There are numerous initiatives to encourage Canadian employers to hire students and young people as well as provide mentoring services to young entrepreneurs. These programs have numerous benefits for both BC businesses and BC's young people and students. In this blog, we will highlight three such programs that BC entrepreneurs and businesses can become involved with:
YCW began in 1996 as an initiative of the Department of Canadian Heritage and is part of the Government of Canada’s Youth Employment Strategy (YES). It offers wage subsidies to eligible employers and subsidizes approximately 2,780 jobs each year. These subsidies typically cover 25-50% of the student’s employment costs with the maximum subsidies allowed being $8,000 per job and $50,000 per employer.
Employers are offered two options: whether they would like to hire a student for a summer job or a recent graduate for an internship. It is the employer’s responsibility to hire the student or recent grad and can be done two ways: reviewing applications submitted directly to the employer or searching through YCW’s list of candidates.
Some of the eligibility requirements for businesses participating in YCW are:
• An incorporated, non-profit organization in Canada with a heritage mandate
• An educational or cultural institution that has distinct objectives, programs and budget related to heritage
• An Aboriginal regional government or governing body (band/tribal council) and/or Aboriginal organization with a mandate to preserve and support Aboriginal heritage
• Stable and financially healthy.
This program is funded by the Canada-British Columbia Labour Market Agreement. Eligible employers can receive $2,800 per eligible youth for up to three new hires. (Eligible youth criteria includes: unemployed, aged 15-29, not a full time student, a resident of BC, etc…). Employers can also request additional funds (up to $1,000) for training (training activities have to be pre-approved). With Get Youth Working, employers are able to do their own recruitment.
Some of the eligibility requirements for businesses participating in Get Youth Working are:
• In business for a minimum of one year
• In good standing with WorkSafe BC
• Must employ new hire for a minimum of 3 months and 30 hours/week
• Must apply for and be approved for the hiring incentive before a new hire starts employment.
If your business doesn’t require employees there are still many ways to pass on your knowledge and expertise to young people and students. Canadian Youth Business Foundation (CYBF) offers a variety of mentorship programs for new entrepreneurs. If you are interested in sharing your experiences you can find more information about the programs and application process here.
Have you been involved with any of these programs? If so, what were your experiences like? Do you know of any other similar programs?
List of Relevant Links
**JUNE 2014 UPDATE: In 2014 Canadian Youth Business Foundation (CYBF) became Futurpreneur Canada -- all links have been updated accordingly.