Youth Employment and Skills Program: Applicant guide

Applicant guide

Purpose of this guide

This guide will:

  • help you determine if you may be eligible for funding from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) under the Youth Employment and Skills Program (YESP)
  • provide you with instructions and explanations to help you complete the application form

1.0 About the Youth Employment and Skills Program

AAFC is one of several Government of Canada departments participating in the Youth Employment and Skills Strategy (YESS). At AAFC, the YESP will contribute approximately $3.7 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.

If approved, the following employers are eligible to receive 80% of total eligible costs, up to a maximum of $14,000:

For 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 is required to 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%.

Applications will be reviewed on a priority basis relative to the barrier faced by the employee that is expected to be hired, as indicated by the Applicant on the application form. Refer to section 2.2 for a full list of barriers. Projects may also be prioritized by submission time to equitably distribute funding.

2.0 Eligibility

Projects may start no earlier than April 1, 2022 and must be completed by March 31, 2023. Projects must be a meaningful length of 3 months or more. Applicants who have recently hired youth may claim costs starting April 1, 2022.

Eligible applicants must be legal entities capable of entering into legally binding agreements.

2.1 Eligible employers

Eligible employers are agricultural related organizations such as farmers, food processors and agricultural related non-governmental organizations (NGOs) who can offer opportunities that will give youth agriculture career-related work experiences and skills in Canada.

These organizations may be from:

  • industry
  • not-for-profit organizations
  • provincial and municipal governments
  • associations
  • boards
  • councils
  • universities

2.2 Eligible employees

Eligible employers are responsible for hiring and verifying the eligibility of participants for the YESP activities. Only one (1) employee may be assigned to each project. The employee may be hired for all kinds of employment statuses (part-time, full-time, casual, seasonal, etc.). To qualify, the employee must be:

  • between the ages of 15 and 30 inclusive when the project started
  • unemployed or underemployed. Underemployed includes:
    • students or individuals who are currently employed and are taking on significantly greater responsibilities and complexity in their employment duties or more hours of work during the project.
    • those who are occupying a position for which they are overqualified, as per their education.
  • a Canadian citizen, permanent resident of Canada or a refugee under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act
  • not in receipt of Employment Insurance during the work term

Youth facing barriers

Applications will be prioritized based on the intention of the Applicant to hire youth facing employment barriers. Youth facing barriers includes:

  • Indigenous
  • living with a physical disability
  • living with a diagnosed mental health disability
  • visible minorities
  • recent immigrants (within 5 years)
  • living in a low income household
  • being a single parent
  • residing in a remote location
  • being an early school leaver

Funding is limited and preference will be given to projects that employ youth facing barriers.

In instances where an employee is not able to complete the project for which they were hired, the employer may request to hire a second youth to complete the project. The eligibility of the additional participant must be verified by the program. The employment periods for each individual may not overlap.

2.3 Eligible projects

Projects may start no earlier than April 1, 2022 and must be completed by March 31, 2023. Projects must offer the employee agricultural work that is of meaningful length of 3 months or more. Applicants who have recently hired youth may claim costs starting April 1, 2022.

Maximum funding amount

Each project will be eligible to receive up to $14,000 in matching funds.

The following employers are eligible to receive 80% of total eligible costs, up to a maximum of $14,000:

An additional $5,000 of funding is available to offset the expenses related to addressing the employee's barrier, supported at 80% to a maximum of $5000. These expenses could include critical transportation, relocation, assistance with dependents, accommodation needs, accessibility equipment/technology etc. See section 2.2 for a list of specific barriers.

2.4 Eligible activities

Eligible activities include agricultural employment for an eligible employee (section 2.2). Projects may start no earlier than April 1, 2022 and must be completed by March 31, 2023. Projects must offer the employee agricultural work that is of meaningful length of 3 months or more. Applicants who have recently hired youth, may claim costs starting April 1, 2022.

