About the Youth Employment and Skills Strategy Program

From: Employment and Social Development Canada

Current status of the 2019 to 2020 Youth Employment and Skills Strategy (YESS) Program call for proposals: Closed

The Youth Employment and Skills Strategy (YESS) builds on programming delivered under the previous Youth Employment Strategy. This modernized strategy, which is delivered by 11 departments and agencies across the Government of Canada, aims to provide more flexible employment services and enhanced supports to support all young Canadians. In this way the strategy aims to help youth develop the skills and gain the experience they need to successfully transition into the labour market.

The modernized strategy will embrace a flexible approach with services tailored to each individual, broadened eligibility and a wider range of programs offered to help young people gain the skills, abilities and experience they need to get good-quality jobs.

The previous streams offered by the YES, which we merged together to create a more integrated and flexible service delivery network, are Skills Link, Career Focus, and Summer Work Experience (excluding Canada Summer Jobs).

The Youth Employment and Skills Strategy (YESS) program provides funding to organizations to deliver a range of activities that help youth overcome barriers to employment and develop a broad range of skills and knowledge in order to participate in the current and future labour market. Support will be tailored to the needs of youth that are facing barriers to employments. Youth who face barriers often include:

  • youth who are early leavers from high school;
  • recent immigrant youth;
  • youth from visible minority groups;
  • youth living with disabilities;
  • single parent youth;
  • youth living in low-income households;
  • youth experiencing homelessness or precarious housing; and,
  • youth living in rural or remote areas.

For these youth, barriers often intersect and they are more likely to be among the youth population who are involuntarily not in employment, education or training (NEET).

The YESS program also encourages collaborations and innovation to increase capacity across the youth service provider network (e.g. employers, service delivery organizations and educational institutions), to better support youth, and to help employers hire and retain youth, in particular those who face barriers.

There are two funding streams for this Call for Proposals (CFP):

  • National Stream
    • Project activities take place in three (3) or more provinces or territories.
    • The amount requested from ESDC should not exceed $5M per year per national project
  • Regional Stream
    • Project activities can be provincial, territorial, or local in scope. Activities must only take place in one province or territory
    • The amount requested from ESDC should not exceed $3M per year per regional project.

Application period

Open from June 3 to July 26, 2019, at 11:59 am (Pacific Time).



Youth Employment and Skills Strategy
140 Promenade du Portage
Phase IV, 4th Floor
Gatineau, Quebec
K1A 0J9

Telephone: 1-800-935-5555
TTY: 1-800-926-9105

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