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CSJ programs offer mutually beneficial opportunities for employers and youth

Posted on December 29, 2021 by Sunny South News

By Erika Mathieu
Sunny South News

The application period for employers for the Canada Summer Jobs (CSJ) program is officially open now until Jan. 25, 2022. The program, which typically runs through the summer months allows employers to hire youth ages 15-30 for six-to-16-week work placements which are funded by the program. The funding provides mutual benefits for both employers and workers. The program allows youth to gain valuable employable skills and experience and prepares new workers to enter the workforce for the first time as well as those undergoing a career transition. The program has committed to create 100,000 CSJ jobs in 2022, and will provide employers with the resources to train and mentor young workers within their organization.

Calgary-based Tonie Minhas had several work placements through the CSJ program in 2011 and 2012. Through the program’s wage subsidy, Minhas said she was able to gain valuable experience working in the not-for-profit sector through placements with the Canadian Red Cross organization as well as with Students for a Free Tibet.

“It was incredibly valuable for me because it gave me an opportunity to work in a field that I otherwise wouldn’t have had access to. It also provided me with really valuable work experience and an edge on my resume while I was entering the workforce. I had gained employment skills that many folks don’t get access to until they enter the workforce,” she said.

Minhas added the CSJ program, “made the transition from post secondary to the workforce much easier.”

Funding for the 2022 positions is expected to be announced in April 2022. According to the 2022 CSJ application guide, eligible employers are encouraged to apply to, “help ensure that the program remains responsive to the employment needs of youth and employers.” The guide outlines the required parameters of positions eligible for funding, which will need to be full time with a minimum of 30 hours a week and a duration of at least six weeks. Funding varies from organization to organization, but the application guide states “approved employers from the not-for profit sector will be eligible for a wage subsidy reimbursement of up to 100 per cent of the provincial or territorial minimum hourly wage. Approved public and private sector employers will be eligible to receive a wage subsidy reimbursement of up to 50 per cent of the provincial or territorial minimum hourly wage.”

Colin Delaney got his start at the Boys and Girls Club of Lethbridge through a CSJ position after completing a combined education degree. “Through the program I was able to get a job that was relevant to my experience and degree that ended up being a ton of fun as well. I was able to then apply for a more permanent position in the fall that I have had since then as well, which has opened up new opportunities over the last couple years,” he said, noting the impact of the funding has allowed him to continue a career path in his designated field.

With the application period for employers now officially open for 2022 Canada Summer Jobs (CSJ) program, public sector employers, not-for-profit organizations, as well as private sector employees with under 50 full-time employees. The program is also aimed to respond to local and federal priorities, which are outlined in the application guide, to improve access to the labour market for youth many of whom face employment barriers. There is also an opportunity for employers to apply with one or more national priorities in mind. These priorities include quality job creation and placement for indigenous youth, black or racialized youth, youth living with disabilities, youth who have left highschool early, and are not in employment, education or training, and small businesses and not-for-profit organizations which report a shortage of leadership from groups that are underrepresented in the labour market.

The annual call for applications for the Canada Summer Jobs (CSJ) program is open. Employment and Social Development Canada will be accepting applications until Jan. 25, 2022. For more information on the CSJ program or if you are an employer looking to apply, visit canada.ca/CanadaSummerJobs

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