Business Grants Ontario: The Youth Employment Fund Hiring Program

Young business woman on a laptopIn its 2013 annual budget the Ontario government announced a two year $295 million Youth Jobs Strategy which is intended to create 30,000 new job opportunities for youth. The Youth Employment Fund is intended to play a significant role in helping the Ontario government deliver upon this promise.

Youth Employment Fund Grants for Businesses in Ontario

The aim of this grants for hiring recent grads program is to provide youth with barriers to employment with an entry point to long-term employment.  The program provides job placements to employees that offer the chance to learn work skills while earning income. For employers, the Youth Employment Fund helps alleviate immediate and long-term skills-gaps, shortages, and other workforce development needs.

Ontario Government Grants for Hiring through Youth Employment Foundation Overview

This Ontario small business grants program focuses on helping employers hire employees that will receive a valuable work experience, as well as training in areas such as:

  • Communications (ie. Public speaking),
  • Health & Safety (ie. First aid),
  • General Occupations (ie. Administration),
  • Personal/Business Skills (ie. Information Management),
  • Technology (ie. Web design and word processing)

Ontario Small Business Grants through Youth Employment Fund –Timeline

The Youth Employment Fund government grants for small business program is slated to run until 2015, and there is no limit on the number of candidates that a company can fund through the program. Internships run between 4-6 months, of which up to 2 months can be training.

Youth Employment Fund Small Business Grants Ontario –Employee Eligibility

In order to be eligible for this business grants in Ontario program employers 15-29 years old, unemployed, residing in Ontario, and not currently in school full-time. Priority will be given to candidates who would not otherwise find it easy to find employment (ie. part of a minority, have a disability, on social assistance, a poor history of educational attainment).

Does Your Business Qualify for YEF Small Business Grants Ontario?

In order to qualify for YEF Ontario business grants a SMEs must be incorporated, provide insurance coverage and not displace other employees in order to hire through the program.

Get Started with Your Youth Employment Fund Application Process

1. Visit the Service Ontario Website (or copy and paste this URL into your browser )
2. Enter “Youth Employment Fund” and your postal code in the two text boxes.
3. Click “Go!”
4. Contact the closest Employment Services Centre for more details.

Youth Employment Fund -Additional Details

• Candidates cannot be enrolled in post-secondary full-time however part-time might be acceptable. Determined on a case-by-case basis.
• Employer must state intentions for continuous employment.
• Funds will be renewed April 1 2014.
• Those interested in the program should send job descriptions between now and March 1, 2014 to find candidates for an April start date.

Learn More about the Youth Employment Fund

Find out more about the Youth Employment Fund by visiting this overview blog:


Mentor Works is Your Source for Small Business Grants and Small Business Loans Ontario

Mentor Works is your one-stop location to find and research small business grants and loans programs for small to medium-sized businesses across Canada.  We offer grant writing support services to alleviate most of the time spent on applying for Canadian government funding programs so that you can focus on growing your business.  Stay on top of Canadian business grants and loans programs available to your business by signing up for our Canadian small business grants and loans weekly e-newsletter.  You can also follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.


  1. Hello,

    Concerning the Youth Employment Fund, is it a requirement that the youth receiving the grant be a graduate from a post-secondary institution? Also, if the individual currently works part-time and is not able to receive full-time employment due to company budget constraints, will this person be eligible even though they did previously work with the company on a part-time basis?


    1. Hello Rijal,
      Typically, the program does not support post-secondary graduates -and the majority of hiring programs will not cover retroactive hires. However, this program is a little unique, and from our experience specific details may vary depending on the organization running the program. Find the employment services organization in your area and give them a call -that would be the best advice. Hope this helps!

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