The Co-op Employment Program is one of the most successful ways of recruiting new talent into the BC Public Service. Nearly 1,500 regular employees started their careers through this program.


The Co-op Employment Program provides post-secondary students with a work placement in the BC Public Service that allows them to explore the public service and expand their skills and competencies by working on projects that augment their field of study.

Under the Co-op Employment Program, the nature of the work is aligned with the student’s academic discipline and significant emphasis is placed on training, learning, development, growth, support and mentoring.

Co-op work terms are typically 4-, 8- or 12-month auxiliary appointments to align with the post-secondary trimester system:

Winter: January to April

Summer: May to August

Fall: September to December


ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA: To be eligible for the BC Public Service Co-op Employment Program:

  •     Co-op students must be enrolled in a recognized co-operative education program at an accredited co-op institution
  •     Students enrolled in an accredited co-op program outside of B.C. are also eligible for the BC Public Service Co-op Employment Program

Although co-op employees participating in the co-op program are BC Public Service employees, the co-op component of a student’s degree forms part of their formal education (for example: each co-op work term is worth academic credit). Students who are not enrolled in a cooperative education program at their post-secondary institution are not eligible for the co-op program with the BC Public Service.

The Youth Employment Program is an alternative employment program that provides students not registered in a cooperative education program with an opportunity to gain practical work experience in the BC Public Service.

Students who complete a co-op work term with the BC Public Service may apply to the Pacific Leaders Tuition Grants for Co-op Employees Program.

Under this program, co-op employees may be reimbursed up to a maximum of $1,000 per 4-month work term under the BC Public Service’s co-op program to cover the cost of their co-op work term tuition fee.