Backgrounder: Canada Summer Jobs 2020


Program Overview

Canada Summer Jobs (CSJ) is an initiative of the Youth Employment and Skills Strategy, which is 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 transition successfully into the labour market. CSJ is delivered by Employment and Social Development Canada.

The program provides wage subsidies to private-sector organizations with 50 or fewer full-time employees, employers from not-for-profit organizations and the public sector to create quality summer work experiences for young people between the ages of 15 and 30. This provides them with opportunities to develop and improve their skills, and responds to national and local priorities, and to improve access to the labour market for youth including those who face unique barriers.

In 2019, employer and youth satisfaction levels with the program were high: 89% of youth and 82% of employers were satisfied or very satisfied with their CSJ 2019 experience. 

Canada Summer Jobs 2020 temporary flexibilities for employers

In response to the COVID-19 situation, the following flexibilities have been introduced to respond to the needs of employers and youth.

Temporary flexibilities for Canada Summer Jobs (CSJ) 2020

Wage subsidies
All funded employers will be eligible to receive a wage subsidy reimbursement of up to 100% of the provincial or territorial minimum hourly wage. Previously, private and public sector employers were only eligible to receive up to 50% of the provincial or territorial minimum hourly wage.

Part-time employment
All funded employers may offer part-time placements (for example, fewer than 30 hours per week). Previously, all CSJ-funded employment had to be full time (a minimum of 30 hours per week for at least 6 weeks).

Employment period
All funded employers may offer job placements between May 15, 2020 and February 28, 2021. Employers can offer part-time employment to youth who want to work during the academic year. Previously, all CSJ-funded positions had to be completed no later than August 28, 2020.

Changes to project and job activities
All funded employers will be provided the flexibility to amend project and job activities to support the delivery of critical services.

Potential adjustments to existing project and job activities could include:

  • community programming: A shift away from in-person activities to the use of digital tools for the delivery of programming
  • service industry: A shift away from in-person service to take-out and delivery
  • administrative positions: A shift to the use of available remote and telework options
  • support for vulnerable populations: A shift to activities to support populations facing new vulnerabilities under COVID-19, such as seniors or persons with disabilities, including the delivery of necessities or assistance with adaptive technology
  • retail services: A shift away from in-person and in-store roles to remote and delivery roles

Important reminders

The safety of youth is paramount to the CSJ Program. To be eligible to receive funding under the CSJ program, employers must be able to provide youth a job placement in a safe work environment.

In the current context of COVID-19, employers are responsible to stay informed of provincial guidance on essential services and Municipal, Provincial and Federal public health information.

In addition to guidance published by Municipal, Provincial, and Territorial Governments, please consult the following resources from the Federal Government to support employers and employees:

2020 application period

The Canada Summer Jobs call for applications for the 2020 season closed on February 28, 2020. For those who applied via the Call for Proposals, Service Canada will inform you of the status of your application starting in May 2020.

In addition, as part of the temporary flexibilities, the Department worked with Members of Parliament to identify organizations that provide essential services in their community and could hire youth for positions but did not apply for the Canada Summer Jobs program in 2020. These employers are being contacted to submit an application. This targeted call for applications is now closed.

Support for employers

To support employers, the CSJ 2020 Applicant Guide is available online. This guide provides instructions on how to fill out an application, eligibility requirements and assessment criteria.

Service Canada will automatically post all positions funded by CSJ to and on the mobile app to help employers fill CSJ-funded positions with qualified youth looking for work in their communities. Job Bank is the primary source for information for youth on the availability of positions funded through the program.

Eligibility criteria

Eligible Canadian employers are from the not-for-profit, public and private sectors. Private sector employers must have 50 or fewer full-time employees across Canada to be eligible. Full-time employees are those working 30 hours or more per week.

Ineligible Canadian employers are members of the House of Commons and the Senate, federal government departments and agencies, provincial departments and agencies, and organizations that engage in partisan political activities.

Projects and job activities

Ineligible projects and job activities include:

  • projects consisting of activities that take place outside of Canada;
  • activities that contribute to the provision of a personal service to the employer;
  • partisan political activities;
  • fundraising activities to cover salary costs for the youth participant; or
  • projects or job activities that:
    • restrict access to programs, services, or employment, or otherwise discriminate, contrary to applicable laws, on the basis of prohibited grounds, including sex, genetic characteristics, religion, race, national or ethnic origin, colour, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression;
    • advocate intolerance, discrimination and/or prejudice; or
    • actively work to undermine or restrict a woman’s access to sexual and reproductive health services.

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