The Canadian agriculture industry is strong and growing, creating one in eight jobs which makes it the nation’s single largest employer.
Today, Maryam Monsef, Member of Parliament for Peterborough-Kawartha, is encouraging employers to apply to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s $3.75 million Youth Employment and Skills (YES) Program. The program provides funding to employers across the agriculture sector to hire Canadian youth, ages 15 to 30. In particular, it is focused on youth facing barriers to entering or staying in the workforce, to explore employment in the agriculture and agri-food sector and to better prepare themselves for the labour market.
“Our future success depends on young Canadians, and our government has been working hard to get them the skills and training they need to start meaningful careers,” said Monsef. “Our plan is working. The youth employment rate is the lowest on record, and investments in the Youth Employment Strategy have helped more than 220,000 young Canadians. By helping young Canadians gain the skills and experience they need for a fair chance at success, we are investing in our greatest asset—our people.”
The new program will provide 50 per cent of funds, up to $14,000, towards costs associated with hiring youth. For not-for-profit organizations and applicants who hire Indigenous youth or youth facing barriers, the program will provide 80 per cent of total eligible costs, up to $14,000. Those who hire youth facing barriers may be eligible to receive an additional $5,000 to cover extra costs associated with hiring and supporting them.
“Canada’s agriculture sector is rooted in our identity and is a vibrant economic driver,” concluded Monsef. “When I hosted the Rural Women’s Summit in Buckhorn last year much of the discussion was about the important role young people play in this innovative and lucrative sector. It is essential that we expose the workforce of the future to this growing industry.”
Applications are now being accepted.