The Canadian government has announced an investment of an additional $9.2 million to enhance the Youth Employment and Skills Program (YESP). The additional funding will fund up to 700 new jobs for youth ages 15-30 in the agriculture industry.

The additional funding will help agriculture employers, including producers, agri-businesses and industry associations, to attract workers to their organizations to assist with labour shortages brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

"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,” said the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. “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."

YESP aims to provide youth, and particularly youth facing barriers to employment, with job experience in agriculture that will provide career-related work experience. Through the program, agriculture employers can receive up to 50% 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.

Applications are being accepted on a continuous basis, beginning immediately. 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 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or call: 1-866-452-5558.

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