost of the employer’s share of the WIL placement.