Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister, Marie-Claude Bibeau in late July announced that approximately 800 new positions are expected to be created through the Youth Employment and Skills Program for the 2020/2021 program year. The enhanced program, which launched on May 26, is now fully subscribed and the application intake is closed.

In May, the Government announced an additional funding of $9.2 million to help the agriculture industry attract Canadian youth, ages 15 to 30, to their organizations to assist with labour shortages brought on by the pandemic. At that time, it was announced that the program would fund 700 youth jobs. This program provides youth from across the country, and particularly youth facing barriers to employment, with job experience in agriculture that will provide career-related work experience.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of Canada has been taking steps to ensure the resilience of the food supply chain and to provide support to keep the agriculture sector strong.

Eligible applicants included producers, agri-businesses, industry associations, provincial and territorial governments, Indigenous organizations and research facilities.

The Government of Canada's Youth Employment and Skills Strategy (YESS) is an Employment and Social Development Canada-led horizontal initiative involving 11 federal departments and agencies.

• The number of new positions may change as applications continue to be reviewed and assessed.

• The funding was retroactive to April 1, 2020, with projects to be completed by March 31, 2021.

• This program builds on the measures the Government has introduced to keep Canada's agri-workforce strong.

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