Summer Students

Summer Student Employment Program

The GNWT supports northern post-secondary students in their pursuit of a higher education by offering a summer work opportunity.  Students gain valuable work experience to enhance their employment prospects upon graduation.

Northern post-secondary school students are hired as casual employees between April 15 and August 15. During this time period, students are given a higher priority over non-student applicants for casual positions. 

Applications for the Summer Student Program are accepted beginning December 1st.

Summer Student Eligibility

Summer student placements are available to northern students. A northern student is an individual who is currently enrolled in a full time post-secondary institution or has been accepted to begin full time post-secondary studies 4 months prior to or following the summer student hiring period. The applicant must also fall within one of the following designated groups:

  • Indigenous Aboriginal Persons means those persons who are descendants of the Dene, Inuit or Metis people, indigenous to the present boundaries of the Northwest Territories and includes any aboriginal persons resident at birth pursuant to Section 7.1 of the Vital Statistics Act and any Canadian aboriginal persons who have lived more than half of their life in the Northwest Territories.
  • Indigenous Non-Aboriginal Persons are non-aboriginal persons born in the Northwest Territories or who have lived more than half their life in the Northwest Territories.
  • Ordinarily Resident the term “ordinarily” is used for residency and determines if a person is eligible for the Summer Student Program. Our current definition of ordinarily resident is:
    1. Actually residing in the NWT for a 12 continuous months or more (not in full-time postsecondary studies),
    2. The person, or his/her spouse, is temporarily posted in a place of employment outside of the NWT, where the place of business is in the NWT. (There is no definition of temporary. Our current practice is 2 years or less. As well, we are also applying a medical condition untreatable in the NWT as a temporary absence – acceptable proof must be included.),
    3. The person, or his/her spouse, is in full-time approved postsecondary studies and was considered actually or ordinarily resident before they left the NWT, and/or
    4. The person is in K-12 outside of the NWT where the parent who ordinarily resides with the person is actually a resident of the NWT under a), b) or c). 

Note: If you have been out of the NWT for more than 12 continuous months, but you have not resided in one specific province, territory or country for 12 continuous months, you are still considered ordinarily resident of the NWT.

How to Apply

  1. Submit your cover letter, and a current copy of your resume through the Summer Student Employment Program posting listed on our Current Openings (available December 1 to August 15)
  2. You will be required to provide proof of full-time registration in a post-secondary institution, as well as proof of your Affirmative Action status, if applicable. 
  3. You will be notified by email once all documentation has been received, and your registration is complete. 

Helpful Hints for your Application

In order for your application to be considered, your cover letter and resume MUST INCLUDE the following information.

  • Your field of study (Education), type of certification (Diploma/Degree) and the number of years you have completed in your program.
  • Your updated contact information including your email address, phone number and address at school AND your permanent NORTHERN residence.
  • Your affirmative action status, if applicable.

Did you know that the GNWT offers opportunities to Summer Students who can speak multiple languages? If you are able to speak more than one of the 11 official languages of the Northwest Territories, please identify which languages in your application.

If you would like assistance with your application and/or resume and cover letter please contact

How the Summer Student Employment Program Works

Once all of the required documentation has been received, registered Summer Students are placed on the program database. Hiring managers review this database in accordance with the Affirmative Action policy, field of study, etc. Students will be contacted by hiring departments directly if a potential match is found.

Students are encouraged to be proactive in their search for employment with the GNWT by networking with departments related to their field of study. You can research the GNWT to find departments with units and divisions related to your field of study.  Approach managers directly, indicating you are interested in working for their department. Hiring is based on the individual needs of departments, boards and agencies, so managers will contact students directly if an opportunity arises.