Canadian Government Programs Offering...

Canadian Government Programs Offering Short-Term Work for Students

by Sarah Leung
Jobs People Do | JobsPeopleDo.com

For many, summer means a vacation before school resumes in the fall. Some students see a break as an opportunity to find work. Luckily, the Canadian government provides some programs catered towards students looking for short-term work in between schooling.

Canada Summer Jobs

Under the Government of Canada’s Youth Employment and Skills Strategy (YESS) program, Canada Summer Jobs provides youth aged 15-30 employment during the summer. The program aims to help younger Canadians smoothly transition into the workforce. These jobs start in April at the earliest, and end in early September at the latest. Youth within this program receive safe, inclusive, and healthy work environments.


  • Must be between 15-30 years old at the beginning of the employment period
  • Must be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or a person with refugee protection under the Immigration and Refugee Protection act during employment
  • Must have a valid Social Insurance Number (SIN), and be legally able to work in Canada

Young Canada Works (YCK)

Young Canada Works (YCK) is a government job program open to high school, college, CEGEP, and university students. YCK offers short-term jobs through two programs that help students earn work experience and skills, and explore various regions within Canada.

Youth Canada Works in Heritage Organizations (YCWHO)

The YCWHO program employs students aged 16-30 in positions related to Canadian heritage. This includes jobs helping heritage organizations such as museums and libraries. The program ranges from 6-16 weeks for full-time work, but it also offers part-time.

Young Canada Works in Both Official Languages (YCWBOL)

The YCWBOL program allows students aged 15-30 to hone their language skills while working. Students will use their first or second language in an official language minority community. This program requires a working knowledge of both English and French. According to the University of Western Ontario, working knowledge means discussing comfortably about topics necessary for workplaces.

The Senate of Canada’s Student Employment Program

For students in Ottawa, the Senate offers employment and COOP opportunities during the school year and the summer. Students will spend time in or near Parliament Hill gaining useful skills.

Fields of work include:

  • Communication
  • Finance and procurement
  • Human resources
  • Information management
  • Legislative services


For student employment or COOP, students must:

  • Be at least 17 years old
  • Be an official full-time student in a recognized secondary or post-secondary institution, or enrolled in full-time students for the fall
  • Be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident

COOP opportunities place students in their field of study for 16 weeks during one of these time periods:

  • September to December
  • January to April
  • May to late August

Student employment during the school year or summer (early May to late August) places students in either part-time or full-time positions. The senate calculates wages based on criteria such as relevant work experience and years of study.

These government employment programs for students expose individuals to unique experiences while improving their skillsets and knowledge about Canadian culture. By engaging through Canadian heritage organizations, working in both official languages, or working at the Senate itself, Canadian students can explore a variety of options for short-term work.

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