Examples of typical projects include:

  • farmers who wish to hire farm workers for planting and harvesting crops or managing 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

2.5 Eligible costs

Program funds may be allocated for salaries and social benefits. Social benefits paid to the employee, such as health benefits and vacation pay, are eligible expenses. Employer's contributions to benefits programs, such as CPP and EI, and in Quebec, QPP, QPIP, CNESST, and the Health Services Fund, are eligible expenses.

If the employee is a youth facing barriers, the Applicant is eligible to claim pre-approved expenses related to addressing the employee's barrier, supported at 80% to a maximum of $5,000. These expenses could include critical transportation, relocation, assistance with dependents, accommodation needs, accessibility equipment/technology, etc. All expenses claimed by the Applicant must involve a cash payment. Taxes paid by the employer for barrier-related expenses are not eligible for reimbursement through the program.

Ineligible costs or limitations

Costs associated with youth facing barriers must be within the limits reasonably expected by employers to accommodate such youth. Applicants will be limited to a maximum of two applications per Applicant but AAFC reserves the right to adjust this limitation.

Please note that even if a project meets all eligibility criteria, the submission of an application creates no obligation on the part of the Minister or of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada officials to provide funding for the proposed project. The Minister retains discretion to determine, based on other public policy and public interest considerations, whether an application that meets the criteria identified in this guide will ultimately receive funding.

3.0 Application deadline

Employers could apply between February 28, 2022 and March 21, 2022 for their project to be considered.

4.0 Application process

4.1 Submit an application form

Applications were accepted between February 28, 2022 and March 21, 2022. Funding was limited and preference was given to projects that employ youth facing barriers.

PDF forms

If you have problems opening a PDF form in your Internet browser, you need to:

  • Use your computer. The forms may not open on mobile devices (iPads, tablets, mobile phones).
  • Make sure you have Adobe Reader 11 (or higher) already installed on your computer. If not, download Adobe Reader 11 or higher for free. Adobe has help for solving common issues.
  • You must save the file on your computer in a place you can remember.
  • Open the file on your computer using Adobe Reader 11 or higher.
  • If you can't open the form with Adobe Reader 11 or higher, contact the program.
How to download and open a PDF form
  • Microsoft Windows Operating System computers using "Internet Explorer" or "Microsoft Edge" as your browser
    1. Right-click on the link you want to save
    2. Select "Save target as" or "Save link as"
    3. Choose the location on your computer where you would like to save the file
    4. Select "Save"
    5. Open Adobe Reader 11 or higher
    6. Select "File"
    7. Select "Open"
    8. Go to the location where you saved the file
    9. Select the PDF file
    10. Select "Open"
  • Microsoft Windows Operating System or Apple computers using "Chrome" or Firefox" as your browser
    1. Right-click on the link you want to save
    2. When the option menu appears, choose "Download link file" or "Download link file as"
    3. Choose the location on your computer where you would like to save the file. Your computer will start the download once you have selected a location.
    4. Open Adobe Reader 11 or higher
    5. Go to the location where you saved the file
    6. Select the PDF file
    7. Select "Open"

Form instructions

  • All mandatory fields must be completed and all questions must be answered in order for the form to be considered complete.
  • Ensure your application can be processed as quickly as possible
    • fill in the form electronically (enter your answers into the fields)
    • submit the form to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
  • Hand written and/or mailed or faxed forms will take longer to process.
  • If changes are required to an already submitted application, or you wish to withdraw an application, do not resubmit a new application form, please contact the regional office nearest you.
  • Applicants will receive an acknowledgement within one (1) business day for email applications. If you choose to submit your Project application. by mail or fax, it could take longer to receive your confirmation.

M-30 Act (Quebec organizations only)

Applicants in the Province of Quebec may be required to complete an additional form to comply with the Act Respecting the Ministère du Conseil Exécutif (M-30). For more information, contact the Ministère de l'Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l'Alimentation (MAPAQ) at dpci@mapaq.gouv.qc.ca.

