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Digital Skills for Youth (DSY4) – Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada


Up to $30,000 in wage subsidy and Mandatory Employment Related Costs (MERCS), with an Employer match at 50% from for-profit organizations, and a 25% match for not-for-profit organizations.


Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada is pleased to announce the launch of the 2023–25 Digital Skills for Youth (DS4Y) competition.

The 2023–25 DS4Y competition is looking for organizations to help deliver the program. Delivery organizations should have a strong network of small to medium-sized businesses and not-for-profit organizations that can create employment opportunities to help youth build the digital skills needed in the digital economy. The opportunities should help prepare youth to adapt to the major changes expected in tomorrow’s workplace, including in emerging areas where the jobs may not yet exist, such as those related to cyber security, the automation of knowledge tasks, big data and artificial intelligence, among others.

2019-2023 Delivery organizations:

Eligible Applicants

1) Delivery Organizations

Delivery organizations are entities legally incorporated or registered in Canada and may include:

  • Not-for-profit organizations (including voluntary organizations, community organizations, public libraries and foundations)
  • Municipal governments
  • Indigenous organizations (including band councils, tribal councils and self-government entities)
  • For-profit organizations
  • Public health, educational institutions and cultural institutions
  • Provincial and territorial governments, institutions, agencies and Crown Corporations

Delivery organizations must be in good financial standing, have a governance structure, staff and networks that make them good candidates to deliver the initiative.

2) Interns

To be eligible for DS4Y, interns must meet the following criteria:

  • Post-secondary graduates, between 15 and 30 (inclusive) years of age at the start of the internship;
  • Legally entitled to work in Canada and is a Canadian citizen, permanent Resident or person who has been granted refugee status; and,
  • Self-assess as underemployed, meaning they are employed below their level of education and/or hold part-time employment.

In the north, eligible participants may be youth between 15 to 30 (inclusive) years who:

  • self-assess as underemployed, meaning they are employed below their level of education and/or hold part-time employment; and,
  • are legally entitled to work in Canada (i.e. Canadian citizens, permanent residents, or persons who have been granted refugee status).

Eligible Expenses

Eligible expenditures are those incurred by the eligible applicant (i.e. delivery organization) and which are reasonable and required to carry out the eligible activities to deliver on the goals of the DS4Y program. These include the following:

Internship Costs:

  • Up to $30,000 in wage subsidy and Mandatory Employment Related Costs (MERCS).
  • Wage subsidy of up to 100% of intern salaries.
  • Training costs up to $4,000 per intern, inclusive of taxes.
  • Participant costs (such as living expenses, dependent care, scholarships/bursaries, and accommodation)
  • Capital costs, including small repairs or renovations to support the participation of youth facing barriers. Capital costs for the construction of a building or the purchase of land or buildings are not eligible.

Administrative costs (limited to a maximum of 15% of Federal contribution):

  • Overhead costs, including costs related to central administrative functions of the recipient organization that are drawn upon to support agreement activities (such as shared postage, telephones, IT maintenance and head office support).
  • Office space used for project management.
  • The costs of materials and supplies.
  • Staff wages, training and professional development costs.
  • Honoraria and hospitality costs.
  • Printing and communication costs.
  • Travel costs (need to be in accordance with the Travel Directive as developed by the National Joint Council.
  • Professional fees (such as consultants, IT, technical expertise, facilitation, legal, research, audit, assessment and evaluation).

The funds distributed by the delivery organization to the employers to carry out eligible project activities are also eligible expenditures.

Deadline Date

  March 10, 2023.


Contact Name: ISED Canada

Phone Number: 1-800-328-6189

E-mail Address:


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