First Nations and Inuit Skills Link Program
The 2019-2020 call for proposals to support activities under the First Nations and Inuit Skills Link Program is now closed.
This program helps First Nations and Inuit youth acquire essential employment skills and learn about job and career options.
The First Nations and Inuit Skills Link Program is one of two programs under the First Nations and Inuit Youth Employment Strategy.
To further help support Canada's newest workers in making the transition from school to work, and to help them get a strong start in their careers, the Government of Canada has invested approximately $100 million over 3 years in 2017-2018 towards the First Nations and Inuit Youth Employment Strategy: Skills Link and Summer Work Experience programs.
About the program
The First Nations and Inuit Skills Link Program supports activities that assist youth in acquiring the essential skills that will help them gain employment, function well in the workplace, and learn about job and career options.
Activities may include career promotion, science and technology activities, co-operative education placements and internships and mentored work placements.
- promotes the benefits and importance of education to youth participation in the labour market
- supports the development and improvement of essential employability skills, such as communication, problem-solving, and working with others
- introduces youth to a variety of career options
- helps youth gain skills by providing wage subsidies for mentored work experience or for mentored school-based work and study opportunities
Funding is provided to eligible First Nations and Inuit communities, governments and organizations, as well as not-for-profit associations, schools and employers who then provide activities for First Nations and Inuit youth.
Who can apply?
- First Nations and Inuit governments and organizations
- First Nations schools or federal schools on reserve
- not-for-profit organizations
- private sector employers
Organizations receiving funding through this program may also enter into agreements with private sector and not-for-profit organizations to support these activities.
Not-for-profit organizations and private sector employers may be eligible for direct funding for activities that provide opportunities for eligible First Nations and Inuit youth and fall within program guidelines. Not-for-profit organizations may be eligible to receive funding to cover up to 100% of eligible expenditures. Private sector employers may be eligible to receive funding to cover funding up to 50% of eligible expenditures.
Eligible youth participants
First Nations and Inuit youth aged 15 to 30 who are either:
- ordinarily resident on reserve or in a recognized community (an approved settlement on Crown land)
- Inuit who are residents in Canada, but who reside outside their territory, and are no longer eligible to be funded by their territory (proof of refusal is required)
Mentored work placements, are for youth who are not in school, or are unemployed, or underemployed.
Ordinarily resident on reserve means that eligible youth live on reserve, do not maintain a primary residence off reserve, and may be temporarily off reserve for the primary purpose of seeking education.
Co-operative education placements are for students in grades 7 to 12 (secondary 1 to secondary 5), enrolled in and attending a federal or band-operated school. For activities promoting careers and science and technology, youth may be younger than 15 years of age.
The deadline to submit a proposal was February 15, 2019 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time.
How to apply?
Applicants must submit detailed proposals for the activities to be undertaken over the course of the agreement.
- fall within the program guidelines
- be gender-balanced
- outline the activities that support any or all of the program objectives
- demonstrate that activities will provide assistance only to eligible participants
- provide an estimate of eligible costs to be incurred, including those assumed by partners
- outline the results to be achieved by the project
Proposals are reviewed and approved by the Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) regional office or the First Nations or Inuit organization managing the program for their member communities.
Consult: First Nations and Inuit Youth Employment Strategy: Skills Link Program: National Program Guidelines 2019-2020.
For First Nations and Inuit communities, governments and organizations:
- Recipients who have access to the ISC Services Portal can access the proposal form by opening a session on the portal.
- Applicants who have access to the ISC Services Portal should use the electronic form by opening a session on the portal.
- If you do not have access to the portal, contact your ISC regional office.
For more information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-800-567-9604.
First Nations organizations in British Columbia must apply through the First Nations Education Steering Committee.
For not-for-profit organizations and private sector employers:
National Science Camps
The Skills Link program also supports national science camps. Held annually, these camps provide Indigenous students from across Canada with a chance to experiment within the fields of science and technology, while encouraging them to consider a career in these fields.
The 2019 camp will be held at Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario, from July 21 to 28, 2019.
- be between the ages of 12 to 15 years old
- self-identify as First Nations or Inuit
To apply, please contact your ISC regional office for the application forms (in the Northwest Territories, contact Marcy.MacDougall@canada.ca) and then complete and send the following documents:
- the application form
- an essay explaining why you want to attend the National Science Camp
- a short personal profile
- proof of status if available
- a photo release form
Your ISC regional office is responsible for reviewing all applications and selecting participants for the 2019 camp based on the documents provided by the students.
Photographs from previous National Science Camps can be viewed here:
The National Science Camps have been held in various regions across Canada.