STEP Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

When can employers apply for STEP?

STEP timelines have been adjusted this year to improve the application process for employers. Applications for STEP will be available on January 4, 2018 and the deadline for submission is February 9, 2018. Important program updates and information will be posted to this website.

What has changed for STEP this year?

STEP has launched earlier this year in order to provide employers with more time to hire a quality student employee. Please note the application deadline for STEP 2018 is February 9, 2018. Successful applicants will be notified by email.


What types of employers are eligible for STEP?

Employers eligible to apply for STEP summer jobs are small businesses (1-49 employees), non-profit organizations, public libraries, municipalities, school boards, First Nations, Métis Settlements, and publicly-funded post-secondary institutions.

Why can’t businesses with 50 employees or more apply?

Part of STEP’s intent is to support the growing needs of small businesses in Alberta.

Why are franchises and corporately-owned chains excluded when other small businesses are eligible?

The primary intent of STEP is to provide valuable work experience opportunities for high school and post-secondary students. We want the work experience offered to help build student’s skills and also encourage employers to offer work experiences outside of what students can typically access.

Who is eligible to participate as an employee in a summer job?

The program is available to current students 15 and older, who reside and/or attend school in Alberta and will be returning full-time to high-school or a post-secondary institution no later than November 1, 2018. To be eligible, a student must be an Alberta resident, and a Canadian citizen, permanent resident or a protected person under the Canadian Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, who is legally allowed to work and study in Canada.

The potential employees cannot be currently employed with the organization in a paid capacity or related to the organization’s owners or staff responsible for hiring.

What types of positions are eligible?

One of STEP’s goals is to help prepare Alberta students with the skills and experience they need to succeed in the workforce. Full-time positions (minimum of 30 hours/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 (e.g. co-ops, employer internships).

Can I access other government funding while receiving funding for STEP?

Employers cannot receive other funding by provincial or federal government sources (e.g. Canada Summer Jobs) to subsidize the wages of a STEP employee. However, employers can access training funds for the employee through other programs, such as the Canada-Alberta Job Grant, if they meet the other programs’ eligibility requirements.

How is STEP different from Canada Summer Jobs?

STEP is a Government of Alberta program and Canada Summer Jobs is a federal program. Both support student summer employment, however the eligibility requirements and funding amounts differ. More information about Canada Summer Jobs can be found at

How will summer jobs be distributed among employers?

All applications received by the application deadline will be considered. Different levels of funding may be allocated based on employer-types (e.g. small businesses, non-profit organizations, etc.). Within those employer types, applications will be assessed to ensure there are benefits regionally across the province.

Is there a maximum amount of summer jobs an employer can have?

Yes, STEP has caps on the number of summer jobs a single employer can have per year. Caps vary in number by the type and the size of the employer applying. Please refer to the STEP Guidelines for details.

How much does an employer have to pay to a STEP employee?

Employers are encouraged to pay an appropriate wage based on the type of position, but must pay at least minimum wage (currently $13.60/hour) for a STEP employee.

How do I find a student for this program?

It is up to employers to find students they would like to hire through STEP. In addition to existing recruitment channels, employers can also post their employment opportunities on the Job Bank (

How can an employer get more information on STEP?

In addition to employers can sign up for our email subscription service to receive monthly updates on tools and resources to help you plan, recruit, and retain your workforce, including updates on STEP and other initiatives at

Employers may also contact the Government of Alberta for more information at:

Phone: 1-780-638-4727
Toll Free: 1-866-338-4727