Funding: Skills Link Program

Skills Link is a client-centered program that provides funding for employers and organizations to offer eligible activities to youth facing barriers to employment. The program is part of the Youth Employment Strategy, a horizontal initiative involving eleven federal departments and agencies.

The program offers a range of activities that can be tailored to meet the individual needs of the youth.

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Service Canada (SC) accepts Skills Link applications throughout the year.

Who Can Apply

Eligible applicants include:

  • businesses;
  • organizations (including not-for-profit);
  • public health and educational institutions;
  • band or tribal councils, Aboriginal organizations; and
  • municipal governments.

Eligible Participants

Participants are recruited by the funding recipients.

To participate in Skills Link, youth must be:

  • between the ages of 15 and 30 (inclusive) at the time of intake/selection;
  • out of school;
  • Canadian citizens, permanent residents, or persons who have been granted refugee status in Canada;
  • legally entitled to work according to the relevant provincial/territorial legislation and regulations;
  • not in receipt of Employment Insurance (EI) benefits.
    • Participants must not be in receipt of EI. Priority will be given to non EI-eligible youth (i.e., not entitled to Part 1 or Part II benefits). EI recipients wishing to participate in a Skills Link project should consult an EI agent and voluntarily withdraw from EI.
  • in need of assistance to overcome employment barriers.

Skills Link participants are youth at greater risk of not making a successful transition to the workplace and establishing themselves within the labour market. Skills Link was developed to assist youth in various circumstances, including those who:

  • are single parents;
  • are of Aboriginal descent;
  • have disabilities;
  • are recent immigrants;
  • live in rural and remote areas; or
  • have dropped out of high school.

Project Activities

Funding decisions are based on regional and local priorities, community needs, program terms and conditions, and available funding. To be eligible for Skills Link funding, proposed projects must involve a minimum of eight youth participants/beneficiaries.

Skills Link project activities can be supported individually or in combination, and should form part of the participant's employment action plan. The following is a list of activities eligible for funding under the Skills Link program:

  • planning and project development activities where stakeholders would collectively review research and evaluation findings, identify gaps and client needs, and determine priorities and goals to achieve a coordinated delivery of employment programs and services;
  • service activities, which include outreach, client assessment, case management (including diagnostic assessment and referral to other community resources and services), career development information and job search and job retention assistance;
  • activities designed to enable youth to gain work experience (including entrepreneurial activities) which would include mentorship, coaching and support in advancing an action plan;
  • activities that help youth facing barriers to employment obtain skills, ranging from basic to advanced skills, through direct assistance to individuals;
  • activities that enable groups of youth to gain employability skills; and
  • activities that enable groups of youth to acquire or enhance transferable skills, develop personal qualities such as self-esteem, self-reliance, leadership, communication and teamwork, while contributing to their communities.

Activities outlined in (d), which assist youth in obtaining skills for employment, are subject to certain restrictions.

Financial Assistance

Financial assistance may be provided to cover all or a portion of the costs associated with operating and delivering approved activities.

Costs may include:

  • income support to individuals (wages, allowances) based on the prevailing provincial/territorial minimum wage rate;
  • mandatory employment related costs;
  • additional support to cover all or part of the incremental costs for individuals to participate, such as dependent care, travel or transportation;
  • completion bonuses;
  • other support to cover the cost of items associated with the youth's participation, including disability supports;
  • overhead costs required to carry-out the project, including wages and employment related costs for staff,; and
  • costs associated with central administrative functions of the applicant organization that are used to support agreement activities.

Additional information

Expected Results

Project outcomes should focus on the skills acquired and the extent to which the project helped clients realize educational achievements, improve their employability or obtain employment. Expected results for Skills Link project should include:

  • number of clients served through Skills Link;
  • number of clients employed or self-employed; and,
  • number of clients who return to school.

