Employment Connections: A Transition Tool Kit for Youth with Disabilities

Government of Canada – Youth Employment Strategy (YES)

Initiated by the Federal Government in 1997, the Youth Employment Strategy provides funding to establish programs and services intended to give youth greater access to job opportunities and work experience. Fourteen Canadian government departments participate in YES initiatives, offering internships in Canada and abroad, wage subsidies to help private companies hire youth, and labour market information services.

Profiled here are a few of the programs offered as part of the Youth Employment Strategy. For more information on the Youth Employment Strategy, visit

Student Summer Job Action

This initiative, offered through Human Resources Development Canada (HRDC), Industry Canada, the Department of Canadian Heritage, Parks Canada and Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, gives wage subsidies to employers who want to hire students for summer work placements. The placements typically last from 6 to 16 weeks.

Student Summer Job Action also provides students with loans they can use to start their own businesses, between May to August. To find out about business loans for students, contact the Business Development Bank of Canada, at 1-888-463-6232, or online at

Finally, HRDC Offices for Students are also operated as part of this initiative. Students can visit their local HRDC Office for Students between April to August each year, for job search tips and information. For information on any Student Summer Job Action initiative, contact the Government of Canada’s Youth Info Line at 1-800- 935-5555.

Students interested in summer career placements through the program can also contact their local HRCC, (Human Resources Centre of Canada).

Youth International Internship Program

This program, supported by the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, offers paid career-related internships overseas. The placements, available in a number of countries across the world, offer youth the chance to work on projects that further the objectives of Canada’s foreign policy.

Interns are matched with one of over 40 Canadian organizations operating overseas for internships that last from six to 12 months long. Approximately 400 internships are offered each year under the program.

Eligible youth are out of school, unemployed or underemployed, and up to 30 years of age. Those interested in a placement apply directly to organizations offering internships. For a list of opportunities available, or for more information, contact:

Youth International Internship Program
Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade
125 Sussex Ave.
Ottawa, ON
K1A 0G2
Toll Free: 1-800-559-2888
Web site:

Youth Service Canada

This program, offered by Human Resources Development Canada, develops work opportunities for youth who face particularly difficult barriers to entering the labour market.

Youth Service Canada provides opportunities for young people to participate in local community service projects. The jobs, which last up to one year, are designed to offer employment and life skills, and to instil a sense of community attachment by the youth participating.

For more information, contact the Human Resources Centre of Canada nearest you, or call the Government of Canada’s Youth Info Line at 1-800-935-5555. You can also visit the website.

Youth Link

Youth Link is the Government of Canada’s annual publication, detailing more than 250 programs, scholarships, bursaries, services and resources available through the government for young people between the ages of 15 and 30. Transition and Employment Programs Across Canada

If you would like a copy, contact the government through its toll-free youth line at 1-800-935-5555.

Alternately, you can view the contents of Youth Link online at