Applications for the Youth Employment and Skills Program opening soon

News release

February 22, 2024 – Ottawa, Ontario – Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Today, the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, announced funding of approximately $13.5 million to support a new application intake under the Youth Employment and Skills Program (YESP). The initiative will provide the agricultural sector with help needed to support approximately 1,200 jobs for youth in the sector.

The YESP offers support for 50% of wages up to a maximum of $14,000 to agriculture employers hiring Canadian youth. Employers that hire youth facing employment barriers will be eligible for 80% of the cost of salaries and benefits (to a maximum of $14,000) and may be eligible for an additional $5,000 to address specific obstacles to employment.

The program supports the following employees:

  • Indigenous
  • youth living with a disability – including physical, mental health related or learning disability
  • racialized youth
  • recent newcomers to Canada (within 5 years)
  • single parent
  • living in a low income household
  • individual who left high school
  • residing in a remote, northern and/or fly-in community
  • living in an Official Language Minority Community

Employers can apply between February 26, 2024 and March 25, 2024 for their project to be considered. Applications from Indigenous employers will be prioritized for the 2024-2025 program year. Application forms for the YESP are available through the Youth Employment and Skills Program webpage. For additional information, contact Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada by email or by calling 1-866-452-5558.


“Young people are the future of Canada’s agriculture industry, and we want to make sure that they can gain the experience they need to have a long and prosperous career in the sector. I encourage folks to take advantage of this program and the opportunities it holds – both for our youth and employers.”

- The Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Quick facts

  • The YESP is part of the Youth Employment and Skills Strategy (YESS), an Employment and Social Development Canada-led initiative involving 12 federal departments and agencies. YESS is part of the Government of Canada's commitment to help young people, particularly those facing barriers to employment, get the information and gain the skills, work experience and abilities they need to make a successful transition into the labour market.

  • Since the YESP began, approximately 5,100 youth have been employed in agricultural-related organizations from every province and territory. There have also been nearly 1,500 youth facing barriers employed through the program since its inception in 2019.

Associated links


For media:

Francis Chechile
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Media Relations
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Ottawa, Ontario
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