Editor’s Note: Details of the Canada Summer Jobs program are subject to change at any time; details on this page were accurate as of the posting date. To learn about current program details, please contact Mentor Works or visit canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/services/funding/youth-summer-job.
For several years, the federal and provincial governments have launched a range of annual hiring grants and wage subsidies to encourage employers to hire youth across Canada. These programs incentivize the hiring and training of inexperienced or underemployed youth. They are critical to ensuring the development of skilled labour in Canada; without them employers would experience a crippling skills gap.
Employers may access these Canadian government grants, many of which typically become available in the spring and summer months, to offset the wages of recent graduates. When used strategically, these can optimize an employer’s payroll.
In many cases, hiring grants can total up to 50% of youth wages to a maximum $14,000-20,000 per year depending on the program. However, wage subsidy programs differ based on the type of candidate a business is looking to recruit or the industry that the new yire would be working in.
This article will further examine the types of hiring grants available to Canadian small and mid-sized enterprises (SMEs) in 2017.
Types of Wage Subsidy Programs and Hiring Grants
There are two main types of Canadian government funding programs that small businesses will be able to access to hire youth employees in 2017. They include:
Wage Subsidies for Youth Returning to School After Summer
Wage subsidy programs are gaining popularity in Canada. They assist employers address short-term labour shortages caused by full-time staff vacations or expanded labour requirements created during summer months. Employers may be able to save up to 50% of provincial minimum wage for the duration of the student’s employment.
A record number of wage subsidies were awarded to Canadian SMEs in 2016 because of the federal government’s expansion of Canada Summer Jobs. In total, $220.5 will be available in 2017 and 2018 in support of the program.
Employers must apply for this wage subsidy by January 20, 2017. Candidates do not need to be chosen at time of application.
Hiring Grants to Hire Recent Post-Secondary Graduates
Another popular and even more lucrative way for employers to reduce their payroll costs in 2017 is by accessing grants to hire a recent post-secondary graduate. For most programs, Canadian SMEs can save up to 50% of a recent college or university graduate’s wages for a period of 4-12 months.
During this time, businesses may access up to $20,000 to reduce the cost of labour while they provide training and onboarding to the new employee. Upon completion of the funding program, it’s expected that the recent graduate received skills to become a valuable member of the team or workforce as a whole.
Employers can begin applying for most hiring grants in the second quarter of each year. Funding is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, so employers should be prepared to submit applications for potential job candidates soon after classes end in the spring.
How Much Could Your Business Receive in Hiring Grants?
Hiring grants and wage subsidy programs can be obtained by almost all Canadian employers. Using these grants to reduce payroll costs should be part of every competitive business’ employment strategy.
Wage subsidy applications for the federal Canada Summer Jobs program are due January 22; interested businesses must apply immediately access these funds.
To confirm your eligibility and discover the amount of funding you may be able to receive for upcoming hires, please use Mentor Works’ Wage Subsidy Identifier contact form.
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