AAFC: Youth Employment and Skills Program

Updated Information

Due to a high demand for funding under this program, the application intake has been closed as of July 6, 2020.


Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada


Youth Employment and Skills Program

For More Information

Please contact the regional office nearest you or www.agr.gc.ca


The Youth Employment and Skills Program provides a wage subsidy to employers who hire youth for agricultural jobs. 

 Examples of typical projects may include:

  • farmers who wish to hire farm workers for planting and harvesting crops or managing livestock
  • agricultural businesses, such as greenhouses, orchards, vineyards, vegetable producers who have labor needs
  • small businesses who supply agricultural products or services
  • food processors in need of labor


Eligible employers are agricultural related organizations such as farmers, food processors and agricultural related non-governmental organizations (NGOs) who can offer opportunities that will give youth:

  • agriculture career-related work experiences and skills in Canada.

These organizations may be from:

  • industry
  • not-for-profit organizations
  • provincial and municipal governments
  • associations
  • boards
  • councils
  • universities

Eligible employers are responsible for hiring and verifying the eligibility of participants for the Youth Employment and Skills activities.

To qualify, the employee must be:

  • 30 years or younger when they started the internship
  • unemployed or underemployed, a student, or a previous intern of any Youth Employment and Skills Strategy (YESS) program
  • a Canadian citizen or permanent resident

Youth facing barriers includes:

  • living with a disability
  • being Indigenous
  • living in a low income household
  • being a single parent
  • residing in a remote location
  • living with family care responsibilities
  • coming out of, or have involvement with the justice system
  • other barriers approved on a case by case basis

Note: Eligible applicants must be legal entities capable of entering into legally binding agreements

Funding Availability

The program offers support for 50% of wages to a maximum of $14,000.  Additionally, the program offers 100% of costs for relocation to a maximum of $5,000 if the employee must relocate for the position.

If approved, the following employers are eligible to receive 80% of total eligible costs, up to a maximum of $14,000:

  • Indigenous individuals or organizations
  • Employers who hire a youth facing barrier(s) (section 2.2 of Applicant guide)

For youth facing barriers, an additional $5,000 is available to cover the costs of addressing these employment barriers.

Applications will be reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis as long as funds are available.

Maximum Project Value

The Youth employment and Skills Program will contribute $9.2 million to projects that employ youth and youth facing barriers. Each project will be eligible to receive up to $14,000 in matching funds to employ one (1) intern.

Indirect Costs

Indirect costs rate is 40%

Project Duration

Projects must offer the employee meaningful agricultural work that must be completed by March 31, 2021.

Special Notes

Please refer to the Office of Research COVID 19 web-page for directives related to research activities at the University of Guelph. 


If College-level review is required, your College will communicate its earlier internal deadlines.

Internal Deadline

Applications must be submitted to the Office of Research 7 days prior to submitting to AAFC.  Please forward the application and signed OR-5 Form to resserv@uoguelph.ca.

Due to a high demand for funding under this program, the application intake has been closed as of July 6, 2020.

External Deadline

Employers can apply on or after May 26, 2020 for their project to be considered.

Due to a high demand for funding under this program, the application intake has been closed as of July 6, 2020.


How to Apply

Before applying, please read the Applicant guide for detailed information on eligibility criteria, support and funding available, and the application process.

Complete the application form and required documents

To apply, complete the following forms:

Hard copy forms are available at the Youth Employment and Skills Program regional office nearest you.

Submit your completed application form and documents

To apply online, download, complete and submit the Project application form (PDF).

Apply by email to aafc.yesp-pecj.aac@canada.ca

Apply by mail or fax by submitting the completed Project Application Form and required attachments to the regional office nearest you.

For Questions, please contact

aafc.yesp-pecj.aac@canada.ca or the regional office nearest you.

Office of Research

Kristin Gibson, Awards and Agreements Officer
Office of Research Services
519-824-4120 x56257

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