It’s that time of year again! For many students across the country, September is the month for back-to-school. This can also mean good news for your business.

With co-operative education (co-op) programs increasing in popularity at various post-secondary institutions,now may be the perfect time to consider taking advantage of the tax credits and the many other benefits offered for hiring students.

If your company qualifies for the Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) tax credits offered by the federal government, a co-op student hired to work on the research can have their salary included in the tax credits. Moreover, there are also provincial tax credits available for hiring co-op students. Consider the example of Ontario, in which employers that hire co-op students are offered what is known as the Cooperative Education Tax Credit (CTEC). This credit, a maximum of $3000, is offered to businesses in order to compensate for hiring students from post-secondary co-op programs for a work placement of a minimum of ten weeks and a maximum of four months. To claim this tax credit as a corporation, this corporation must simply fill out a Schedule T2SCH550 form and file it with their T2 Corporation Income Tax Return. If an unincorporated business, the credit may be claimed on Form ON479 as a part of personal income.

Businesses have the opportunity to scout future employees.

Of course, tax-benefits are just one of the many reasons in favour of hiring co-op students.

The majority of employers who hire co-op students love the enthusiasm and great attitude they see in their students. In addition, for many businesses, the hiring of co-op students is an opportunity to inject new skill sets into their organization and often use co-op programs as an efficient means to develop talented employees for the future. In hiring co-op students, businesses have the opportunity to scout future employees and assess their abilities without making any commitments.

So – thinking you could use some extra help in your business?

May be a good time to revisit your old campus and see what co-op programs are out there!