Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Marie-Claude Bibeau was at the Centre des Moissons on June 3 to announce a new investment of up to $3.75 million that will help bring youth into the agriculture industry. The Youth Employment and Skills Program will provide funding to employers across the agriculture sector to hire Canadian youth, ages 15 to 30.
“The agriculture industry is strong and growing, creating one in eight jobs which makes it the nation’s single largest employer. This program will allow more young people in Canada to explore the limitless potential this industry has to offer, while helping agricultural producers and processors meet their labour needs,” said Minister Bibeau.
The initiative is part of a commitment through Budget 2019 for a modernized Youth Employment and Skills Strategy aimed at providing better supports for Canada’s youth.
As part of this Strategy, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Youth Employment and Skills Program aims to create opportunities for Canadian youth, particularly youth facing barriers to entering or staying in the workforce, to explore employment in the agriculture and agri-food sector and to better prepare themselves for the labour market.
The new program will provide 50 per cent of funds, up to $14,000, towards costs associated with hiring youth. For not-for-profit organizations, and applicants who hire Indigenous youth or youth facing barriers, the program will provide 80 per cent of total eligible costs, up to $14,000.
“The strategy builds on the success of the Youth Employment Strategy to support the next generation of the middle class. Young Canadians are talented, ambitious and hard-working, but getting a strong start in the workforce can be challenging for many-especially for youth with additional challenges. The Youth Employment and Skills Strategy will make it easier for young people to transition from the classroom to the workforce, including those facing barriers. It is part of our plan to ensure that everyone has a fair chance at success,” said Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour.
- Through the Youth Employment and Skills Program, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada hopes to create over 200 positions across Canada within the agriculture sector. Applications are being accepted (link to program page) on a continuous basis starting June 3, 2019 until funding has been fully committed. Projects must be completed by March 31, 2020.
- The Government of Canada’s Youth Employment Strategy (YES) is an Employment and Social Development Canada-led horizontal initiative involving 10 federal departments and agencies.
- Budget 2019 proposes to invest $49.5 million to support the ongoing modernization of the Youth Employment Strategy (YES). This builds on investments in Budgets 2016, 2017 and 2018 in the YES to help youth gain the skills and experience they need to find and maintain good employment.
- Canada’s agriculture and agri-food industry generates over $114 billion of our of gross domestic product (GDP) and a record $66 billion in exports.