Backgrounder - Youth Employment Strategy


The Youth Employment Strategy (YES) is the Government of Canada’s commitment to help Canada’s newest workers get a strong start to their careers. YES is delivered by 11 federal departments and agencies and helps young people between the ages of 15 and 30 to get the information and develop the job skills, abilities and experience they need to get good-quality jobs. YES has three complementary program streams: Skills Link, Career Focus and Summer Work Experience.

  • Skills Link helps young people who face more barriers to employment than others—including single parents, youth with disabilities, Indigenous youth, young newcomers and youth in rural and remote areas—to develop the skills they need to get a job and/or go back to school.
  • Career Focus helps post-secondary graduates find jobs through paid internships and helps to provide youth with the information and experience they need to make informed career decisions, find a job and/or pursue advanced studies.
  • Summer Work Experience provides wage subsidies to employers to create summer employment for secondary and post-secondary students. The Summer Work Experience stream includes Employment and Social Development Canada’s Canada Summer Jobs program.

·       Each year, the Government of Canada invests over $330 million in the Youth Employment Strategy (YES), to provide training and employment services so that young people can gain the skills, abilities and work experience needed to get a strong start in their careers. ESDC delivers the YES in collaboration with 10 other federal departments and agencies.

·       Through Budget 2018, the Government proposes to provide an additional $448.5 million over five years starting in 2018–19, for the YES.

·       This funding will support the continued increase of the number of job placements funded under Canada Summer Jobs for 2019-20.

·       Over the following years, this funding will provide additional resources to implement a modernized YES, building on the input of the Expert Panel on Youth Employment.

·       The Government of Canada has sustained its commitment to Canada’s newest workers through successive investments including, $339 million over three years for Canada Summer Jobs opportunities beginning in 2016; and an additional $395.5 million over three years, starting in 2017‑18 through Budgets 2016 and 2017. This funding is helping:

·       More than 33,000 vulnerable youth develop the skills they need to find work or go back to school;

·       Create 15,000 new green jobs for young Canadians; and,

·        Provide over 1,600 new employment opportunities for youth in the heritage sector.

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