Backgrounder: Canada Summer Jobs 2021


Canada Summer Jobs (CSJ) is part 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, not-for-profit organizations and public sector organizations to create quality summer work experiences for young people between the ages of 15 and 30. Through quality job placements, it provides them with opportunities to develop and improve their skills. It also responds to national and local priorities and improves access to the labour market for youth, including those who face barriers.

CSJ 2021 youth hiring period
The hiring period for CSJ 2021 is underway. To date, more than 150,000 job opportunities have been made available by employers across the country for young people at

Responding to the changing needs this year, the CSJ program will also provide employers with the ability to hire youth to work either full-time or part-time, as well as beyond the summer months, with some placements extending to February 2022. Young people are encouraged to visit the Job Bank website and mobile app to search for the funded positions available in their communities.

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

Temporary flexibilities

Wage subsidies
All CSJ-funded public and private sector employers will be eligible to receive a wage subsidy reimbursement of up to 75% 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 CSJ-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 six weeks).

Extending positions beyond summer
To help ensure that even more young people can apply for funded positions and benefit from the program, CSJ 2021 will also provide employers with the ability to hire youth to work either full-time or part-time beyond the summer months, with some placements extending to February 2022.

Youth can search and apply for the jobs available in their communities through the Job Bank website and mobile app.

Important reminders
The safety of young people is paramount to CSJ. To be eligible to receive funding, employers must be able to provide youth with a job placement in a safe work environment.

In the current context of COVID-19, employers are responsible to stay informed about provincial and territorial guidance on essential services and municipal, provincial, territorial and federal public health information.

To complement guidance published by municipal, provincial and territorial governments, the Government of Canada has published the following resources to support employers and employees:

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 include 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.

***The employer application period is now closed for CSJ 2021.

Employers interested in applying for CSJ funding next year are encouraged to open an account on the secure Grants and Contributions Online Services portal.

Projects and job activities

Ineligible projects and 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 or prejudice; or
    • actively work to undermine or restrict a woman’s access to sexual and reproductive health services.

The national priorities identified for CSJ 2021 are:

1. Organizations that provide services to or intend to hire youth who self-identify as being part of under-represented groups or as having additional barriers to entering or staying in the labour market, as outlined below:

  • new immigrant or refugee youth (“new” is defined as having arrived in Canada in the past five years);
  • Indigenous youth;
  • youth who have not completed high school;
  • visible minorities or racialized youth;
  • LGBTQ2 youth;
  • women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM); or
  • youth who have not previously been employed and for whom this would be their first job experience.

2. Opportunities offered by organizations that provide services to persons with disabilities or intend to hire youth with disabilities.

3. Opportunities for youth in rural areas, remote communities or official language minority communities.

4. Opportunities offered by organizations that focus on protecting and conserving the environment.

5. Opportunities offered by employers impacted by COVID-19, in particular small businesses, in recognition of their contribution to the creation of jobs.

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