OTTAWA, ON, Feb. 27, 2023 /CNW/ – Today, the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, announced an investment of approximately $13 million to enhance the Youth Employment and Skills Program (YESP) and to help support approximately 1200 jobs for youth in the sector. The Program is now open and accepting applications.

The YESP Program offers support for 50% 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% 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 follows.

  • Indigenous

  • youth living with a disability – including physical, mental health related or learning disability

  • racialized youth (formerly visible minority)

  • recent newcomer to Canada (within 5 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


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


“Canadian youth are the future of our sector. 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.”
–  The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

“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. 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.”
–  The Honourable Marci Ien, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth

Quick facts

  • The YESP is part of the Youth Employment and Skills Strategy (YESS), an Employment and Social Development Canada-led initiative involving 12 federal departments and agencies. YESS is part of 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 make a successful transition into the labour market.

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