Youth Employment Strategy and Canada Summer Jobs


Youth Employment Strategy

The Youth Employment Strategy (YES) is the Government of Canada’s commitment to help youth make a successful transition to the workplace. YES helps youth between the ages of 15 to 30 get the information and gain the skills, job experience and abilities they need to make a successful transition to the workforce. YES includes Skills Link, Career Focus and Summer Work Experience and is delivered by 11 federal departments.

  • Skills Link helps youth facing barriers to employment — including single parents, youth with disabilities, aboriginal youth, young newcomers and youth in rural and remote areas — to develop employability skills and gain experience they need to find a job or return to school.
  • Career Focus helps post-secondary graduates transition to the labour market through paid internships and helps 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 program includes Canada Summer Jobs.

Each year, the Government invests approximately $330 million in the YES to help young people gain the skills and experience they need to find and keep good jobs.

Budget 2016 builds on that amount and proposes to invest an additional $278.4 million in 2016-17 in the YES to help nurture and develop underutilized and untapped talent, such as Indigenous youth, youth with disabilities, single parents and newcomers by:

  • Creating new green jobs for youth
  • Increasing the number of youth who access the Skills Link program, which helps young Canadians overcome barriers to employment
  • Supporting employment opportunities in the heritage sector under the Young Canada Works
  • New investments in the Canada Summer Jobs program

Canada Summer Jobs

In February 2016, the Government announced that it will create up to 35,000 additional jobs in each of the next three years under the Canada Summer Jobs program. The investment of $339 million over three years starting in 2016-17, will nearly double the number of job opportunities supported by the program.

Canada Summer Jobs (CSJ) provides funding to not-for-profit organizations, public-sector employers, and small businesses with 50 or fewer employees to create summer job opportunities for students.

CSJ creates summer job opportunities and provides valuable work experience for youth intending to return to their studies full-time in the next school year. The program also helps employers generate jobs that focus on priorities important to their local communities as well as on a number of national priorities that include:

  • employers who help welcome and settle Syrian refugees to Canada, as well as Syrian students
  • Indigenous people, who are among the fastest-growing segments of the Canadian population
  • small businesses working to become more innovative, competitive and successful, in recognition of their key contribution to the creation of new jobs
  • cultural and creative industries looking to create jobs and to strengthen our rich Canadian identity. This latter priority will support the planning of Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017.



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