Increased investment to improve the recruitment and development of young agricultural workers

As Canada slowly moves along the path to economic recovery, the contribution of youth seems more than ever to be a crucial factor in the equation.

With this in mind, funding for Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s (AAFC) Youth Employment and Skills Program, which provides a wage subsidy to employers who hire youth between 15 and 30 years of age for agricultural jobs, will increase to $21.4 million for 2021-2022.

The agri-food industry, already contending with a labour shortage before COVID-19 made the situation even worse, could therefore benefit from an improved program enabling it to hire and train nearly 2,000 workers for the future.

An effective program

AAFC’s Youth Employment and Skills Program received over $9 million in funding last year which resulted in the creation of approximately 1,000 internships, substantially more than the 700 initially projected for 2020-2021. Building on this success, the Program will now have a twice as ambitious budget.

These supported actions will contribute to guaranteeing youth, including those facing barriers, access to tools and opportunities which will assist them in acquiring meaningful work skills and experience while contributing to the economic growth of the agriculture and agri-food sector.

The Youth Employment and Skills Program (YESP) at a glance

Youth Employment and Skills Program is a matching contribution program (50/50 up to $14,000) aimed at helping farmers, food processors and agricultural related non-governmental organization provide career-related work experiences to youth in the agriculture sector.

The program offers 100% of costs for relocation to a maximum of $5,000 if the employee must relocate for the position.

Employers who are Indigenous individuals or organizations, or those employers who hire a youth facing barriers, are eligible to receive 80% of total eligible costs, up to a maximum of $14,000.

Youth facing barriers includes:

  • being Indigenous
  • living with a disability
  • living in a low-income household
  • being a single parent
  • residing in a remote location
  • living with family care responsibilities
  • coming out of, or have involvement with the justice system.

Expenses could include: critical transportation, assistance with dependents, accommodation needs, accessibility equipment/technology.

The Youth Employment and Skills Program is part of the Youth Employment and Skills Strategy, an initiative spearheaded by Employment and Social Development Canada.

For more about the Youth Employment and Skills Program and the Youth Employment and Skills Strategy, and apply now.


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