DS4Y
Talent

Digital Skills for Youth

Looking to hire someone 30 and under this year?  You might be eligible for funding to subsidize related costs.  

Thank you for your interest in the Digital Skills for Youth Program. Due to high demand, the program is currently at capacity. Applications received now will be waitlisted and we will contact you if spots become available.

More Information

If you are looking to hire a young professional, you can benefit from subsidized salary costs and help build our talent pool.  

The program will:  

  • The Digital Skills for Youth (DS4Y) program, funded by the Government of Canada, and delivered by Innovate BC, provides up to $25,500 so youth (aged 15-30) can successfully transition to the workforce.   
  • The program helps to increase the employability and marketability of youth in British Columbia, as well as match underemployed youth with B.C. SMEs and non-profits in all regions of the province.  
  • Increase employability and marketability of youth.  
  • The Digital Skills for Youth (DS4Y) program, funded by the Government of Canada, and delivered by Innovate BC, provides up to $25,500 so youth (aged 15-30) can successfully transition to the workforce.   
  • The program helps to increase the employability and marketability of youth in British Columbia, as well as match underemployed youth with B.C. SMEs and non-profits in all regions of the province.  

You can get:

Up to $25,500 maximum grant value to cover an Intern’s salary, training and capital costs. 

  • Salary: Up to $25,500 to cover 100% of an Intern’s salary and any mandatory employment related costs (benefits),  
  • Training: One optional training stipend of up to $4,000 (inclusive of taxes) to cover the Intern’s training costs, and 
  • Capital/Direct Costs: Coverage of capital or direct costs is available under special circumstances, including small repairs or renovations to support the participation of youth facing barriers, up to a maximum of $5,000.

We require proof of payment to reimburse funds. All amounts are paid retroactively.   

Employer Eligibility

  • A B.C. based company or non-profit, 
  • Have less than 500 employees,  
  • Must provide internal mentorship to support the hire’s tech role. 
     

Intern Eligibility

  • Must be between 15-30 years old
  • Be a post-secondary graduate
  • Be hired between application submission date and December 1, 2022
  • Be working in a technology related position or supporting digital work
  • Not be in receipt of EI during the course of the work placement
  • Be legally entitled to work in Canada as a Canadian citizen, permanent resident or person who has been granted refugee status
  • Not be an immediate family member of Employer/principal shareholder
  • Reside in B.C.
  • Self-assess as underemployed, meaning they are employed below their level of education and/or hold part-time employment, or are unemployed 
  • Not have completed a DS4Y work placement in their lifetime and
  • Cannot be a co-op student
  • Application deadline: November 30, 2022
  • Earliest hire date is after the application submission date
  • Latest hire date: December 1, 2022 
  1. Read the Program Rules
  2. Submit the Application Form
  3. After receiving an initial eligibility notification from Innovate BC, complete your application:
    • Submit Intern, Project and Training Plan
    • Invite a prospective candidate to complete the Intern Application form

Innovate BC has a number of grants that require employers to hire skilled workers. To help employers find the right candidate, here is a list of organizations that have available skilled workers. 

If you’re interested in hiring tech talent, please reach out to a contact below with your job description and the Innovate BC program you applied for. 

FAQ

How long does it take to process an application?

Company Application and Project and Training Plan each takes up to 15 business days to process. The Employer will be notified of their application status via email shortly after review. 

 Can I apply to receive a Digital Skills for Youth grant before I hire an Intern?

No, applications for retroactive work placements are not eligible. Employers must submit their application before hiring an Intern. 

Can I hire after I apply but before I receive formal approval from Innovate BC?

You may hire the Intern after you submit your Company Eligibility and Information form and before you receive approval from Innovate BC; however, grant funding is not guaranteed until Innovate BC receives and reviews all application materials and grants approval. 

Can I hire an Intern once I receive the initial eligibility notification from Innovate BC after my Company Information and Eligibility Form is submitted?

You may begin the recruitment process; however, the prospective candidate must complete the Intern Confirmation and Application step and the Project and Training Plan in order to have your full application reviewed by Innovate BC. Approval will only be provided once the Intern and Project and Training plan are assessed for eligibility and subject to available funding. Any notification from Innovate BC prior to this point is not considered a guarantee for funding. 

You may choose to hire the Intern after your application is submitted and before receiving approval however, grant funding is not guaranteed until approval is granted. 

Are we eligible for Innovate BC’s Digital Skills for Youth grant if we received a Digital Skills for Youth grant from another organization in the past?

Yes, companies can receive multiple DS4Y grants, from multiple DS4Y providers, over their lifetime. However, an Intern can only participate in the DS4Y program once in their lifetime. 

Are we eligible for a grant if we received other funding for the Intern?

Yes, grant stacking is permitted as long as the combined value of all grant funding does not exceed the Intern’s salary, training expenses and capital costs. 

What is the definition of ‘immediate family’?

‘Immediate family’ means father, mother, step-father, step-mother, foster parent, brother, sister, spouse or common-law partner, child – including child of common-law partner, step-child, ward, father-in-law, mother-in-law, or any relative permanently residing with the recipient or the Employer. 

Are international students on work permits/visas eligible for the program?

No, in order to be eligible for the Digital Skills for Youth Program, Interns must be Canadian citizens, permanent residents or refugees under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. 

Can I keep the Intern as an employee following completion of the work placement?

Yes, we encourage retaining the Intern as an employee past the work placement where possible. 

Our intern has been fantastic and we're so happy to have her. Onboarding younger staff in a small company takes time especially while remote. The Innovate BC support is a great incentive for us.
Charles Bern

PATIO Interactive

Because our intern did such a great job, we are able to increase client turnover and hire our intern post program.
Kim Wilson

Bold Media Group Inc.

The intern's work greatly contributed to the growth of the organization and allowed them to develop various digital skills thus enhancing their employability in the digital industries sector.
Upkar Tatlay

Engaged Communities Canada Society

Success Stories

Learn more about how our talent programs helped these B.C. companies