Review Process

The criteria-based assessment process for evaluating proposals ensures that all project proposals are evaluated objectively against the Terms and Conditions of the program, client and community needs, availability of funds, and themes and priorities of the current year. Proposals are assessed, recommended and approved based on the following criteria:

  • eligibility of the applicant;
  • experience in delivering this type of activity;
  • results achieved in delivering any previous projects under the Youth Employment Strategy;
  • quality of the proposal;
  • extent to which the project will assist participants in making a transition into the labour market;
  • extent to which the project will meet identified community and labour market needs;
  • means to measure the progress of the participants and the success of project activities;
  • adherence to local, regional and/or national priorities;
  • clarity of objectives, outcomes and scheduled time frames;
  • potential of project to address employability gaps;
  • involvement and commitment of partners;
  • demonstrated administrative procedures for the management of the project; and
  • demonstrated bookkeeping and financial controls.

Following the assessment and approval of applications, applicants will be notified in writing of HRSDC / SC’s decision. Please note, project recommendation and approval are subject to the availability of funds. In addition, funding of applications may be approved in part or in their entirety.

Develop Your Application

The Application has four parts:

In order for an application to be considered complete, it must be accompanied by all required documents as specified by the Program to which your organization is applying.

However, there is flexibility in the Application for Funding for situations where the information requested may not apply to all organizations or may be best provided through some other means. You may leave a section blank only where the following terms are present:

  • “if applicable”;
  • “if different”.

If you need additional space to answer any of the questions, please use the space provided in Appendix A.

Please Note: All items marked with an asterisk (*) in the Application for Funding are mandatory unless otherwise specified.

Additional Documents Required:

Please ensure that your submission package includes all of the following:

  • Budget Detail Template* (Appendix B)
  • Proof of insurance (e.g. Comprehensive General Liability Insurance, Extended Health Insurance) will be required.
  • If applicable, written union concurrence will be required.

How to fill out your Application for Funding

Part 1 – Organization

Section 1A – Organization Identification

HRSDC uses the information you provide in this section to establish your organization’s identity.

Question 1 – Legal Name

Please provide the legal name of your organization. This is the name associated with your registration with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). This must be an exact match to what was captured when your organization registered with CRA. If there is a discrepancy between these two sets of information, the Department will be unable to validate your application. This could also be the name that appears on funding cheques.

Question 2 – Operating (Common) Name (if different from legal name)

Please provide the operating (or common) name of your organization if it is different from the legal name.

Question 3 – Business or Registration Number

Please provide your 15-digit CRA business number or, for registered charities and not-for-profit organizations, your registration number.

Example: 123456789 AB 1234

For more information, please visit the CRA website.

Question 4 - Organization Type

Your answer to this question must be one of the following:

  • Not-for-Profit
  • Private
  • Public

Question 5 – Organization Category

Please select the appropriate category from the following:


  • Aboriginal Not-for-Profit Groups
  • Associations of Workers and/or Employers
  • International Non-governmental Organizations
  • Local community, charitable, voluntary organizations
  • Non-governmental Organizations with a focus to encourage employment
  • National Non-governmental Organizations
  • Not-for-Profit Band Councils
  • Provincial Non-governmental Organizations
  • Sector Councils
  • Unions


  • Banks
  • Businesses, bodies incorporated or unincorporated
  • Indian Band Corporations (profit basis)
  • International Sector
  • Private Band Councils
  • Private Universities and Colleges


  • Contributions to Provinces and Territories
  • International Government Organizations
  • Municipal Governments and Agencies
  • Provincial Governments and Agencies
  • Public Degree-Granting Colleges
  • Public Degree-Granting Universities
  • Public Community Colleges and vocational schools
  • Public Health
  • School Board/Other Educational Institution not classified elsewhere
  • Territorial Governments

Question 6 – Year Established

Please indicate the year your organization was established.

Questions 7 – 11 – Organization Address

Please indicate the address of your organization.

Only project activities that take place in Canada will be eligible for funding.

Questions 12 – 13 – Telephone and Fax

Please indicate the telephone and fax number of the organization.

Question 14 – E-Mail Address

Please indicate the e-mail address of the organization.

Questions 15 – 19 - Mailing Address

Please indicate the mailing address if different from your organization’s address.

Questions 20 – 21 – Telephone and Fax

Please indicate the telephone and fax number if different from your organization’s address.

