What is the Youth Employment and Skills Program?

This program provides a wage subsidy to employers who hire youth for agricultural jobs.

How much does the subsidy cover?

  • 50% of wages to a maximum of $14,000
  • 100% of costs for relocation to a maximum of $5,000 if the employee must relocate for the position
  • 80% of total eligible costs, up to a maximum of $14,000, for employers who:
     - are Indigenous individuals or organizations, or 
     - hire a Youth Facing Barrier(s)*
       - living with a disability
       - being Indigenous
       - 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
       - other barriers approved on a case by case basis

*Youth Facing Barriers may also receive an additional $5000 to cover the costs of addressing these employment barriers, such as critical transportation, assistance with dependents, accommodation needs, accessibility equipment/technology etc.

Which employers are eligible?

Agricultural related organizations who can offer opportunities that will give youth agriculture career-related work experiences and skills in Canada:
- farmers
- food processors
- agricultural related non-governmental organizations (NGOs)

These organizations may be from:
- industry
- not-for-profit organizations
- provincial and municipal governments
- associations
- boards
- councils
- universities

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

Which employees are eligible?

Eligible employers are responsible for hiring and verifying the eligibility of participants for the Youth Employment and Skills activities.

To qualify, the employee must be:
- 30 years or younger when they started the internship
- unemployed or underemployed, a student, or a previous intern of any Youth Employment and Skills Strategy (YESS) program
- a Canadian citizen or permanent resident

What can the subsidy be used for?

  • salaries and benefits paid to the employee
  • employee benefits that the employer normally pays to their employees:
     - cell phone
     - travel
     - vacation pay, etc.
  • employee relocation costs
  • employers of Youth Facing Barriers may also cover expenses such as:
     - critical transportation
     - assistance with dependents
     - accommodation needs
     - accessibility equipment/technology etc.

Projects must offer the employee agricultural work that must be completed by March 31, 2021.

Examples include:
- farmers who wish to hire farm workers for planting and harvesting crops or managing livestock
- agricultural businesses, such as greenhouses, orchards, vineyards, vegetable producers who have labor needs
- small businesses who supply agricultural products or services
- food processors in need of labor

How do I apply?

ONLINE You must complete the following:

1) Project Application Form CLICK HERE
2) Signature of Applicant Authorized Representative CLICK HERE
3) Include a copy of the organization's Certificates or Articles of Incorporation

EMAIL Complete the three items above and email them to:


FAX Complete the three items above and fax them to your nearest regional office:

CLICK HERE to find you local regional office

Why can't I open the Project Application Form?

  • use your computer as the forms may not open on mobile devices
  • download and save the form to your computer
  • use Adobe Reader 10 (or higher) to open the form

CLICK HERE to download Adobe Reader for free

How long does is take for my application to go through?

  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) will:
     -review and assess your application against the parameters and criteria of the program
     -contact you for additional information if needed
     -notify you in writing of final approval or rejection within 50 business days
  • successful applicants will be sent a Contribution Agreement
  • payment will be sent within 30 business days of claim
  • the employer is responsible for completing and submitting to AAFC the required documents and evaluation reports at the mid-point and/or at the end of the project, which can be found HERE


If you have any questions about the Youth Employment and Skills Program or any services that we offer, please contact one of our Agriculture experts or complete the contact form below.

For a complete list of our COVID-19 resources for individuals and businesses, please visit availcpa.com/resources

Zach Keith

Zach Keith

Zach champions Avail’s Agriculture division. He helps clients with all aspects of their operation, from taking advantage of government programs to transition planning.

Service Expertise: Audit , CFO Services

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