Youth Development Initiative (YDI)

Note: You must be a recipient of Income Assistance to take part in this program.

The goal of this program is to provide work experience opportunities for youth who are connected (see the Eligibility section, below) to the Department of Community Services.

The program is designed to:

  • assist youth in furthering their understanding of the current and future world of work and the role they could play
  • assist youth to consider learning and employment plans for their future by providing employment and/or educational programming opportunities to help investigate future possibilities
  • provide wage subsidies to both private sector and not for profit community based organizations who agree to create and deliver quality work experiences for youth
  • encourage youth to realize that learning and self improvement are life long processes
  • allow youth to find meaningful employment in their own communities which will provide them with a rewarding work experience and also allow the youth to make a contribution to the community in which they live

Note: It is possible your wages may be exempt from affecting your Income Assistance. To qualify for this exemption, you must be attending an approved educational program. During the time that you are attending school, you can work part time and the wages from your part time job will not be charged against your income assistance. For three calendar months of the year, you can work full time and keep your wages, provided that you return to school at the end of that three month period.

Find out more about the Youth Development Initiative


If you are a youth aged 16-20 who is a dependent of a recipient of income assistance, are a direct recipient yourself, or are a youth in care, this program is available to you.

Next steps

To find out more about Youth Initiatives, please contact your local Employment Support and Income Assistance Office.