Backgrounder: Youth Employment and Skills Strategy

Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) is one of 12 federal departments and agencies delivering the Youth Employment and Skills Strategy (YESS) as part of a horizontal Government of Canada initiative.

Projects funded through ESDC’s 2023 YESS Program call for proposals will support youth facing barriers to employment, including youth with disabilities, to access the supports and services they need to be better prepared to get and keep jobs. This includes activities focused on skills development, career exploration and work experiences.

Funded projects will run from 12 to 48 months, starting as early as May 2024, and be categorized as follows:

  • National projects – deliver activities in three or more provinces and territories 
  • Regional projects – deliver activities in one or two provinces and territories

Quebec organizations may apply for funding if the activities of the proposed project are national in scope, meaning that they are delivered in three or more provinces and/or territories. Organizations with projects that are regional in scope are administered by the province of Quebec under a Canada–Quebec contribution agreement to support activities in the province that contribute to improving youth skills and employment outcomes.

Eligible organizations for this call for proposals include:

  • Not-for-profit organizations (including registered charities, voluntary organizations and foundations)
  • Municipal governments
  • Indigenous organizations (including band councils, tribal councils, and self-government entities)
  • For-profit organizations (provided that the nature and intent of the funded activity is non-commercial and not intended to generate a profit)
  • Public health, educational and cultural institutions
  • Provincial and territorial governments, institutions, agencies and Crown corporations.

How to apply
Organizations are encouraged to apply for funding using the Grants and Contributions Online Services portal.

The portal is a secure and allows organizations to:

  • apply online for ESDC grants and contributions;
  • track their application status;
  • submit documents online; and
  • manage their grant or contribution project in a secure online environment

For instructions on how to create an account, organizations can refer to the User Guide. Organizations can also sign up to receive email notifications about new funding opportunities.

Organizations that do not have a business or registration number can apply for funding by email.

Click here for more information about this call for proposals.

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