School-Work Transition Programs


School-work Transition Programs are specialized programs that prepare students for employment or self-employment. These programs include both in-school and work-based experiences, including job shadowing / job twinning, work experience, cooperative education, and in-depth skills training and require the involvement of employers in their development and delivery. These programs may provide advanced standing or additional certification for students in apprenticeship and skills certification programs.

School-work Transition Programs consist of a number of courses that prepare students to meet the requirements of a specific occupation or apprenticeship. Initially, a combination of courses that include opportunities for career exploration through job shadowing and work experience is appropriate. Later, students receive more in-depth training through courses oriented towards their post-secondary education or workplace destinations and through skill development obtained through cooperative education placements that relate directly to their chosen careers.

Health & Safety

Health and Safety instruction for students participating in School-work Transition Programs and work experience is the shared responsibility of the teacher and the placement supervisor. Students in specialized placements such as medical institutions, or those participating in the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP) will have specific safety guidelines they will have to adhere to in order to be eligible to participate.

Insurance Coverage

Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB)
Most students participating in work education programs such as School-work Transition Programs and Cooperative Education Programs are covered under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997. To ensure coverage, a Ministry of Education Work Education Agreement form must be completed and signed by all parties prior to student placement. This insurance coverage, arranged through the Ministry of Education, applies only to the hours stated on the Work Education Agreement. If an amendment to the hours stated on the Work Education Agreement is required, a note (signed by all parties) must be appended to the Work Education Agreement Form in order to ensure insurance coverage for the student. It is the student’s responsibility to obtain this approval.

A Work Education Agreement form must be completed for students who are observing at the same placement for more than one day in a job shadowing or “job twinning” experience and who are involved in hands-on work, provided that they are at least fourteen years of age. Coverage is not provided for students under fourteen. Job shadowing or job twinning experiences lasting one day should be treated as field trips.

Students, who in special circumstances receive an hourly wage or salary, must be covered by the employer for Workplace Safety and Insurance Act coverage.

If students stay at their placement beyond the hours stated on their Work Education Agreement and become part-time or full-time employees of the placement and are paid, Workplace Safety and Insurance coverage becomes the responsibility of the employer. The student should ensure that this coverage is in place, as these hours are outside of the credit-earning program.

Liability Insurance
Students and training organizations are insured against a lawsuit arising out of the negligence of the student while performing the duties of the co-op placement. The Board does not cover personal injuries to the student.

Student Accident Insurance
Student Accident Insurance is made available to all York Region District School Board students. This insurance is optional and is paid for by students and parents. All Cooperative Education students are strongly encouraged to purchase a policy.


Students do not normally receive a salary or wage for the hours stated on their Work Education Agreement as this is an education program in which students earn credits. Students, however, are permitted to receive an honorarium or an expense and/or transportation allowance from their placement.

If students stay at their placement beyond the hours specified on the Work Education Form, they may be hired as employees and paid. Such an arrangement shall not involve the school or the teacher.

For more information about School-work Transition Programs, see the Community Based Education Head or Guidance/Career Education Head in your school.

For employers interested in participating in these programs click here.