The Canadian government is investing up to $9.2 million to enhance the Youth Employment and Skills Program (YESP) and fund up to 700 new positions for youth in the agriculture industry, the government says in a news release on May 26. The funds are meant to help ensure the resilience of the food supply chain and to provide support to keep the agriculture sector strong.
“During this unprecedented time, our food producers are working hard to feed Canada, while adjusting their businesses to new challenges, such as a shortage of workers. This program will help agricultural and agri-food businesses meet their labour needs,” Marie-Claude Bibeau, minister of agriculture and agri-food, says in the release.
YESP will provide agriculture employers with up to 50 per cent of the cost of hiring a Canadian youth, between the ages of 15 to 30, up to a maximum of $14,000, the release says. Indigenous applicants and those hiring a youth facing barriers are eligible for funding of up to 80 per cent.
Eligible applicants include producers, agri-businesses, industry associations, provincial and territorial governments, Indigenous organizations and research facilities. Employers may apply for this funding retroactive to April 1, 2020, with projects to be completed by March 31, 2021, the release says.