Wage Subsidy Programs for Farms in Canada

Posted by Michalina Hunter on January 06, 2023

Wage Subsidies for Farms in Canada


Are you a farm looking for a wage subsidy to hire an employee? Here are several federally and regionally-funded programs to consider. Make sure to read the eligibility requirements carefully, as some subsidies are not allowed to be combined with others.

Canada Summer Jobs

Canada Summer Jobs is an initiative of the Youth Employment and Skills Strategy, which aims to provide flexible and holistic services to support all young Canadians develop the skills and gain paid work experience to successfully transition in the labour market.

The Canada Summer Jobs program objectives align with the redesigned Youth Employment and Skills Strategy and are as follows:

  • provide quality work experiences for youth
  • respond to national and local priorities to improve access to the labour market for youth who face unique barriers
  • provide opportunities for youth to develop and improve their skills

The program provides wage subsidies to employers from not-for-profit organizations, the public-sector, and private sector organizations with 50 or fewer full-time employees, to create quality summer work experiences for young people aged 15 to 30 years.

Not-for-profit employers are eligible to receive funding for up to 100% of the provincial or territorial minimum hourly wage. Public and private sector employers are eligible to receive funding for up to 50% of the provincial or territorial minimum hourly wage.

Application Window: The annual Call for Applications for the Canada Summer Jobs (CSJ) program will be launched during the week of November 20th, 2023, and will end on January 10, 2024 at 11:59 p.m. 

Click here to learn more about Canada Summer Jobs

Youth Employment and Skills Program for Agriculture (YESP)

The YESP program provides a wage subsidy to employers who hire one  youth (15 to 30) for an agricultural job.

The program offers support for 50% of wages to a maximum of $14,000.

If approved, the following employers are eligible to receive 80% of total eligible costs, up to the maximum $14,000:

The program can also provide up to $5,000 in additional support to offset the employment barrier faced by the employee hired.

If a youth facing barriers must relocate within Canada, reasonable expenses directly related to the relocation may also be eligible. Barrier-related expenses cannot exceed $5,000 and will be supported at 80%. Non-barrier youth may also be eligible for pre-approved relocation costs at the 50% funding level to a maximum of $5,000.

Who’s Eligible?

Eligible employers are agricultural related organizations such as farmers, food processors and agricultural related non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

Application Window: Closed.

Learn more about the Youth Employment and Skills Program for Agriculture

Nature Canada’s Work to Grow program

Nature Canada’s Work to Grow program connects racialized (Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC) youth to jobs that promote and protect nature.

Eligible organizations could include: 

  • Non-profits (for example, nature groups, forest schools, social justice organizations)
  • For-profits (for example, Hiking groups)
  • Indigenous Organizations/Governments
  • Educational and Cultural Institutions

As a partner organization, you must demonstrate:

  • an opportunity for youth to be exposed to meaningful work in nature conservation or appreciation
  • capacity to provide mentorship and support to youth
  • equity and anti-racism initiatives or interest
  • willingness to support youth in participating in Work to Grow training, networking, and other initiatives
  • financial resources to pay the remaining wage cost

Nature Canada will:

  • provide a 50% wage subsidy to increase your capacity to hire youth aged 15-30, at $17.50/hour for up to 35 hours/week, for between 8 and 16 weeks.
  • create learning and community-building opportunities
  • raise the profile of Work to Grow program partners and lift up the voices of BIPOC youth participants through our communications avenues.

Deadline: Between September 1 – November 10, 2023

Learn more about the Work to Grow Program


Environmental Jobs Growth Program

The Environmental Jobs Growth Program helps develop and diversify Canada’s environmental workforce across all industries. The program helps employers offset the cost of hiring for new or vacant positions and can apply to candidates of any working age, educational background, and experience level. This program also provides assistance in onboarding and developing talent to help accelerate clean economic growth.

Unemployed and underemployed Canadians, especially those from equity-seeking groups, will benefit from gaining or transitioning into meaningful careers while building a network of peers and mentors.

Funding for this initiative caters to all environmental employers and roles within traditional and emerging industries, including the Battery Supply Chain and Climate Adaptation and Mitigation sectors.

They offer funding for employment programs that stimulate environmental career pathways, skill development, business growth, and workforce advancement.

