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Posted: Monday, June 17, 2019

Apply for funding under the Youth Employment and Skills Strategy Program: National or Regional

Employment and Social Development Canada

Application period

The application period is open from June 3 to July 26, 2019, at 11:59 am Pacific Time.
Projects may start as early as April 1, 2020.

Description of the funding

The Youth Employment and Skills Strategy (YESS) is a new, integrated strategy, which aims to provide flexible and holistic services to support all young Canadians develop the skills and gain paid work experience to successfully transition in the labour market. The YESS has been redesigned to respond to a range of labour market challenges faced by youth, particularly for those facing barriers to employment. The Skills Link, Career Focus, and Summer Work Experience (excluding Canada Summer Jobs) programs that were previously under the Youth Employment Strategy umbrella have been merged into one integrated strategy.

The Youth Employment and Skills Strategy (YESS) program will provide up to $600M in funding to organizations to deliver a range of activities that help youth overcome barriers to employment and develop a broad range of skills and knowledge in order to participate in the current and future labour market. Support will be tailored to the needs of youth that are facing barriers to employments. Youth who face barriers often include youth who are early leavers from high school, recent immigrant youth, youth from visible minority groups, youth living with disabilities, single parent youth, youth living in low-income households, youth experiencing homelessness or precarious housing, and youth living in rural or remote areas. For these youth, barriers often intersect and they are more likely to be among the youth population who are involuntarily not in employment, education or training (NEET). Acknowledging that some Indigenous youth face unique circumstances, the YESS is designed to maximize opportunities for them, including more culturally-specific supports and services.

The YESS program also encourages collaborations and innovation to increase capacity across the youth service provider network (e.g. employers, service delivery organizations and educational institutions), to better support youth, and to help employers hire and retain youth, in particular those who face barriers.
Proposals could include the following:
  • Activities designed to enable stakeholders to develop and plan eligible projects
  • Activities that support the development and use of tools and products for learning, skills development, career planning and career development
  • Service activities, which include but are not limited to outreach, client assessment, case management, career development information, and job search and job retention assistance
  • Activities designed to enable youth to acquire and enhance skills, which include but are not limited to pre-employability skills, employability skills and advanced employability skills
  • Activities designed to provide work experiences
  • Activities designed to provide mentoring and coaching
  • Activities designed to support youth entrepreneurs gain self-employment
  • Activities that support youth in making informed career decisions, promote the value of education, and promote youth as the labour force of the future
  • Activities designed to support research and innovative projects to identify better ways of helping youth prepare for, return to, and keep employment and to be productive participants in the labour force
  • Activities related to measuring and articulating the impact of the program, including experimentation
  • Activities to support employers in hiring or retaining youth facing barriers
  • Activities designed to build better linkages between organizations (e.g., by linking employers, service providers, unions, industry associations, educational institutions, and other levels of government) for the benefit of youth
  • Culturally-appropriate Indigenous supports such as access and networks to Indigenous social services (e.g. healing centers, counselling, healthcare, shelters, resource centers, restorative justice)
  • Activities associated with meeting the reporting requirements of the YESS program
  • Other activities that support the objectives of the YESS program
As this is a competitive process, not all applications submitted under this Call for Proposals will be selected; funding is limited and subject to ESDC’s yearly budget considerations and allocation of funds by Parliament.
The Government of Canada reserves the right to accept a proposal, completely or in part, and to consider factors such as geographic coverage, and official language requirements.
There are two streams for this Call for Proposals (CFP):

National Stream: Project activities take place in three (3) or more province or territories.
Regional Stream: Project activities can be provincial, territorial, or local in scope. Activities must only take place in one province or territory.
The CFP identifiers for the two streams are as follows:
  • National - CFP-NAT-YESS-SCEJ-2019-87 Stream One – National Projects
  • Regional - CFP-REG-YESS-SCEJ-2019-88 Stream Two – Regional Projects
Please select the appropriate Call for Proposals (CFP) identifier when applying through the online system, as well, indicate in Question 43 in the Application for Funding, the stream that you are applying under.
When possible, submit only one proposal (per stream).


This section describes how your application will be assessed to determine its eligibility. Your application must meet the eligibility criteria listed below to apply for this program. Otherwise, your application will be deemed ineligible.
For the purpose of this Call for Proposals, funding will be provided to successful applicants whose projects are designed to deliver a range of activities to support youth to overcome barriers to employment, and to help youth develop a broad range of skills and knowledge in order to participate in the current and future labour market.

Eligible contribution recipients

Eligible recipients for this Call for Proposals are:
  • not-for-profit organizations
  • municipal governments
  • Indigenous organizations (including: incorporated for-profit and not-for-profit Indigenous controlled organizations, Indigenous controlled unincorporated associations, Indian Act bands, tribal councils and Indigenous self-government entities
  • for-profit organizations
  • provincial and territorial governments, institutions, agencies and Crown Corporations
Note to organizations established in Quebec
Quebec organizations are able to apply on the national stream; however, the regional stream is not open to Quebec organizations at this time. Additional information will be forthcoming.

