The Government of Canada is inviting applications for its Youth Employment and Skills Program (YESP) that will contribute approximately $13 million to projects that employ youth and youth facing barriers.
Each project will be eligible to receive up to $14,000 in matching funds to employ one (1) employee. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada is one of several Government of Canada departments participating in the Youth Employment and Skills Strategy.
- The program offers support for 50% of wages to a maximum of $14,000. If approved, the following employers are eligible to receive 80% of total eligible costs, up to a maximum of $14,000:
- Indigenous individuals or organizations.
- Employers who hire a youth facing barriers.
- The program can also provide up to $5,000 in additional support to offset the employment barrier faced by the employee hired.
- If a youth facing barriers must relocate within Canada, reasonable expenses directly related to the relocation may also be eligible. Barrier-related expenses cannot exceed $5,000 and will be supported at 80%. Non-barrier youth may also be eligible for pre-approved relocation costs at the 50% funding level to a maximum of $5,000.
- Projects must start no earlier than April 1, 2023 and must be completed by March 31, 2024. The project start date can be adjusted to the employee’s 15th birthday.
- Projects must offer the employee agricultural work that is of a meaningful length (generally 2 months or more). If you have recently hired youth (within 3 months of application date), you may claim costs starting April 1, 2023.
- All projects must comply with the Impact Assessment Act (Justice Canada) (IAA 2019).
- Examples of projects include:
- Farmers who wish to hire farm workers to plant and harvest crops or manage livestock.
- Agricultural businesses, such as greenhouses, orchards, vineyards, or vegetable producers who have labor needs.
- Small businesses who supply agricultural products or services.
- Food processors in need of labor.
- Eligibility for Employers
- Employers must meet all of the following criteria to be eligible.
- You are an agricultural-related organization who can offer opportunities that will give youth agriculture career-related work experiences and skills in Canada.
- Examples of agricultural-related organizations.
- Types of eligible organizations.
- You are a legal entity capable of entering into legal binding agreements.
- You are responsible for hiring and verifying the eligibility of participants for the Youth Employment and Skills Program (YESP) activities.
- You assign only one employee to each project (the employee may be hired for all kinds of employment statuses [part-time, full-time, casual, seasonal, etc.])
- You cannot hire yourself for a project (for example, sole proprietors cannot be the employer and employee).
- Eligibility Employees
- Employees must meet all of the following criteria to be eligible.
- The employee is between the ages of 15 and 30 (inclusive) at the project start date.
- The employee is unemployed or underemployed.
- The program’s definition of “underemployed” includes:
- The employee is a Canadian citizen, permanent resident of Canada or a status refugee under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.
- The employee does not receive Employment Insurance (EI) during the project period.
For more information, visit Government of Canada.