Budget 2017 gives young Canadians a real and fair chance at success

News Release

Close to $400 million more funding for the Youth Employment Strategy

March 26, 2017        Vancouver, British Columbia          Employment and Social Development Canada

The Government of Canada knows that the country’s prosperity will increasingly depend on young Canadians getting the education and the experience they need to prepare for the jobs of today and tomorrow. Budget 2017 puts Canada’s greatest strength—its skilled, talented, and creative people—at the heart of a more innovative future economy—one that will create middle class jobs today and tomorrow.

As the demands of the workplace change, so too must the education and skills that young workers bring to their jobs. The changes in the economy—at home and around the world—present opportunities for the middle class and those working hard to join it.

Today, the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, announced that Budget 2017 will provide an additional $395.5 million over the next three years for the Youth Employment Strategy (YES), in addition to the Government of Canada’s current investment of $330 million each year.

This brings the total new investment in the program to almost $900 million. In Budget 2016, the Government announced $339 million to create up to 35,000 additional positions under the Canada Summer Jobs program each year for three years. It also provided an additional $165.4 million in 2016-17 for the Youth Employment Strategy to create new positions under Skills Link, green jobs and heritage sector jobs.

This means that more than 33,000 vulnerable youth will be able to develop the skills they need to find work or go back to school. It means creating 15,000 new green jobs for young Canadians in sectors like agriculture and renewable energy. It also means over 1,600 new job opportunities for youth in organizations that celebrate Canadian heritage.

Minister Hajdu made the announcement today at the Robert Lee YMCA in Vancouver, British Columbia, which has been providing successful YES programming for many years. The YMCA is currently running two projects that train youth in soft skills like communication and organization, and give them paid work experience.

Minister Hajdu spoke about how Budget 2017 will:

  • Provide $221 million over five years, starting in 2017-18, to renew and expand funding for Mitacs, a not-for-profit organization that builds partnerships between industry and educational institutions, to help meet its goal of providing 10,000 work-integrated learning placements for post-secondary students and graduates each year.
  • Invest $50 million over two years, starting in 2017-18, to support a kindergarten to grade 12 (K-12) program to provide coding and digital skills education to more young Canadians. Funding will be allocated through a competitive process to digital skills training organizations.


“Budget 2017 continues our plan to strengthen the middle class—the heart of Canada’s economy. In an innovative economy with a job market that’s changing fast, we’re helping our young people develop the skills they’ll need to find and keep good, well-paying jobs.”

– The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour

"Each year, the YMCA of Greater Vancouver helps hundreds of young people gain the skills and confidence needed to find and keep a job. The YMCA is excited about being able to deliver employment programs such as those funded by the Youth Employment Strategy. Gainful employment is key for all young people to be able to reach their potential, and with funding for our youth employment programs, we will be able to help more young people get employment with the support of the Y community alongside it."

– Yael Drinkle, General Manager, Community Operations, YMCA of Greater Vancouver

Quick Facts

  • Each year the Government invests more than $330 million in YES to help young people gain the skills, abilities and work experience they need to find and maintain good employment.

  • Total funding for YES was increased by $278 million in 2016–2017, representing the largest investment since its launch in 1997. 

  • Budget 2017 proposed an additional $395.5 million over three years for YES, starting in 2017–18.

  • Since 2005, YES has helped over 772,000 young Canadians get the training and work experience they need to enter the labour market

Associated Links


Matt Pascuzzo
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Patty Hajdu, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour

Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
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