Effective January 1, 2018, Ontario’s new Employing Young Talent Incentive (EYTI) is being offered to small businesses (fewer than 100 employees) who hire and retain youth 15 to 29 years old through Employment Service, and to all employers hiring through Youth Job Connection.

How it works:
As an employer, you benefit from hiring a young person. Through the Employing Young Talent Incentive, you will receive incentives of $1,000 to $2,000 as follows:

For Employment Service (ES)-assisted youth clients matched with a small business (less than 100 employees) between January 1, 2018 and March 31, 2018, the employer will be receive a $1,000 retention payment at three months followed by a $1,000 retention payment at six months.

For ES-assisted youth clients matched with a small business after April 1, 2018, the employer will receive $1,000 upon hiring, followed by an additional $1,000 retention payment at six months in the job.

For the Youth Job Connection (YJC) program, effective January 1, 2018  a retention payment of $1,000 will be payable to employers after 3 months, with a further $1,000 payable to employers after 6 months as an incentive to small and large businesses to retain youth typically left out of the workforce.
To be eligible to receive the EYTI benefit for hiring a young person, you must:

  • prove you are licensed to operate in Ontario
  • comply with workplace, human rights and labour legislation
  • have workplace safety and liability insurance
  • offer job opportunities taking place in Ontario

More Information

What is the Employment Service program?

Employment Service is one service in the suite of services and programs known as Employment Ontario. It is delivered by a network of third-party service providers. Find your nearest provider.

It provides all job seekers including youth in Ontario with access to all the employment services and supports they need in one location, so they can find and keep a job, apply for training and plan a career that’s right for them.

In 2016-17 there were 69,477 employment services assisted youth clients (29 and under) served through employment services.

What is the Youth Job Connection program?

Youth Job Connection is one service in the suite of services and programs known as Employment Ontario. It is delivered by a network of third-party service providers. Find your nearest provider.

The Youth Job Connection program services youth aged 15 to 29 who are traditionally left out of the workforce by providing more intensive supports beyond job search and placement opportunities. Supports for this program include:

  1. Paid pre-employment training to promote job-readiness;
  2. Job matching and paid job placements, with placement supports for participants
  3. and hiring incentives for employers;
  4. Mentorship services; and
  5. Education and work transitions supports.

As of March 31, 2017, over 22,000 youth have participated in the Youth Job Connection program since the program launched on October 1, 2015.


Questions and Answers:

  1. How is the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development supporting  small businesses ?

MAESD will support these new initiatives by using the existing Employment Ontario delivery network to provide employers with incentives to hire and retain youth. These incentives will be delivered as part of the Employment Service and the Youth Job Connection programs, and will take effect in January 2018. Eligible employers will receive payments starting in the spring of 2018.


  1. How much will employers receive through this incentive?

Employers will receive a maximum of $2,000 to hire and retain youth (who are not benefiting from a current incentive) as follows:

  • For Employment Service (ES) assisted service youth clients matched with a small business (less than 100 employees):
  • between January 1, 2018 and March 31, 2018, a $1,000 retention payment at 3 months followed by a $1,000 retention payment at 6 months
  • after April 1, 2018, $1,000 upon hiring followed by an additional $1,000 retention payment at 6 months in the job.

These payments would be for employers who are not benefiting from a current incentive through ES.

  • For the Youth Job Connection (YJC) program a retention payment of $1,000 would be payable after 3 months with a further $1,000 payable after 6 months to incentivize small and large employers to retain multi-barriered (homelessness, lack of labour market experience, low levels of education etc.) youth for placements made after January 1, 2018.

This retention payment would be in addition to existing employer incentives eligible under YJC.

  1. For the Employment Service Component, why are employers receiving a retention incentive of $1,000 after three months if they hire between January 1 and March 31, 2018, and a hiring incentive of $1,000 upon hiring after April 1, 2018. Why aren’t employers paid upon hiring between January 1 and March 31?

The ministry is officially launching these employer incentives in April 2018, at the start of the ministry’s fiscal year. Since the minimum wage increase takes effect in January 2018, and to support small employers, the ministry is allowing eligible employers who hired youth from January to March to also receive the incentive.

Although employers may be eligible as of January 2018, payments will not be issued until April 2018. Employers who hired youth between January and March and retained them will receive their first payment beginning April (the 3 month incentive).

  1. How do we define a “small business”?

A small business for the purposes of the incentive delivered under ES is a business with less than 100 employees.

The incentive delivered under YJC is not limited to small businesses.  

  1. What size of employer will be eligible for the youth transitional wage incentive?

To be eligible for the incentive under the Employment Service program, the employer must have fewer than 100 employees.

Eligibility for the incentive under the Youth Job Connection program is not based on employer size, so all sizes of employers would be eligible for the incentive regardless of the number of employees.

  1. How are “youth” defined for the ES component of the incentive?

Youth are defined as any individual between the ages of 15 and 29 years old.

  1. When will the new guidelines be shared?

The new ES and YJC guidelines will be shared in January 2018 and the ministry has been training its service providers.

  1. How will this affect the delivery of ES and YJC?

The delivery of ES and YJC will not be affected. The programs’ networks are being utilized as they have the current infrastructure and capacity to deliver this new employer incentive. Service providers will have some additional responsibilities in terms of follow-ups and payments, and will therefore receive 15% of their total incentive budget in incremental administrative funding to support delivery.

  1. When will employers be eligible to receive these new incentives?

Employers will be eligible for these incentives beginning January 1, 2018. Payments will start as of April 2018.

  1. What other incentives are available for employers?

Employers are eligible for various incentives and supports under the Employment Ontario umbrella, including:

  • The Canada-Ontario Job Grant: provides an opportunity for employers to invest in their workforce, with help from the government. The Grant provides direct financial support to individual employers who wish to purchase training for their employees.
  • Employment Service: offers employers who operate a business in Ontario assistance to attract and recruit the employees with the skills they need. The program also offers financial incentives for employers to provide on-the-job training for participants in job placements, including youth.
  • Apprenticeship Employer Signing Bonus: A $2,000 Apprenticeship Employer Signing Bonus (AESB) is available to employers who hire, register, and train an apprentice as part of their participation in Job Matching, Placement and Incentives.
  • Graduated Apprenticeship Grant for Employers (GAGE): is a grant for employers who hire (sponsor) and train apprentices in 130 eligible trades. Eligible employers will receive an automatic payment as their apprentice completes each level of training and when they achieve their Certificate of Apprenticeship or Certificate of Qualification. The amount of support increases for eligible employers as the apprentice reaches completion milestones.

For further information, please contact Employment Ontario, at:
Tel: 416-326-5656
Toll-free: 1-800-387-5656
TTY: 1-866-533-6339
Email: contactEO@ontario.ca