Start Smart Youth Employment Program


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General Information:

If you are a youth with any disability between the ages of 16 and 25 looking for employment, even (and ESPECIALLY) if you're looking for your first job, we want to help! There are several benefits for you when working with our Start Smart team, but most importantly, you'll be partnered with staff that understand the unique challenges young people face when seeking employment. Our Start Smart Program will automatically assess you for all of the employment services we offer and align you with the best possible resources to get you employed quickly and in a  job you are specifically interested in.


Program Eligibility:

Program staff MUST check that you meet eligibility criteria before we can consider your involvement in this program. Verifying your eligibility can ONLY be done following meeting you in person. The simplest criteria of eligibility are as follows:  

  • You must self-disclose a disability (medical verification NOT required)
  • You must be legally entitled to work in Canada and you have a Social Insurance Number (SIN)
  • You are unemployed or underemployment working less than 25 hours per week

Benefits for Participants:

There is no ‘one size fits all’, so as you work with our team, a plan that best fits you will be identified. The FAST Program may provide eligible participants with some or all of the following benefits as determined to promote your employment success:

  • One - on - One dedicated staff partner with individualized plan
  • Pre-employment services such as: resume, cover letter, interview skills, etc.
  • Job search techniques and application assistance
  • Funding for uniforms, specialized work equipment, etc.
  • Funding for specialized training eg. First Aid / CPR, WHMIS, Smart Serve, etc.
  • Wage subsidy to prospective and qualifying employers to offset training.

Benefits for Employers:

It is difficult to list all the potential benefits to employers hiring participants from our Start Smart programming, but the highlights are:

  • Employers can refer prospective candidates to our programming before you hire them
  • We can offer ongoing support as needed to ensure the best possible outcome
  • Most program participants will be qualified for a wage sudsidy (80% of current minimum wage)
  • Reimbursement of wages is simpler than ever