Youth are the next generation of workers, entrepreneurs and innovators—and they play a critical role in Canada’s future economic and social prosperity.
That is why the Government of Canada is working hard to help youth access opportunities to shape their development and growth—so they can reach their full potential. We know that we can’t do this alone, and that community organizations such as yours play a key role in supporting and inspiring this generation of Canadian leaders.
This fall, Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) will be seeking funding proposals from organizations—large and small—that provide youth with opportunities to practise leadership, develop skills, grow their personal and professional networks, and gain the essential life and work experience for future success.
- Through the Youth Employment and Skills Strategy (YESS) Program*, organizations are able to help young people, especially those facing barriers to employment, gain the skills and work experience they need for a successful transition to the labour market. New this funding cycle, there will be an emphasis on supporting projects that target youth with disabilities. A call for proposals for the YESS Program will launch in October.
- Through the Canada Service Corps (CSC), organizations provide volunteer opportunities for youth (ages 12 to 30) to create meaningful change in communities across the country, to gain life skills and experience, and to support lasting civic engagement. Some exciting changes are being made to the CSC this year, which will make it easier for organizations to participate and will increase the number of youth eligible to take part in volunteer service opportunities. For example, under certain streams of the program, the age of eligibility for participants is being expanded to include youth as young as 12. A call for proposals for the CSC will launch in October.
- Finally, Canada Summer Jobs for youth helps employers create summer job opportunities that provide valuable full-time work experiences for youth between the ages of 15 and 30. The call for applications for summer 2024 is expected to launch before the end of November 2023.
How to apply
Organizations interested in applying for funding under these programs later this fall are encouraged to create an account now through the Grants and Contributions Online Services (GCOS) portal.
GCOS allows you to:
• apply for funding and track your application status;
• save your application and finish it later;
• submit supporting documents;
• set up direct deposit; and
• access your account 24/7.
Creating a GCOS account is a one-time process that allows you to apply for these and other funding opportunities with Employment and Social Development Canada in a secure web environment.
Register today and be ready to apply this fall. You can also sign up for email notifications. You’ll be among the first to find out about these and other ESDC funding opportunities as they become available.
When registering your GCOS account, you will need to provide your Canada Revenue Agency business number. If your organization does not have a business number, you will be able to apply for funding by email or postal mail.
For more information or assistance with your GCOS account:
Call: 1-800-367-5693 (7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET, Monday to Friday)
Visit a Service Canada Centre near you.
- The regional component of the YESS Program is not open to Quebec-based organizations, as the Government of Canada provides funding to the Government of Quebec to support activities in the province that contribute to improving youth skills and employment outcomes. However, Quebec-based organizations may apply for funding through the national component if the activities of the proposed project are delivered in three or more provinces or territories.