Wage Subsidy Programs for Farms in Canada

Posted by Michalina Hunter on January 06, 2022

Wage Subsidies for Farms in Canada


Are you a farm looking for a wage subsidy to hire labour? 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.

Youth Employment and Skills Program for Agriculture (YES)

The YES program provides a wage subsidy to employers who hire youth (15 to 30) for agricultural jobs.

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:

For employers who hire a youth facing barriers, 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 is required to 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%.

Who’s Eligible?

Eligible employers are agricultural related organizations such as farmers, food processors and agricultural related non-governmental organizations (NGOs) who can offer opportunities that will give youth:

  • agriculture career-related work experiences and skills in Canada

Application Window: February 28, 2022 to March 21, 2022

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, Farms)
  • 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: January 15, 2021

Learn more about the Work to Grow Program

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. As in 2019, funded employers are no longer restricted to hiring students: all youth aged 15 to 30 years may be eligible participants.

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.

Deadline: Closed for 2022. Usually late winter.

Click here to learn more about Canada Summer Jobs


This program will cover up to 50% of a student’s wages to $5,000 when employers hire the brightest minds in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math (STEAM) and Business.

  • Funding is for paid work terms. Work terms can be full time or part time from 6 – 16 weeks.
  • Students gain valuable on-the-job experience
  • Employers increase future talent pool and resource availability
  • Students and Employers are required to find their own co-op placement
  • Three sessions per year: Winter (January-April), Summer (May-August), Fall (September-December)
  • Applications open 3 months prior to start of co-op session

Additional funding may be available for employers who hire student from one of the following groups:

  • Women in STEM
  • Indigenous People
  • Persons with Disabilities
  • First-year Students
  • Recent Immigrants (Permanent resident or refugee status)

Deadline: Ongoing

Click here to learn more about the Eco Canada Wage Subsidy


wage subsidy

Canada Green Corps (CGC) is UNA-Canada’s new innovative youth employment programme designed to bridge 150 talented, yet un-and-underemployed, Canadian youth to meaningful employment to ignite Canada’s green economy. CGC participants will undertake four to six-month work-integrated learning placements with various companies, governments, associations, universities and civil society organizations across Canada.

Partner organizations who hire a CGC participant will receive a wage subsidy of approximately 64.8%. A focus of CGC is assisting their employer organizations and communities in reducing their carbon emissions, but also to engage the community and share innovative carbon-reduction best practices through several presentations and speaking engagements over the course of their placement.

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

Click here to learn more about Green Corps

Alberta Jobs Now Program


Businesses and non-profits can apply for funding to reduce the cost of hiring and training unemployed or underemployed Albertans in new or vacant positions. Employers can apply for a grant to offset salary or training costs, or both, equal to:

  • 25% of a new hire’s salary up to $25,000 per employee
  • 37.5% of the new hire’s salary up to $37,500 per employee with a disability

Eligibility: View the eligibility pre-screening questionnaire here.


  • First intake open: May 20 to August 31, 2021
  • Second intake: November 10 until December 17, 2021
  • Third intake: to be announced at a later date

Read the details about Alberta Jobs Now Program here.

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

Learn more about the Experience Matters Program 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).  

Deadline: Applications for 2022 are now closed.

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

Wage subsidies up to 60% of 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 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 a current high-school or post-secondary student to be eligible.

Science Horizons

Wage subsidies up to $25,000 per intern for Canadian employers hiring post-secondary graduates. Employers must be working to combat climate change and 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 hiring organization 
  • Not currently enrolled in school

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.

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

CAHRC Growing Opportunities 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 Growing Opportunities program. 

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