Through the Canada Summer Jobs (CSJ) program, businesses and non-profits throughout Canada are able to apply for wage subsidies. The program provides up to 50% of the minimum wage to employers in the private/public sector to cover co-ops, recent graduates, and youth hiring costs, and 100% to non-profits.

Canada Summer Jobs is a program under the Youth Employment and Skills Strategy, which aims to provide flexible and holistic services to help all young Canadians develop the skills and gain paid work experience to successfully transition into the labour market.

Employment and Social Development Canada

In order to be considered for this program, applicants must apply within a very short period of time. As with the last intake, applications for CSJ were due on January 25th, and we anticipate that the 2023 intake will follow a similar schedule.

Application for the 2023 season of Canada Summer Jobs is now open.

Last year, the Canada Summer Jobs program was successful in providing over $443 million in funding support to Canadian businesses that hired youth employees through this program. In total, the 2021 intake created a total of 124,558 jobs across the country via Canadian small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) that were able to leverage this significant opportunity.

Due to the success of previous intakes, it is highly likely that the program will receive a large sum of applications this intake. We therefore recommend businesses are prompt in submitting their applications.

Funding Snapshot: Canada Summer Jobs

An excellent way to recover some of the costs associated with hiring a co-op student, recent graduate, or youth for the summer is to leverage this opportunity.

Amount of Funding

The amount of funding for Canada Summer Jobs is dependent upon the type of organization applying for the program and the number of new hires it makes. A substantial amount of funding is provided to non-profit organizations in order to help them reduce their costs. You may receive funding based on the nature of your application or your organization’s structure:

  • Providing up to 50% of minimum wage to youth who are employed by private or public employers;
  • For youth hired by non-profits, this benefit covers up to 100% of their minimum wage, along with mandatory employment-related costs.

Who is Eligible to Apply?

In order to be eligible for funding, your business must meet the following eligibility requirements so that CSJ can support businesses that promote a healthy learning environment for youth hires:

  • Employer must have < 50 employees;
  • Candidate must be 15–30 years of age and a permanent Canadian resident, citizen, or refugee; and
  • Positions must be full-time (30–40 hours/week) for at least 6 weeks in duration, with the average funding in previous years lasting 8 weeks at ~35 hours/week.

COVID-19 safety measures for employee health are to be followed by employers in accordance with any provincial and federal public health guidelines.

Eligible Hires and Positions

Participants in the CSJ program must be between 15 and 30 years old and work a minimum of 30 hours a week. Applicants do not need to be selected to apply for funding. The only requirement is that you must hold a position that meets the eligibility requirements for the application. A number of employers are eligible to apply for funding under this stream, including those who are:

  • Providing relevant work experience and mentorship for youth ages 15–30;
  • Providing wages above minimum wage;
  • Hiring a priority student;
  • Addressing local priorities;
  • A small business that was/continues to be impacted by COVID-19; or
  • Providing community services or support towards underrepresented groups and groups with barriers to employment.

Your application does not require a candidate to apply; you have up to the start date to find someone who meets your job requirements.

Timelines for Canada Summer Jobs

Currently, there is no information on the timeline for the CSJ program in 2023 yet. Canadian businesses will want to keep in mind the previous 2022 application deadlines for the 2023 intake given the popularity of this program and its possibly short application window.

Here are last years CSJ program deadlines:

  • Deadline to apply was January 25, 2022.
  • Position could commence as soon as April 25, 2022.
  • Latestpossible position start date was July 24, 2022.
  • Positions must have been completed by September 3, 2022.
  • Employers must wait for approval before hiring your candidate – approval updates are provided by the program and started in April 2022.

Apply for the Canada Summer Jobs Wage Subsidy

A lot of applications are received for this program due to the tight application deadlines, and a large number of applicants are selected during the application period. You can be notified about Canada Summer Jobs updates, as well as more relevant programs by subscribing to our weekly funding newsletter.

In order to maximize your chances of getting approved for funding and eliminate 95% of the time required to apply for funding compared to businesses that apply in-house, we strongly encourage you to speak to a Mentor Works team of Canadian government grant writing professionals if you believe you have an eligible position. Call 1-888-599-3111 today to speak with a member of their team.

Businesses that are successful in their Canada Summer Jobs application will then need to find and select a candidate themselves. For the best practices on scouting and recruiting the best employee available to you, get access to our free Recruiting Top Talent slide deck.

Mentor Works is a business support organization specializing in Canadian government funding. The Ontario-based business has helped hundreds of businesses build and execute their funding strategy through a mix of federal and provincial government grants, loans, and tax credits. Mentor Works offers free online resources, funding webinars, and news via their website at

Author: Matthew Mongeon

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