Canadian Social Programs for Youth

It is difficult to isolate social programs for youth in Canada but instead is much easier to look at these types of programs based on what each of the provinces has to offer. However, there are some programs provided across the country for youth provided by the Federal government.


This is a federal program for youth in Canada and is considered to be one of the more significant programs. This is a program that focuses on youth at risk, with the mandate of encouraging them to remain in the school system and go for post secondary education. Following up on this includes coaching, arming them with job search skills and planning for their career.

International Youth Program

This is a sector of the programs including the Youth employment strategy. The purpose of the program is to encourage youth to follow a chosen career and offers support to do so with the supplying of applicable tools, along with experience. Although it is dubbed as being for youth the age group for this is 19 to 30, so for many, they feel the youth application really only refers to the nineteen-year-olds.

Youth Internships

This is an add on to the Canada Youth Employment Strategy.The purpose of this particular program is to provide opportunities for youth to get into the work force. The youth age group designated for this program is 15 to 30.

While there are many programs throughout Canada dubbed as social programs many of them are geared towards education and job generation. This is done in an effort to offset some of the challenges that the youth in Canada are faced with. There are many other provincial ones that follows basically the same mandates as the Federal ones but they are designed to assist the youth of the particular provinces.

Rainbow Youth: Canada’s Social Youth Programmes

There are many social programmes for the Canadian youth but they can be quite intimidating. It may be hard to set them all apart but the good news is that Rainbow Youth has broken down these programmes for you. While there are some social youth programmes that are provided by the government, there are several that are offered by each province in Canada. 

The social youth programmes provided by the government are no doubt one of the best and most significant. They focus more on the encouragement of staying in school and the youth at risk. They also provide help for those who want to pursue secondary education. Teams are trained to coach, teach, and plan the careers of the participants as well as equip them with essential skills. These skills are then honed in order to prepare them for the career they want to pursue. 

What are social youth programmes?

Social youth programmes, in essence, are designed to provide assistance to the Canadian youth. The kind of assistance they give may vary, but they usually involve the needs of the youth beyond what the market can provide. There are many programmes people can take part in and are usually run by the provinces. 

The government shoulders the funds of these programmes. These funds are then directed to the citizens in need. Not all programmes get this benefit, however, and the funds given are a case to case basis. Public education and medical care are considered to be additional costs which are then not included in the fund. 

If you are interested in joining a social youth programme, get in touch with your local government unit or representative. You may inquire about the programmes available on our website. We have information about the programmes offered. 

The history behind social programmes

Most people in Canada attribute the birth of social programmes to the Great Depression. Social services before the plight were mostly carried out by private groups and charities. Since many policies were changed in response to the climate at that time, the nation saw the rise of a welfare state like most countries in Western Europe. 

Many of those programmes are still being run today except for a few that had to be halted in the 1990s after the government saw a shift in priorities. Welfare was mainly referred to as direct funds for citizens with low-income families. Canadians sought to reverse the negative connotation of the term by referring to it as ‘the dole’. 

For the youth, these social programmes went beyond financial support. The need for education and job training opened opportunities for provinces to run programmes dedicated to these services. 


International Youth Programme

This programme focuses on the employment of the youth. Teams are dedicated to encouraging the youth to pursue career paths suited for them. In the case that these individuals lack the necessary skills for the job, the programme will provide them with support and training. They provide the tools and resources to help them get started on their career. 

The programme mainly benefits citizens aged 19 to 30. The allowance in the age group allows individuals to keep pursuing employment. The application for the programme, however, only refers to the younger ones. Other international youth programmes offer educational opportunities abroad where they can spend a summer or even a full year in Canada or other countries. 

In countries where English is not an official language, youth programmes open applications for interested individuals who want to study in an English-speaking country. Tutoring and immersion camps are also available for the youth to expand their horizons and improve their English. In Canada, programmes often send these applicants to the best schools in several provinces. Summer camps are also offered for those who cannot afford to leave their home country for more than a few months. 