This program offers eligible employers 50% wage coverage up to $15,000 of a candidate’s salary for placements in a new full-time or part-time position of 6 to 12 months, or $18,750 when hiring a self-identified equity deserving candidate.

Deadline: Ongoing

Nature-Based Solution Program

This program provides training and funding for workers leaving the natural resource sector and helps them move into nature-based climate solutions employment such as coastal restoration, forestry, and mining roles that relate to climate adaptation, watershed restoration, drought resiliency, and more. It program offers eligible employers up to $4,500 of an employee’s salary for placement in a full-time 3-month nature-based solutions project.

This program is open to candidates of all ages from across Canada who are willing to relocate to a Western or Northern province. No formal education is needed, just an interest in working in Canadian nature-based solutions and green infrastructure projects.

Deadline: To qualify for funding, both work placements and training must be preapproved by ECO Canada and underway by July 1, 2023.

Environmental Employability Pathways Program

This program offer wage funding for employers looking to hire young professions to help them to develop their employability skills and obtain work experience that will prepare them to obtain and keep employment. Small and medium-sized businesses can receive 50% wage funding up to $12,000 for their next hire.

Deadline: Ongoing

Student Work Placements

This co-op program works with institutions and employers across Canada to fund work placements for students to gain real-world experience in the environment while they are still in school.

They will provide 50% of a wage up to a maximum of $5,000 to eligible employers who hire the brightest minds in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math (STEAM) and Business.

Deadline: Ongoing

Science Horizons Youth Internship

The Science Horizons Program provides training and funding for young professionals with post-secondary education to help them transition into the workforce and gain experience in the environmental sector. The program helps them build a network of peers and mentors.

For employers, it gives them the opportunity to onboard young professionals and create meaningful environmental jobs in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics by removing limitations and challenges of hiring young professionals.

Deadline: Ongoing. Currently taking waitlist signups.

CANADA GREEN CORPS – Science and Technology Internship Programme

In partnership with Natural Resources Canada, CGC-STIP is dedicated to creating and providing quality green employment opportunities for youth in the natural resource sector by offering up to 75% wage subsidies to employers across Canada.

Who is Eligible?

  • Employee must be 15-30 years of age (inclusive at the start of the placement)

  • Must be either Canadian CitizenPermanent Resident or have Refugee Status

  • Legally able to work in Canada and according to the relevant provincial/territorial legislation and regulations

Employment Status:

  • Full-time employment (30 hours/week minimum)

  • New hires after April 1st, 2023

  • Summer jobs, co-op placements and temporary contracts are not eligible

Up to 75% wage subsidies for all types of positions in Natural Resources

  • Up to $19,000 for Job Ready Youth

  • Up to $21,500 for Youth from Employment Equity Groups (YEE)​

  • Up to $24,000 for Youth Furthest from Employment (YFE)​

Deadline: There is no deadline for employers to apply, but there will be limited funding.

Click here to learn more about Green Corps

CAHRC Agri-Talent Student Wage Subsidy Program

As part of this program, subsidized Work Integrated Learning (WIL) opportunities connect employers with post-secondary students to ensure higher participation by post-secondary students within the Canadian agriculture industry with special focus on including under-represented and equity-seeking groups. Can be full-time or part-time positions.

Eligible employers can receive:

  • 50% of the wages (to a maximum of $5,000) for each net new placement.
  • 70% of the wages (to a maximum of $7,000) for each net new placement for under-represented groups including women in STEM, Indigenous students, newcomers, and persons with disabilities, visible minority as well as first-year students.

Stacking with provincial tax credits or other non-federal funds is allowed, but funding cannot be combined with other federal programs and grants, for example Canada Summer Jobs, Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS), or any other delivery partner of the Student Work Placement Program.

Deadline: Ongoing.

Employer Eligibility:

  • Registered Canadian businesses and not-for-profit organizations from the Agriculture Industry
  • Have the financial capacity to pay the student for the duration of the placement in full (the wage subsidy will be administered after receiving the final pay stub at the end of the placement)
  • Compliant with all federal and provincial human rights and labour legislation, regulations, and any other relevant standards including the Occupational Health and Safety Act and the Employment Standards Act
  • Where legally required, responsible for Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) or alternate workplace insurance coverage

Employee Eligibility:

  • Registered as a domestic student in a recognized post-secondary institution in a full-time or part-time program (undergraduate, graduate, diploma or certificate)
  • Canadian citizens, permanent residents, or refugees
  • Legally entitled to work in Canada in accordance with relevant provincial or territorial legislation and regulations
  • Undertaking a placement recognized as a Work-Integrated Learning component by the student’s institution in connection with a course, degree, certificate, diploma, or other recognized program offered by the institution.

