Canada Summer Jobs Program: Quick Guide for Business Owners

Have you ever considered hiring a youth in a summer-job capacity? This can be a successful way to obtain the extra help your business needs during the summer months, perhaps while your other employees are away on vacation or when your business picks up. At the same time, you can offer a youth—defined as someone between 15 and 30—much needed experience and income, thereby contributing to the economy.

Now though you may wonder where you’d ever find the funds to pay a youth through the summer, put your mind at ease. This federal government program will give you the funds you need to help you employ a young person. Just apply to the program, but do it quickly as the 2023 deadline is January 12, 2023. Find what you need to know here about how and where to apply and which businesses qualify.

About Canada Summer Jobs Program

Private-sector businesses with less than 50 employees, public-sector businesses, and not-for-profits can take advantage of this program to employ a youth for the summer thanks to the wage subsidies it offers.

Once your business has applied to the program, the federal government will assess your qualifications, including safety and inclusivity, and your job will be automatically listed in the Service Canada Job Bank.

This program is designed to help youth find valuable work that will give them the skills and experience they need to improve their skillset and personal situation in the short term and to set them on a path to career success in the long term. It also helps businesses find and attain the labour they need for less, and with luck, perhaps your summer employee will eventually become a long-time integral employee.

How Canada Summer Jobs Works

Running from early January to late July every year, the Canada Summer Jobs program continues to assess eligible employers until 140,000 jobs are posted on their job bank and on the mobile app. Be sure to get your application in before the spots are full. Once your business is accepted, you will benefit from funding from the federal government to help you pay for your young employee.

Because the program prioritizes youth that often face difficulties finding jobs, this program will also prioritize jobs and businesses that represent these specific categories:

  • those businesses and not-for-profits with a leadership team currently underrepresented in the workforce
  • disabled youths
  • Black youths and other youths who often face discrimination in the workplace
  • Indigenous young people

Check with the program often, though, as these priorities can change from year to year. In 2022, the top priority was youths who had left school early for one reason or another and weren’t employed or in a training or education program.

Also, do some homework to see if your business can offer employment linked to high priorities in your city and province, as your Member of Parliament will also review the list of eligible businesses to see which ones best benefit their riding.

Canada Summer Jobs Eligibility

Business participation in the Canada Summer Jobs program comes with 15 eligibility criteria:

  • application submitted before the deadline
  • application complete
  • offer an eligible project (i.e., full-time work in Canada for at least 6 weeks and no more than 16 weeks between April 24, 2023, and September 2, 2023; inclusive and non-discriminatory job atmosphere that respects the rights of all Canadians; and offers new skills and work development)
  • full-time (30 to 40 hours per week)
  • proposed job meets minimum wage requirements in your province or territory
  • prove your business and the proposed job has adequate measures to teach youth about health and safety practices on the job
  • outline a supervision plan for the new hire and proposed job activities
  • undergo a review of any past files involving your business to determine if anything from past agreements, such as financial or health and safety issues, would result in your business being ineligible
  • attestation box checked
  • be an eligible business (small business with less than 50 employees, not-for-profit, or public sector)
  • proposed job duration between the abovementioned 6 and 16 weeks
  • declare if you have applied, will apply, or have received any funding from other sources for the job(s)
  • declare any money owing to the Government of Canada
  • show you have addressed any issues to ensure your hiring practices, the job, and the environment are free of harassment and discrimination
  • outline a mentoring plan

Also, be aware that for your business to be eligible for this program, you’ll have to be registered with the CRA and have a CRA payroll deductions account before you hire a young person.

And here are three more tidbits to be aware of before you apply: know that you can’t displace any current employees in any way or for any reason, and you can’t hire a family member unless you can solidly prove that person is the best available candidate for the job, and the young person you hire must be a true employee, not a consultant.

To find more answers to your questions or if you need accessibility accommodations, head to Employment and Social Development Canada for details about your preferred method of communication.

How Much You Can Get from Canada Summer Jobs

Now for the stuff that really matters: how much funding you can expect to receive through the Canada Summer Jobs program. As usual, the winning businesses are not-for-profits, who can receive 100% of costs to hire a young person, including their salary and related costs such as employment insurance and CPP.

Public-sector and small private-sector businesses can expect to receive 50% of these same costs, though you could receive additional funding to cover costs related to hiring a disabled youth and likely 100% of accommodation costs.

However, keep in mind that, unfortunately, this funding only offers 50% (or 100% in the case of not-for-profits) of your provincial or territorial minimum wage. Any additional pay will be your responsibility.

How to Apply for Canada Summer Jobs

Though the list of eligibility requirements may look daunting, it’s actually rather easy to apply, given you just click a button, and the online process takes it from there. Just make sure you start by going through the eligibility criteria and reading through all the FAQs.

And hurry! Again, the deadline to apply for 2023 is January 12, 2023. Also, know that the job you offer can’t start any earlier than April 24, 2023, and it can’t last any longer than September 2, 2023. The latest the job you’re offering is July 24, 2023.

If you have questions or need help applying, you can go to the Canada Summer Jobs website or call 1-800-935-5555 or 1-800-926-9105 for TTY.


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    A Tip to Maximize Canada Summer Jobs Funding

    One great tip when you apply for this program is to seriously consider hiring youth with disabilities. If your business is eligible, you’ll receive additional funding and all the costs needed to accommodate those disabilities.

    And if you really want to maximize the funding for your new hire, make sure you check out provincial government, educational institution, and private funding and grant programs for hiring youths. By combining programs, you’ll find it less costly to hire a young person but make sure you disclose all your funding sources to the Canada Summer Jobs program.

    The Bottom Line

    To hire an additional needed employee for the summer—or potentially find yourself one that will become a loyal employee—give the Canada Summer Jobs program a shot. You’ll not only help a young person by giving them important job skills and experience, potentially setting them on a path to success, but you’ll be helping your business too by adding an additional worker to your payroll—possibly at no cost to your business. You’ll also be helping Canada’s economy and labour force in the end by creating more skilled workers and putting pay in their pockets.

    Click here to learn all there is to know about business and youth eligibility, the application process, and even tips on how to complete your application. You can even learn more about their follow-up: what happens after you’ve submitted your application.

    But get your ducks together now! Applications won’t be accepted after January 12, 2023!

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