Rotary International Youth Programmes

Rotary Club International has been developing programmes for youth from all over the world. Perhaps one of their most well-known programmes is the Rotary Youth Exchange. The programme is open to young students from ages 15 to 19 who want to study and experience different cultures. The applicants are sponsored by the members of Rotary. 

Applicants get the benefit of building lifelong friendships and skills and learn new languages and cultures. The programme is offered in either short-term or long-term. Students get to be enrolled in a school from their designated countries and live with host families. All in all, the programme offers a wide range of opportunities for young individuals from all over the world. 

Once students complete their tenure, they can take part in the youth programmes offered by Rotary such as the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards, Interact clubs, and New Generations Service Exchange. Individuals get the chance to enhance their skills and combine their professional goals with humanitarian projects. 

Leadership camps and programmes are offered for applicants after they have finished their exchange year. They can develop social skills, build confidence, and expand their connections with other young leaders. 

Canada World Youth

This programme is rooted in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. They collaborate with countries to develop educational platforms for the youth to build their understanding of international affairs and partnerships. Companies in technology, media, finance, and government work together with Canada World Youth to open more platforms for the youth. 

There are many ways applicants can get involved in the programme such as addressing indigenous issues, internship initiatives, and volunteering. The programme also aims to enable Canadian youth to take part in global matters and make positive changes in communities beyond their own. If you wish to learn more about the programmes they offer, you can visit their website. 

Youth internship programmes

These programmes support the Canada Youth Employment Strategy. The programme aims to open more opportunities for the youth to get involved in the workforce. Internships are designed to help young applicants to find the right career path for them. While internships are mostly short term, recruiters may decide to offer long-term contracts for interns who show great interest in the company. 

The International Youth Internship Programme (IYIP)

This programme runs under the Government of Canada’s Youth Employment and Skills Strategy. The programme is extensive, providing Canadian youth with internship opportunities in countries all over the world. The programme has partnered with several international organizations for applicants to choose from. 

It aims to provide the youth with exposure to more professional fields abroad like international development. The programme also offers the youth access to training that will help them acquire jobs or secondary studies if they so wish. 

The programme’s partners are divided into several sectors, giving interested applicants a wide range to choose from such as:

  • Communications
  • Gender equality
  • Education
  • Human rights
  • Social services
  • Agriculture
  • Law
  • Marketing
  • Science
  • Technology
  • Engineering
  • Math
  • Environmental studies
  • Business development

The internship programme often lasts for a total of 6 months, including the training and pre-departure modules. There are certain qualifications an applicant must meet in order for them to be accepted into the programme such as, but not limited to: 

  • Applicants must be between the ages of 19 to 30.
  • Applicants must be graduates of a degree or diploma programme in a college or university or post-secondary graduates from an institution or general and vocational college.

Youth age range

The term ‘youth’ is loosely defined in Canada and does not exclusively pertain to a certain age group. In most cases, the term refers to ‘young adults’. The programme offerings for Canadian youth may differ between provinces. A more modern concept behind the term is rooted in characteristics rather than actual age. It is true that the youth are acquiring new skills and talents as they grow older but they are also influenced by role models that shape their perception of life. 

This results in the cultivation of personalities and characteristics. You may find that some younger individuals often think beyond the box or are wise beyond their years. These traits may be attributed to their upbringing but also exposure to education. This is why most social youth programmes are dedicated to education and job training. 

As more people expand their horizons, they get the chance to intertwine with older peers. This can influence how well they can handle social and economic environments. Maturity cannot be quantified but there is no doubt that if more opportunities are available, the more independent and prepared they can be. 

The term ‘youth’, however, has had negative connotations attached to it. This is mainly due to its association with angst, behavioural changes, and risk exposure. Many countries around the world respond to the term differently, especially when it comes to values and discipline. For social youth programmes, however, the standard of which the term upholds makes it a lot easier to develop programmes and acquire resources that fit their needs.