Youth Job Connection: Ontario Government Funding for Hiring and Training

Ontario government funding for hiring unemployed youth

Many Canadians are unaware of how high youth employment rates are in the province of Ontario. As reported by Service Canada, in 2013 Ontario’s youth unemployment rate was 12.9%, much higher than the national average of 11.1%. This is one of the factors that contributed to youth being 1/3 of total migrants moving out of Canada and into other provinces and territories across Canada.

It’s speculated that by 2020, the number of youth entering the workforce will be insufficient to replace an aging workforce.

The Ontario government has incentivized businesses to provide greater opportunities for youth through hiring and training funding called the Youth Job Connection (YJC) program. Doing so will ensure that youth in Ontario have the skills and experience to meet the labour demand expected in coming years.

Youth Job Connection (YJC) Assistance for Employers and Employees

The Youth Job Connection (YJC) program seeks to provide opportunities for youth aged 15 to 29, currently unemployed, not in school, and not receiving other types of training. Funded through the Government of Ontario, businesses may be eligible to receive placement incentives to offset the costs of reduced productivity, increased supervision, and more. The program also offers job placement support to help disadvantaged youth to become employable. Finally, YJC aims to incentivize third-party training for new hires to become work-ready.

Timing: Due to the cyclical nature of government grants for hiring recent post-secondary graduates, most funding for hiring is unavailable in the fall and winter months. However some programs, such as those used to hire Master’s and Ph.D. students, continue after regular hiring grants have ended. To learn which Canadian government funding programs for hiring are currently available, use Mentor Works’ Wage Subsidy Identifier tool.

Benefits to Employee YJC Participants

Young Ontarians participating in the Youth Job Connection program are often those which are disadvantaged through a number of different ways. This includes those who cannot find employment because of:

  • Recent immigration;
  • Aboriginal status;
  • Disabilities;
  • Poverty;
  • Mental health issues;
  • Lack of labour market experience;
  • Low education and/or literacy; and
  • Prior conflict with the law.

Providing assisted employment to these groups will encourage the building of skills and the potential for future employability, either with the same employer or another.

Benefits to Employer YJC Participants

Employers in Ontario also benefit from hiring youth workers. In addition to providing opportunities to youth, businesses which participate in Youth Job Connection will:

  • Fill human resources voids in low-level positions;
  • Receive Ontario government funding for a variety of expenses; and
  • Have the option of continuing employment with their experienced staff after the program’s completion.

Components of the Youth Job Connection Program

The Youth Job Connection program is based on four pillars of training and work experience which includes:

  1. Client Service Planning and Coordination: Assessing businesses and youth which have applied to the program in order to determine the right candidates for each.
  2. Pre-Employment Services: Training of youth workers with at least 60 hours of workshops and activities which provide them with the basic skills and work ethic required for workplace success.
  3. Job Services: Matching qualified employees with qualified employers, ensuring a good fit and incentives that make hiring the youth worker worthwhile for a business.
  4. Education and Transition Support: After the job placement has ended (maximum 26 weeks), youth employees are provided with further training or will transition into new roles.

How Ontario Government Grants are Awarded to Employers

Employers will receive government business grants to hire employees and provide at least minimum wage, among other basic necessities. Government grant funding will be provided based on operating funds, as well as financial supports and incentives.

Operating funds aim to reduce the day-to-day operational costs which are a direct result of using Youth Job Connection. Included in this section, businesses can receive up to 20% of administrative overhead costs, including salaries and benefits of the Executive Director or other staff critical to the program’s success. Operating funds include:

  • Staff and management salaries, wages, and benefits;
  • Hiring, training, and professional development services;
  • Marketing;
  • Rent and other facility costs; and
  • Direct operating expenses due to the YJC program.

Financial supports will enable businesses to collect up to $7,500 per employee hired through Youth Job Connection. This is calculated by adding:

  • Placement incentives (the amount required by businesses to attract and train participants);
  • Pre-employment stipends (calculated at 30 hours x minimum wage); and
  • Job placement supports (funding needed to remove barriers to work, such as funding to provide a youth worker with safety equipment).

Apply to Youth Job Connection Ontario Government Funding for Hiring and Training

Businesses operating in Ontario considering joining the Youth Job Connection program should contact an Employment Ontario office to get started. To determine if this or another Canadian government funding program for hiring and training is better for your organization, contact Mentor Works and a Canadian Government Funding Expert will respond, offering a variety of solutions to assist your current and future initiatives.

Government Funding Resources for Canadian Small Business

Small businesses looking to hire and train new employees have a variety of tools and resources available to them which will help make the process easier and more affordable. Access Mentor Works’ Wage Subsidy Identifier tool to discover the grants and loans which makes recruiting a cost-efficient way to build a better workforce. Business owners and executives can also register for a Canadian government funding webinar which explores the various funding options currently available. Want to stay updated with the latest Canadian government funding news? Follow Mentor Works on Twitter, or to have all the news delivered to your inbox weekly, register for our government grants and loans newsletter.

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