Click here to learn more about the CAHRC’s Agri-Talent Growing Opportunities program. 

Experience Matters! 55+ Wage Subsidy Program

British Columbia

The Experience Matters! Program offers eligible employers in B.C. a negotiated wage subsidy as an incentive to hire eligible job seekers aged 55+. Funding for the program is provided by the Government of Canada through the Canada-British Columbia Workforce Development Agreement. Employers that hire and train eligible job seekers in jobs offering long-term employment are eligible for a negotiated Wage Subsidy incentive up to $2800.

Companies conduct their own recruiting and the application can be quickly and easily completed.

Is my business eligible?

  • Worker 55+ must be aged 55 or older and a new hire
  • Business must be in operation for at least one year
  • Business must be in good standing with WorkSafeBC
  • Must employ worker 55+ for a minimum of 3 months with preference given to long-term positions over 6 months
  • Employers will NOT qualify if employee is hired prior to signing Experience
  • Matters Funding Agreement between Employer and Bowman Employment Services Inc.

Deadline: Ongoing. Program currently full. Follow the link below to join the waitlist for potential future funding.

Learn more about the Experience Matters Program here.

Investment Agriculture Foundation

British Columbia

The Investment Agriculture Foundation is offering a Summer Student Farm Worker Bursary for secondary and post-secondary students. To qualify for the up to $3,000 bursary you must work for a BC-based employer for a minimum number of hours in the summer.

Deadline: Applications will be accepted starting January 2024 for the summer 2024 season.

Learn more about the Investment Agriculture Foundation’s Summer Student Farm Worker Bursary here.


British Columbia

This program provides eligible employers in BC with a $2,800 wage subsidy to hire eligible youth age 17-29. 

 A business is eligible if:

  • Youth must be a new hire aged 17 to 29
  • In operation for at least one year
  • In good standing with WorkSafeBC
  • Must employ youth for a minimum of 3 months with preference given to long-term positions over 6 months
  • Employers will NOT qualify if employee is hired prior to signing Get Youth Working Funding Agreement between Employer and Bowman Employment Services Inc.

Deadline: Ongoing

Click here to learn more about Get Youth Working



Career Focus helps facilitate the transition of highly skilled and/or post-secondary educated young people into the labour market. These youth possess an eagerness to jumpstart their careers by gaining work experience that aligns with their specialized skillset and/or post-secondary education.

The Program, funded in part by the Government of Canada’s Youth Employment Strategy, provides employers in the BC Southern Interior with a Wage Subsidy when they hire eligible applicants 15–30 years old for full-time employment.

Key points: 

  • Position must require a high skill set and/or post-secondary education
  • Must be a minimum of 35 hours a week for an average of 26 weeks
  • Wage subsidy is negotiated.

Benefits for Youth & Employers:

  • Signing up for the Program is free.
  • Offset the costs of hiring and training new employees.
  • Find and keep educated, skilled, high caliber employees.
  • Eligible Youth gain a competitive edge when applying for employment.
  • Skilled Youth with advanced education gain valuable on-the-job experience.

Employee Eligibility:

  • Between the ages of 15 and 30 (inclusive) at the time of intake
  • Reside in BC Southern Interior Region
  • Canadian citizens, permanent residents, or persons who have been granted refugee status in Canada
  • Legally entitled to work according to the relevant provincial legislation and regulations
  • Not in receipt of Employment Insurance (EI) benefits
  • Priority will be given to youth with post-secondary education

Employer Eligibility:

  • Are located in BC Southern Interior Region
  • Have been in business for at least one year
  • Are registered and in good standing with WorkSafe BC
  • Have a vacant full-time position available for an eligible youth
  • Initiate a funding agreement prior to hiring

Deadline: Applications are now closed, but you can join the waitlist here to be notified if more funds become available.

Click here to learn more about the Career Focus Wage Subsidy Program

Columbia Basin Trust Wage Subsidies

BC Columbia Basin Region

The Columbia Basin Trust offers several different wage subsidies for businesses in the Kootenays/Columbia Basin region. Visit their website for current information. 

