The Youth Employment and Skills Strategy
Current status of the Youth Employment and Skills Strategy (YESS) Program call for proposals: Closed
The Youth Employment and Skills Strategy (YESS) is a horizontal Government of Canada initiative led by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) and delivered in partnership with 11 federal departments, agencies, and Crown Corporations. Together, these 12 partners deliver funding programs to help Canadian youth (aged 15 to 30) develop the skills and gain the experience they need to successfully transition into the labour market.
Youth Employment and Skills Strategy – Employment and Social Development Canada
At Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), the Youth Employment and Skills Strategy (YESS) consists of two programs:
- The Youth Employment and Skills Strategy Program provides funding to organizations to deliver a range of activities that help youth (aged 15 to 30) overcome barriers to employment. The YESS Program supports a flexible approach that offers services tailored to each individual youth to gain the skills and experience that they need to find and keep good quality jobs. Supports can include mentorship, wrap-around services (for example, dependent care support, mental health counselling) and paid work experiences.
- Canada Summer Jobs (CSJ) provides wage subsidies to employers from not-for-profit organizations, the public sector, and private sector organizations with 50 or fewer full-time employees, to create quality summer employment opportunities for young Canadians aged 15 to 30.
Youth who face barriers often include:
- Indigenous youth;
- Black and other racialized youth;
- 2SLGBTQI+ youth;
- youth with disabilities;
- youth who are early leavers from high school;
- youth living in low income households;
- youth experiencing houselessness or precarious housing; and
- youth living in rural, remote, Northern or fly-in communities
For these youth, barriers often intersect making them more likely to be among those 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 (for example, 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.
Youth Employment and Skills Strategy
140 Promenade du Portage
Phase IV, 4th Floor
- Date modified: