If your clients have open staff positions they’re looking to fill, you might want to tell them about the Career Focus Program. This government initiative gives companies money to help young people transition into the labour market and increase the supply of highly qualified youth workers. The Career Focus Program is part of the Youth Employment Strategy introduced by the Government of Canada.
Are Your Clients Eligible?
Your clients can apply for financial aid if they’re a for-profit, not-for-profit or aboriginal organization, or represent a municipal government. The majority of requirements are based on who your clients hire. The new staff member must be be at least 15 years old but not older than 30, and be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident. The new hire must be legally entitled to work and not receive Employment Insurance benefits.
To receive Career Focus Program funding, there must be a project that involves at least eight youth participants. If the business or project is in a rural area, exceptions can be made. But it’s your client’s responsibility to recruit participants and verify the eligibility of everyone participating.
What Sort of Costs Are Eligible?
Your client can spend money in a number of different ways. Eligible expenses include overhead costs, IT support, and administrative costs. Costs of materials, supplies, wages, printing, and communication are also eligible. Other costs your client can cover are travel costs, professional fees, auditing fees, legal fees, or capital costs. There is also a catch-all category; Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) can review unique expenses that are specific to supporting a certain project.
What’s in It for Your Clients?
The Career Focus Program awards financial assistance up to 80% of the costs of an approved activity or project. Your client has to provide the 20% upfront before requesting financial aid. Regardless of the length of the project, your client can get up to $20,000, and is eligible to get a little additional funding if it accommodates the needs of staff members with disabilities.
What’s the Application Process Like?
There are four parts to the application.
- First, your client has to talk a little bit about its organization. ESDC uses this information to validate the company. It includes high-level information about the company such as its legal name, registration number, year established, and contact information.
- Second, your client has to explain the project. This includes the project title, timeline, description, and objectives.
- The third section covers how the project will be funded. Your client has to explain how the project will be paid for and the anticipated sources of contributions. This includes the source name, source type, amount of cash to be received, and in-kind values received.
- The fourth and final section is a signed declaration by your client stating the information provided is accurate.
What Is the Review Process?
Applications are reviewed based on your client’s eligibility and ability to manage the project, and the degree in which program objectives are met. Other criteria include clarity of the project’s outcome, means to measure its progress, and a value-for-money basis.
Your clients might be eligible for government funding under the Career Focus Program. If they’re looking to hire young individuals to help with a project, encourage them to complete an application and pursue financial aid from this government program.