Youth Employment and Skills Program: Step 2. Eligibility

Step 2. Eligibility

Check if you meet the criteria to apply.

Eligibility checklist — Employers

Employers must meet all of the following criteria to be eligible.

  • Examples of agricultural-related organizations
    • Farmers
    • Agricultural businesses, such as greenhouses, orchards, vineyards, or vegetable producers
    • Businesses who supply agricultural products or services
    • Food processors
    • Agricultural related non-governmental organizations (NGOs)
    Types of eligible organizations
    • For-profit: Organizations that exist to make a profit. They may include:
      • Partnership
      • Corporation
      • Co-operative
    • Not-for-profit: Organizations that operate solely for social welfare, civic improvement, pleasure or recreation, or any other purpose except profit. They may include:
      • Association of workers and/or employers
      • Local community, charitable or voluntary organization
      • Sector council
      • Corporation
    • Individuals or sole proprietorships: A single person applying on behalf of themselves or an unincorporated business that has only one owner.
    • Provincial / Territorial / Municipal Government
    • Indigenous (First Nation, Inuit, Métis): A First Nation, Inuit or Métis individual or a First Nation, Métis or Inuit organization. They may include:
      • First Nations, Inuit or Métis community and/or governmentEndnote 1
      • First Nations, Inuit, or Métis association
      • First Nations, Inuit, or Métis individual
      • First Nations, Inuit, or Métis not-for-profit organization
      • First Nations, Inuit, or Métis for-profit organization
    • Academia: Organizations involved in providing education or developing educational materials or tools. They may include:
      • Private university and college
      • Public degree-granting college
      • Public degree-granting university
      • Public community colleges and vocational school
      • School board/other educational institution

Eligibility checklist — Project

    • The project start date can be adjusted to the employee's 15th birthday.
    • If you have recently hired youth (within 3 months of application date), you may claim costs starting April 1, 2024.
  • 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 labour

If an employee is not able to complete the project for which they were hired, you may request to hire a second youth to complete the project. The eligibility of the second youth must be verified by the program. The employment periods for each employee must not overlap.

Eligibility checklist — Employees

Employees must meet all of the following criteria to be eligible.

  • The program's definition of "underemployed" includes:
    • A person who occupies a position that they are over qualified for as per their education. For example, a recent graduate with a degree in Animal Science employed as an administrative assistant. A person can be a long–term employee of an organization and is eligible to be an employee if are taking new responsibilities in the organization.
    • A youth that has taken on more hours or has significantly greater responsibilities and complexity in their employment duties. This extends to those going to school and taking on more responsibilities or hours in their work when the YESP project begins.

Considerations about employee eligibility

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, you're eligible to claim pre-approved expenses to address the employee's barrier, supported at 80% to a maximum of $5,000. These costs need to be directly linked to addressing the barrier to employment. Expenses could include critical transportation, relocation, assistance with dependents, accommodation needs, accessibility equipment/technology, etc.

Non-barrier youth may also be eligible for pre-approved relocation costs at the 50% funding level to a maximum of $5,000. All expenses you claim must involve a cash payment. Taxes you pay for barrier-related expenses are not eligible for reimbursement.

Upper cost limits may be imposed on certain types of items or services.

Once your project receives conditional approval and an eligible employee is identified, you can then submit a request for the additional funding for relocation costs and/or barrier-related costs at that time.

Ineligible costs or limitations

Costs associated with youth facing barriers must be within the limits reasonably expected by employers to accommodate such youth.

Immediate family members (partner, son/stepson, daughter/stepdaughter) or those closely related to the applicant (sister/brother, grandchild, niece/nephew) are not eligible for relocation, travel or accommodation expenses, or barrier related costs.

Equipment and clothing purchases must be made by the mid-point of the project to be eligible.

Bonuses are not eligible.

Salary is limited to a maximum of $60,000 per annum.

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.