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Government of Canada invests in jobs for youth in agriculture


May 27, 2020
By Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

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Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the government of Canada is taking steps to ensure the resilience of the food supply chain and to provide support to keep the agriculture sector strong. Today, the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Marie-Claude Bibeau, 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.

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 – particularly those facing employment barriers – with career-related work experience in agriculture.

“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. “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.”

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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.