Calgary Employer Forum

Subsidies Available for Employers to Hire Opportunity Youth

 In Resources

Hiring Opportunity Youth is a strong business strategy. Employers who hire Opportunity Youth will find loyal, hardworking employees. To move from idea to action, and hire youth who face barriers to employment, employers can take advantage of wage subsidies and grants. Below are five programs to help you bring more Opportunity Youth into your workplace.

Note: some of these programs have closed for 2021 applicants. Keep an eye on each program’s website for 2022 application windows and deadlines.

Canada Summer Jobs 

  • The program provides wage subsidies to employers from not-for-profit organizations, the public sector, and private sector organizations with 50 or fewer full-time employees, to create quality summer work experiences for young people aged 15 to 30 years. Funded employers are not restricted to hiring students — all youth aged 15 to 30 years may be eligible participants.
  • Applications due in February before candidates are employed.

Canada-Alberta Jobs Grant

  • The Canada-Alberta Job Grant is a training program where an employer applies on behalf of their present or future employee(s) for eligible training costs. Employers decide who gets training and what type of training may be needed for their employees. Eligible employers are required to contribute a minimum of one-third of the total training costs for existing employees. Government contributes two-thirds of the cost to a maximum of $10,000 per trainee per fiscal year. If hiring and training an unemployed Albertan, up to 100% of training costs could be covered, up to $15,000 per trainee.

Youth Internship Incentive Program, CAREERS: The Next Generation 

  • Youth Internship Incentive Program is designed to increase the number of employers supporting work integrated learning internships in trades and technologies. By providing a financial incentive for employers, this program will expand an employer’s ability to achieve their goals as well as to enhance opportunities for youth that align with Alberta’s skilled worker needs.
    • $1,000 Incentive: Employers must commit to a minimum of 125 hours of on-the-job training, mentorship, and experience to expand high school student internships during the school year beginning September 1st and completing all hours by May 30th. Internship hours can be part-time or full-time.
    • $1,800 Incentive: Employers must commit to a minimum of 240 hours of on-the-job training, mentorship, and experience. Internship hours can be part-time or full-time.
    • $3,600 Incentive: Employers must commit to a minimum of 480 hours of on-the-job training, mentorship, and experience. Internship hours can be part-time or full-time.
  • Eligibility:
    • Skilled Trades
    • Oilfield Operator Training
    • Water Wastewater Operator
    • 4th Class Power Engineering
    • Agriculture Pathways (Pilot, select communities)
    • Indigenous Youth Career Pathways
    • Information & Communications Technology

Métis Targeted Wage Subsidies 

  • Rupertsland Institute facilitates certified training to qualified Métis individuals and supports real world work experience to help them develop the practical skills required by industry. By partnering with RLI and supporting the employment of Métis workers, you will be able to access a number of programs.
  • Employers can access a subsidy of up to 50% of the employee’s wages for a maximum of six months (or one year for a person with a disability).

Opportunities Fund – Wage Subsidies and Grants for Persons with Disabilities 

  • Provides individuals and local organizations with business funding grants to support unemployed or under-employed people with disabilities. The $30M initiative can be offered through two separate streams:
    • Stream 1 – Funding Support For Start-Ups and Entrepreneurs: Eligible candidates will receive government funding support to compensate participants for the costs of living, specialized service, as well as tuition or training to start a successful new venture.
    • Stream 2 – Wage Subsidies for Small Business Hiring: Businesses and non-profits can receive up to three years of wage subsidy funding as well as workplace accessibility modifications to accommodate newly hired employees with disabilities.

Youth Skills Connection 

  • This program exists to support young people aged 15-30 who experience barriers to employment to develop the key skills and knowledge needed to succeed in the competitive job market, and to achieve their career ambitions.
  • 16-week professional development program funded by Service Canada, which includes an 8-week paid work experience, and an intensive 8-week paid employment workshop comprising of career planning, one-to-one coaching, job search and employability skill development training.
  • Employers receive a $15.00/hr wage subsidy for hiring a candidate for 8 weeks. Employers will work with a candidate who has demonstrated high levels of commitment and potential in an extensive recruitment process and intensive employability program.  

Post Secondary Summer Employment Program – Community Futures Treaty Seven (CFT7), Aboriginal Futures

  • Financial assistance is provided towards the wage of a student and encourages employers to hire post secondary students for summer employment.
  • For employers, the program reduces the cost of hiring a new employee and can help create new or additional jobs. For a student, career related work experience is obtained and prepares the student for future labour market participation.
  • The employment will be 6 to 17 weeks in between May 1, 2021 and August 31, 2021


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