Confidentiality

It is the Applicant's responsibility to clearly identify, on any documentation submitted to AAFC, the information that is considered commercially confidential. This information will not be disclosed unless required by law, including the Access to Information Act, or upon the express authorization of the Applicant.

To apply, complete the following forms:

  • Project Application Form (PDF) (required) 
  • A copy of the organization's Certificates or Articles of Incorporation (if available)

How to apply online

To apply online, download, complete, and submit the Project Application Form and required documents.

How to apply by email

To apply by email, submit the completed Project Application Form and required documents to aafc.yesp-pecj.aac@agr.gc.ca

How to apply by fax or mail

To apply by mail or fax, submit the completed Project Application Form and required documents to the regional office nearest you.

4.2 Assessment and approval

Once you have submitted your application, the application form will be assessed against the following:

  • completeness of the application form
  • eligibility criteria

Note: You should not consider an application as submitted to the program until you receive the acknowledgement notice.

The program's goal is to:

  • respond to general inquiries made to the program's phone number or email address before the end of the next business day
  • acknowledge receipt of your application within three business days
  • process your application within 50 business days

4.3 Participant Information Form

Successful applicants will be notified of conditional approval of the project and will be contacted to complete and submit a Participant Information Form. The Participant Information Form must be completed by the eligible employee. Employers are responsible for hiring and verifying the eligibility of their employee.

AAFC reserves the right to revoke conditionally approved funding commitments if the employee identified on the Participant Information Form does not meet program eligibility criteria or satisfy the conditions of the project's approval.

4.4 Contribution agreement

Successful applicants will receive a Contribution Agreement from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada outlining the amount of funding AAFC will provide to the Recipient toward eligible costs, as well as the Recipient's responsibilities and obligations.

4.5 Payments to recipients

AAFC will provide Recipients with a Financial Claim Form. AAFC will make payments based on claims submitted for eligible costs incurred and paid by the Recipient in accordance with the terms and conditions of the Contribution Agreement.

A Financial Claim Form must be completed and certified by an authorized representative of the Recipient. The authorized representative can provide documents and/or information to AAFC on behalf of that Recipient. AAFC may also require Recipients to submit documents detailing the costs being claimed, such as pay logs or paid receipts. Failure to provide supporting documentation may reduce payments made to Recipients. Recipients are advised to retain supporting claim documentation should AAFC request it.

Projects of less than 6 months

For projects of less than six (6) months, AAFC will issue 100% of funds at the end of the project, upon receipt of the final report, Financial Claim Form, and proof of salary and other expenses paid, if requested.

Projects of 6 to 12 months

For projects of six (6) to twelve (12) months, AAFC will issue upon request 50% of funds after the first half of the project, only upon receipt of the Financial Claim Form (and proof of salary payment to the candidate and paid receipts, if requested). The payment of the last 50% will be issued at the end of the project, upon receipt of the final reports, the Financial Claim Form, and proof of salary payment to the candidate and paid receipts, if requested.

4.6 Reporting requirements

The Employer is responsible for completing and submitting the required documents and evaluation reports to AAFC at the mid-point and/or at the end of the project. These forms will be provided to successful applicants.

5.0 Notes

5.1 Official languages

5.1.1 Language of service

Applicants and Recipients are encouraged to communicate with AAFC in the official language of their choice. AAFC reviews and assesses applications and project deliverables in both official languages.

5.1.2 Language obligations of recipients

All public information documents related to the Project prepared by or paid in whole or in part by the Minister must be made available in both official languages, when the Minister determines that this is required under the Official Languages Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. 31 [4th Supp.]).

M-30 Law (for Quebec organizations only)

The Province of Quebec's M-30 legislation may apply to Quebec based applicants only. It is the Act Respecting the Ministère du Conseil exécutif (R.S.Q., c. M-30).

More information on the Act is available online or by contacting the Ministère de l'Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l'Alimentation (MAPAQ) at dpci@mapaq.gouv.qc.ca.

