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Applications open for 2023 Youth Employment Services Program

March 1, 2023  By Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

On Feb. 27, Marie-Claude Bibeau, federal minister of agriculture and agri-food, announced an investment of approximately $13 million to enhance the Youth Employment and Skills Program (YESP) and to help support approximately 1,200 jobs for youth in the sector. The program is now open and accepting applications.

“Canadian youth are the future of our sector,” Bibeau said in a statement. “The Youth Employment and Skills Program helps eliminate barriers to employment by providing meaningful work opportunities for Canadian youth wanting to pursue a career in agriculture. I encourage agricultural employers to take advantage of this program.”

YESP offers support for 50 per cent of wages (to a maximum of $14,000) to agriculture employers hiring Canadian youth. Employers that hire youth facing employment barriers will be eligible for 80 per cent of the cost of salaries and benefits, and may be eligible for an additional $5,000 to address specific obstacles to employment.


The list of employment barriers includes:

  • Indigenous;
  • youth living with a disability – including physical, mental health related or learning disability;
  • racialized youth (formerly visible minority);
  • recent newcomer to Canada (within five years);
  • single parent;
  • living in a low-income household;
  • early school leaver of high school;
  • residing in a remote, northern and/or fly-in community;
  • living in an Official Language Minority Community; and

Applications are now open for a limited time. Employers can apply by March 27 for their project to be considered. Applications from Indigenous applicants will be prioritized for the 2023-2024 program year. Application forms for YESP are available through the webpage. Additional information can be found by contacting or calling 1-866-452-5558.

“By giving young people – particularly those facing systemic barriers to employment due to their gender, race, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, disability or other intersecting identities – the opportunity to gain valuable work experience, we are breaking down barriers and creating endless potential for what they can achieve tomorrow,” said Marci Ien, federal minister for women and gender equality and youth.

“Programs like Youth Employment Skills Program make sure that everyone, regardless of their identity, has a fair chance at success in many in-demand sectors, including the ever-growing agriculture sector.”

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