Ministère du Conseil Exécutif (M-30)
The Quebec National Assembly adopted An Act respecting the Ministère du Conseil exécutif (M-30). The provisions of this Act impose certain conditions on Quebec government bodies and certain other entities wanting to contract with the federal government. You may wish to consult the provisions of M-30 at the following website prior to submitting your Application for Funding to ensure compliance with the Act respecting the Ministère du Conseil exécutif (M-30). Any entity that is subject to the Act is responsible for obtaining such authorization before signing any agreement with the Government of Canada.

Eligible participants

For projects that are offering direct services to youth, the contribution recipients will recruit participants.

To participate in the Youth Employment and Skills Strategy Program, individuals must be:
  • between the ages of 15 and 30 (inclusive) at the time of intake/selection
  • Canadian citizens, permanent residents, or persons who have been granted refugee status in Canada
  • legally entitled to work according to the relevant provincial/territorial legislation and regulations
  • in need of assistance to overcome employment barriers
Other requirements:
  • Projects can be from one to three years in duration (12 months to 36 months) starting as early as April 1, 2020.
  • The amount requested from ESDC should not exceed $5M per year per national project or $3M per year for regional project.
  • All required documents must be submitted with the Application for Funding. For a list of required documentation, please see the list of supporting documents and information in the Steps to Apply section above.
Ineligible projects and activities:
  • Projects consisting of activities that take place outside of Canada;
    • Partisan political activities;
    • Fundraising activities to cover salary costs for the youth participant; or
    • Projects or activities that:
      • restrict access to programs, services, or employment, or otherwise discriminate, contrary to applicable laws, on the basis of prohibited grounds, including sex, genetic characteristics, religion, race, national or ethnic origin, colour, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression;
      • advocate intolerance, discrimination and/or prejudice; or
      • actively work to undermine or restrict a woman’s access to sexual and reproductive health services.

How we assess your application

1. Organizational capacity to manage the project (refer to Question 37) (10%)
  • Applications should include a detailed description that outlines the organization’s structure, including governance, administration, human resources policies and financial controls.
  • If applicable, a description of previous projects (with ESDC/Service Canada or other sources of funding), including past results, in order to demonstrate the applicant’s experience managing similar projects and/or activities.
2. Project objectives (refer to Question 43) (15%)
  • Applications must clearly outline how the project will support the objectives of the Program.
3. Project activities (refer to Question 44) (30%)
  • Applications must provide a clear description of each activity.
  • Activities must be relevant to the project objectives, in support of the expected project results and impact, and demonstrate how they will support the achievement of the project outcomes.
  • Activities must be specific, detailed, and realistic.
  • Timelines must be clear and feasible.
4. Project results and impact (refer to Questions 45 and 46) (35%)
  • The new YESS will focus on measuring outcomes and reporting back on results.
  • Organizations will need to articulate how they meet at least 2 out the outcomes below, including, but not limited to new approaches:
    1. Job readiness: Whether the youth has the gained skills, knowledge and supports necessary to get a job
    2. Sustained employment or return to further study: Whether the youth returns to school or attains and retains a quality job after participating in the project
    3. Career advancement: Whether the youth has gained skills and experience to continue to advance in career of their choice
    4. Employer readiness: Whether employers have improved their ability to hire and retain youth talent
    5. Number of youth served who are facing barriers to employmentFootnote1
      • # of First Nations, Inuit, Métis and/or urban or non-affiliated youth
      • # of visible minority youth
      • # of youth with a disability
    6. If you are including partnerships in your project, please add how the results of your partnerships will strengthened connections across the youth employment ecosystem
5. Project budget (refer to Section B, Part 3) (10%)
  • Project costs must be reasonable and detailed and must support the project activities. In addition, the budget details should demonstrate and explain how the costs are good value-for-money
Priority may be given to projects that:
  • are submitted by youth-led organizations (with at least 50% of governance made up of young people between 15 and 30)
  • are submitted by Indigenous-led organizations (with at least 50% of governance made up of people who have self-identified as Indigenous)
  • support First Nations, Métis, Inuit and/or urban or non-affiliated Indigenous youth
  • support youth with disabilities
  • support visible minority youth
  • support youth who are involuntary NEET (not in Education, Employment, Training) for at least 6 months
  • support youth in Official Languages Minority Communities
  • ensure regional coverage across Canada (rural, remote and urban settings)
  • create partnerships model
  • test/scale social innovations

Steps to apply

Create a GCOS account to apply online

Gather your supporting documents and information

Apply, submit and track the status of your application online using GCOS

Apply by email

Apply by mail

Contact Name: Employment and Social Development Canada
Contact Phone: 1-800-641-4049
Subject Area(s): Employment & Training
Last Reviewed: June 17, 2019, 12:04 pm
Deadline: No Official Deadline
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