Deadline: Varies per program

Learn more about the Columbia Basin Trust Wage Subsidies

Clean Foundation Wage Subsidies 

The Clean Foundation offers three wage subsidy programs for employers in the clean economy to hire young Canadians (15-30).  

Clean Leadership Summer Internship Program
(only available in Nova Scotia)

Wage subsidies of up to 60% of the intern’s salary for organizations hiring high school and post-secondary Nova Scotian youth through 9-15 week placements.

Employer Eligibility: 

  • Organizations in Nova Scotia that focus on climate change mitigation, conservation, waste management, clean tech, active transportation, research, and other areas rooted in the clean economy

Employee Eligibility: 

  • A Canadian citizen, permanent resident or have refugee status 
  • Between the ages of 15-30 years old at the start of the internship.
  • From and/or will be residing in Nova Scotia for the duration of the internship.
  • Not in receipt of Employment Insurance (EI) during the internship.
  • Some positions require applicants to be current high-school or post-secondary students to be eligible.

Deadline: Ongoing

Science Horizons

Wage subsidies of up to $25,000 per intern for Canadian employers hiring post-secondary graduates. Employers must be working to combat climate change and be able to create meaningful internship opportunities.

Employer Eligibility:

  • Able to contribute at least 20% of the total cost of each internship
  • Able to create a position with an environmental focus for an individual who does not currently work at your organization 
  • Able to host an internship between 6-12 months  
  • Located anywhere in Canada 
  • Able to supervise and mentor an intern utilizing a formal training plan

Employee Eligibility:

  • No more than 30 years of age at the start of the internship
  • Graduated from a post-secondary program
  • A Canadian citizen, permanent resident or have refugee status
  • Not in receipt of Employment Insurance (EI) during the internship
  • Not currently working for a hiring organization 
  • Not currently enrolled in school

Deadline: Closed.

Green Jobs

Wage subsidy of up to $20,000 per intern hired, or up to $25,000 for youth hired who are furthest from employment, for employers in the natural resources sectors.

Employer Eligibility:

  • Legal entities incorporated or registered in Canada, including for-profit and not-for-profit organizations
  • Indigenous organizations and groups
  • Provincial, territorial, regional and municipal governments and their departments and agencies

Employee Eligibility:

  • Between 15 and 30 years old at the start of the internship.
  • Eligible to work in Canada.
  • A Canadian citizen, permanent resident or have refugee status.
  • Not currently enrolled in school.

Deadline: Employer applications for the 2023-2024 program year are now closed.

Click here to learn more about the Clean Foundation Wage Subsidy Programs

Venture for Canada

Atlantic Canada

The Intrapreneurship Program supports your organization to hire students, eager to gain work experience by tackling projects in marketing, research, data analytics, operations, and project management.

  • Submit a project
  • Team will review and approve your project within 6-8 weeks.
  • Venture for Canada provides the students
  • Students commit to 60 hours of project work over 7 weeks.
  • Weekly check-ins

This program is designed to support students in underserved communities in accessing paid work experience. For this program, underserved students include:

  • Newcomers to Canada
  • Persons with disabilities
  • Women in studying STEM fields
  • Students living in rural/non-urban communities

Deadline: Ongoing

Click here to learn more about the Venture for Canada Intrapreneurship Program

SWPP Food Processing Skills Canada’s Student Work Placement Program

The SWPP program provides post-secondary students with work-integrated learning opportunities related to their field of study in the food and beverage manufacturing sector.

The program funding reimburses eligible employers for up to 75% of wages (to a maximum of $7500).

Employer Eligibility

  • Registered, Canadian business or not-for-profit

Student Eligibility 

  • Registered as a domestic student in a recognized post-secondary institution
  • Canadian citizens, permanent residents, or have refugee status
  • Eligible to work in Canada
  • Undertaking a placement that is recognized as work-integrated learning in connection with a course, degree, certificate, diploma, or other recognized program offered by the institution. The placement can be required or optional, for credit or not for credit.
  • Graduate students (including Masters and PhD’s) are eligible.
  • Can be in a full or part-time program
  • Can be from any program of study

Applications are open.

Click here to learn more about SWPP Food and Processing Skills Canada’s student work placement program.

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