Federal government increases youth jobs program in 2021

Bay of Quinte MP Neil Ellis. (Sarah Williams/Gazette Staff)


Local small businesses and not-for-profit employers have until the end of the month to apply for a grant to help employ youth this summer.

The the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough, announced the employer application period for Canada Summer Jobs (CSJ) 2021 is officially open. This year, up to 120,000 job opportunities will be available to young Canadians. This represents a 50 per cent increase from the 80,000 CSJ opportunities approved in 2020. With this significant increase, more employers and youth will be able to apply and benefit from the program.

Qualtrough said the  COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on young Canadians who are trying to find work. Employers are also facing challenges when recruiting and hiring workers while adapting to the realities of the pandemic and that’s why the Government of Canada continues to take action to provide good job opportunities for youth and to support employers across Canada. 

“Canada Summer Jobs has a major role in supporting employers and youth during these unprecedented times. For many young people, summer jobs are their first work experience, one that teaches them the value of leadership, skill building, teamwork and resilience. For employers, a young worker can be an invaluable asset to their team, adding a new and fresh perspective into all areas of the workplace. I’m looking forward to seeing this year’s approved projects, which will make a real difference in the lives of so many Canadians,” Qualtrough said.

 The employer application period for CSJ 2021 opened on Monday, December 21, 2020, and will close on Friday, January 29, 2021. Not-for-profit organizations and public- and private-sector employers with 50 or fewer full-time employees in the Bay of Quinte can now apply for funding to hire a young Canadian. 

“This program has helped so many young people in the Bay of Quinte over the years. Small businesses, the not-for-profit sector and public sector employers continue to play a crucial role in the success of this program. Creating more job opportunities for young Canadians has never been more important than now. By working together, we will make a difference for young people everywhere and work toward building a stronger Canada,” Bay of Quinte MP Neil Ellis added.

Similar temporary flexibilities introduced for CSJ 2020 will be applied this year to help small businesses operate. These include: 

  • A wage subsidy, so that private and public sector employers can receive up to 75 percent of the provincial or territorial minimum hourly wage for each employee (not-for-profit organizations will continue to receive 100 percent); 
  • An extension to the end date for employment to February 26, 2022; and 
  • Allowing employers to hire staff on a part-time basis. 

The announcement builds on the commitments made in both the Fall Economic Statement and the Speech from the Throne to support young Canadians—namely to create more paid work opportunities next year and to ensure Canadian businesses have the supports they need to get through the pandemic. 

Employers interested in applying for CSJ 2021 funding are encouraged to open an account on the secure Government Grants and Contributions Online Services portal, a one-time process that will allow them to apply for this and other funding opportunities across Employment and Social Development Canada. 

“As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, the Government of Canada will continue to work to protect Canadians’ jobs and to help businesses stay strong,” Qualtrough added.


Quick Facts 

  • CSJ provides paid opportunities for youth between the ages of 15 and 30 to develop and improve their skills in the not-for-profit, small business and public sectors. The program also supports the delivery of key community services to Canadians. 
  • CSJ is part of the Youth Employment and Skills Strategy, which helps youth, particularly those facing barriers, to gain the skills and experience they need to successfully transition to the labour market. 
  • The national priorities for CSJ 2021 reflect Canada’s diverse population and evolving needs. This year’s national priorities support: o organizations that provide services to or intend to hire youth who self-identify as being part of underrepresented groups or as having additional barriers to entering or staying in the labour market; 
  •  Opportunities offered by organizations that provide services to persons with disabilities or intend to hire youth with disabilities