Youth Initiative

Develop Life Skills & Work Experience

This program helps support students and youth to successfully integrate into the labour market through innovative work experience.

We understand that the youth of Eeyou Istchee are the future. Because of this, we aim to support youth through innovative programs designed to help them develop the life skills and work experience necessary to enter the labour market.

The Youth Initiative program will help to cover the costs of full- and part-time participants wages, allowing employers to focus on delivering skills and experience to eligible participants.



ASD will assist employers by subsidizing wages for eligible participants. Other eligible expenses include mandatory employment related costs (MERCs), assistance for participants with disabilities and other costs directly related to the work experience.


Since academic success is so vital to labour market integration, funding is ineligible during exam periods and in the week immediately before, so as to give participants the best chances of success, free from distractions and other obligations.


Also eligible for these programs are the Community Employment Skills Partnership programs, offered by the local Band Councils. 



There are many challenges facing youth that are just entering the labour market. It can be hard to know what kind of career is right for you, and hard to find an employer that is willing to take a chance on someone without a lot of training and experience.


Programs like these allow employers to offer you opportunities to develop skills and gain experience that will help you on your career journey. This can be used to help build an impressive resume, and to get an idea of what kinds of careers might be attractive for you.


Your local band council will likely be offering employment programs throughout the year. Make sure you know when these programs are running and be sure to apply! They can be a great way to “get your foot in the door”.  


Also, when applying for jobs at businesses in your community, be sure to mention this program. It could give your prospective employer the financial freedom they need to take a chance on you!


Eligible Activities

Activities that allow students and youth to develop life skills and gain work experience through:

  • Part-time jobs while studying, without jeopardizing the participant’s studies;
  • Full-time jobs to explore innovative work experience. 
Expected Results Develop the life skills and work experience necessary to enter the labour market.
Eligible Participants
  • Be between 15 and 30 years old -- exceptionally, participants may be older that 30 years old

For part-time jobs, secondary school students must:

  • Provide a proof of good attendance and good academic standing and, upon request, a letter of recommendation from the school
  • Provide a letter of authorization from parents, if less than 16 years old
  • Ensure that no funding is provided during the school exam period and during the week preceding this period
  • For a minimum of 10 hours per week, up to a maximum of 20 hours per week for the part-time jobs
  • For a minimum of 35 hours per week for full-time jobs
  • Must be completed by March 31 of the fiscal year in which funding is received
Eligible Expenses
  • Participant wages at the following maximum hourly rates: Highschool $15.55 / Vocational $16.50 / College $17.50 / University $19.50
  • Participant wages for the Cree Band Council’s Community Employment Skills Partnership program are at $15.55 per hour
  • Mandatory employment related costs
  • Other costs directly related to the work experience
  • Special assistance for persons with disabilities, up to $3,000 per participant
  • Administration costs must not exceed 15% of the sub-total amount of the project’s expenditures before administration costs.
Non-Eligible Expenses
  • Capital costs for the construction or purchase of a building, other than to support the participation of persons with disabilities
  • Expenses which would have otherwise been incurred by the Applicant
  • Capital expenses, such as computers and equipment, not related to the project
  • Expenses incurred before the application is submitted

Document Downloads

Please click on the buttons below to download our forms. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.


Career Promotion & Awareness

This program enhances employability skills and introduces participants to diverse career options.
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Mentored Work Placement

This program offers wage subsidies and mentorship for out-of-school youth to enhance employability skills and support educational and career development.
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Cooperative Education Placement

This program fosters vital employability skills in youth through co-op education, offering mentored work-study opportunities.
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Summer Work Experience

This program helps secondary and post-secondary students acquire the skills to successfully transition to the labour market through summer work experiences.
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Science & Technology

This program provides youth with the opportunity to feel connected to science and technology and to view them as viable career and education choices.
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Your career is about to take off

We are here to help you with any questions. Please use the form to contact us for information about this program or any other service we provide. Alternatively, you could also contact us through our various offices across Eeyou Istchee or connect online with our social media channels.