M-30 applies to various types of Quebec organizations, for example, organizations located in Quebec and receiving more than half of their financing from the Government of Quebec may be subject to the Act.

All Quebec based organizations will have to address this matter and demonstrate their compliance with the Act during the project assessment process, and prior to entering into a contribution agreement.

5.2 Privacy notice

The personal information collected during the application process is being collected under the authority of the Department of Agriculture and Agri-Food Act and will be used to contact you if additional information is needed and to facilitate payment of the contribution, in the event that the application is successful. In addition, the information may be used for program evaluation, reporting to senior management and statistical analysis.

The personal information will be protected in accordance with the Privacy Act and described in standard AAFC Personal Information Bank PPU 300 (Career Focus Program/Agricultural Youth Green Jobs Initiative). You have the right to access your personal information held by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and to request changes to incorrect personal information by contacting the AAFC Access to Information and Privacy Coordinator at aafc.atip-aiprp.aac@agr.gc.ca.

5.2.1 Business information

AAFC may collect, use and share an Applicant's information, which includes, but is not limited to, documentation prepared in the administration of the Youth Employment and Skills Program. AAFC will use and share this information for the purposes of assessing and reviewing the eligibility of the Applicant and the proposed project with:

  • other AAFC programs and/or other AAFC Branches
  • other departments or agencies of the Government of Canada
  • other levels of government in Canada

The information may be shared with the parties mentioned above, for purposes that include, but are not limited to:

  • using the Applicant's information in the administration, including audit and evaluation of the program
  • surveying for the Applicant's experience with AAFC
  • auditing, analyzing and doing a risk assessment of the Applicant and/or the project
  • determining the possible availability of funding for the Applicant's project under another program or initiative
  • examining the scope and direction of agricultural programming in Canada
  • ensuring efficiencies and effectiveness in setting up and administering agricultural and other government programs

AAFC publishes a list of approved projects on the departmental website and may publish such list on other Government of Canada websites. This list would include the name of the Recipient, the project name, and the amount of the program contribution. AAFC may also publicize this information, along with a description of the project, in:

  • project funding announcements or other promotions
  • other government documents, including public reports on the progress of government initiatives

5.3 Environmental considerations

All projects receiving funding from AAFC must comply with the Impact Assessment Act (IAA 2019). It is your responsibility to review whether your type of project is listed on the Regulations Designating Physical Activities and to contact the Impact Assessment Agency. Indicate in the "Project Description" section of the Application Form if your type of project is listed on the Regulations. Also indicate if the project's activities are located on Federal Crown land (includes federal and Aboriginal reserve land), on private land or another type of land. If you do not know, indicate that this information is "unknown."

The Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food will consider whether your project requires an environmental determination under section 65 of the IAA 2019 and take the necessary steps if a determination is required and may inform you accordingly.

Provide details on any environmental risks in the "Project Description" section in the Application Form, which includes confirming whether you have or will obtain federal, provincial, territorial or municipal authorizations and permits. AAFC reserves the right to request additional information.

6.0 Contact information

For more information or to submit your application, contact:

Youth Employment and Skills Program regional offices

British Columbia, Alberta, Nunavut, Northwest Territories, Yukon Territory, Manitoba and Saskatchewan

Mail
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Youth Employment and Skills Program
301-2010 12th Avenue
Regina, Saskatchewan S4P 0M3
Toll Free Number:
1-866-452-5558
TDD/TTY:
613-773-2600
Fax:
306-780-7353
Email:
aafc.yesp-pecj.aac@agr.gc.ca

Ontario, Quebec, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island

Mail
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Youth Employment and Skills Program
Jules Dallaire Complex
2828 Laurier Blvd - Room 640
Quebec, Quebec G1V 0B9
Toll Free Number:
1-866-452-5558
Fax:
306-780-7353
Email:
aafc.yesp-pecj.aac@agr.gc.ca