Canadian government injects $9.2 million into agriculture skills program for youth

Press Release

The Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, has announced an investment of 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.

“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,” Bibeau said in a statement. “This program will help agricultural and agri-food businesses meet their labour needs with support for up to 700 workers, while allowing more young people in Canada to explore the limitless potential this industry has to offer.”

This additional funding will help the agriculture industry attract Canadian youth, ages 15 to 30, to their organizations to assist with labour shortages brought on by the pandemic. This program aims to provide youth, and particularly youth facing barriers to employment, with job experience in agriculture that will provide career-related work experience.

The YESP will provide agriculture employers up to 50 per cent of the cost of hiring a Canadian youth up to $14,000. Indigenous applicants and those applicants hiring a youth facing barriers are eligible for funding of up to 80 per cent of their costs.

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.

Application forms are available through the Youth Employment and Skills Program, or to get more information, please contact aafc.yesp-pecj.aac@canada.ca, or call: 1-866-452-5558.

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