Horizontal evaluation of the Youth Employment Strategy - Summer Work Experience stream - Summary

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About the program

The former Horizontal Youth Employment Strategy consisted of 3 program streams: Summer Work Experience, Skills Link and Career Focus. A new Horizontal Youth Employment and Skills Strategy (YESS) that came into effect in June 2019 merged these 3 streams.

Summer Work Experience funded organizations from various sectors to create summer work opportunities for students between the ages of 15 and 30. Summer Work Experience also included ESDC's Canada Summer Jobs program.

In 2017 and 2018:

  • 77,000 + students participated
  • the government provided $256M in funding to organizations

The Canada Summer Jobs program became a distinct stream in the new YESS.

Main findings

  • Organizations (79%) and students (89%) expressed high levels of satisfaction
  • Over 90% of students indicated that their experience helped them develop key competencies and traits linked to addressing complex challenges and adapting to a changing environment
  • The average duration of work placements slightly decreased from 2016 to 2018
  • On average, employers paid their students above the minimum wage. Most summer students felt that it helped pay for school expenses


  • The department should explore ways to better leverage administrative and participant data to inform policy and design of the program

The full Evaluation of the Youth Employment Strategy – Summer Work Experience stream is available at Summer Work Experience stream.

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