Question 22 – Organization’s Mandate

Please describe the primary work of your organization, including your mission, mandate and objectives.

Section 1B – Organization Contact

Please provide a main contact for the purposes of communicating with your organization about this project. This could be a project manager or coordinator, an executive director or someone else. Typically, the person responsible for the project is identified here.

Question 23 – Given Name / Surname

Please provide the name of the person in your organization who will be HRSDC’s main contact for the project.

Question 24 – Position Title

Please provide the title of the organization contact identified in Question 23.

Example: Executive Director

Question 25 – Preferred Language of Communication

Please indicate the preferred language of the organization’s main contact for both written and spoken communication.

  • EN indicates English
  • FR indicates French

Question 26 – Organization Contact - Address

Please indicate whether the address for the Organization Contact is the same address as the Organization Address or the Organization Mailing Address given in Section 1A. If different, please indicate in the box.

Questions 27- 31 – Contact Address

If you selected “Different” in Question 26, please provide the address for the Organization Contact here.

Questions 32- 33 -Telephone and Fax

Please indicate the telephone and fax numbers of the Organization Contact.

Question 34 – E-Mail Address

Please indicate the e-mail address of the Organization Contact.

Section 1C – Organizational Capacity

HRSDC uses the information provided in this section to help assess the organization’s capacity to manage a project.

Question 35 – How many employees does your organization currently have?

Please indicate the number of people employed in your organization. The number of employees must be a whole number.

Question 36 – Has your organization undergone any important transformations in the past two years?

Important transformations refers to events such as a change in leadership in the board of directors or at the executive level, an important reduction, increase or turn-over in staff, a merger with or split from another organization, a change in mandate or main activities, etc.

If you answer yes, please provide a description of the changes.

Question 37Please describe how your organization has the experience and expertise to carry out the proposed project activities? If applicable, please include any past experience(s) with HRSDC and the results of the project(s).

Please provide a description of your organization’s experience and expertise in administering projects. This information will help HRSDC to assess the extent to which your organization is capable of undertaking the proposed project activities and achieving the expected results. You may wish to highlight related past achievements in addition to describing current expertise and activities or projects.

Please include a description of:

  • Previous experience in delivering youth-related projects funded by HRSDC/SC and by other federal departments, municipal, provincial, or territorial governments (include department, responsible project officer, project name, date length, funding, proposed targets and outcomes); and
  • Previous Skills Link projects.

If you are applying for funding from other areas of HRSDC/SC and/or other government departments under Skills Link, please indicate: the name of the government department, the amount of funding requested and/or approved, the number of participants and how the activities differ from the ones requested in the proposal for funding under HRSDC/SC.

Question 38 – Does your organization owe any amounts to the Government of Canada?

If yes, please indicate the amounts owing in the spaces provided. See the following example:


Amount Owing Nature of Amount Owing Department or Agency to which money is owed
$10,000 Overpayment Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Question 39 – Is a payment plan in place?

Please indicate whether or not payment arrangements have been made.

Answering "yes" to this question will not invalidate your application. However, you must provide details as to the type of debt owed and the arrangements that have been made for repayment.

Part 2 – Project

Section 2A – Project Identification

Question 40 – Project Title

Please provide a brief, descriptive Project Title.

Questions 41 and 42 – Planned Project Start and End Dates

Please indicate the planned start and end dates of your project.

Please note that activities cannot begin before your project is approved and an agreement has been signed by both the recipient and HRSDC.

You should not assume any commitment on the part of HRSDC until funding has been approved and a formal agreement has been signed by a representative of HRSDC. HRSDC will notify you in writing of the outcome of the review of your application.

The maximum duration of a Skills Link agreement is 3 years.

Section 2B – Project Description

HRSDC uses the information you provide in this section as part of the assessment in determining whether or not your proposed project is eligible for funding.

Question 43 - Project Objectives

Please outline the objectives of your project.

Project objectives should (but are not limited to):

  • Be consistent with the funding program’s objectives;
  • Identify a specific outcome(s) that the project is designed to accomplish (e.g. increase knowledge or skills);
  • Ensure that these outcome(s) are measurable;
  • Identify who will benefit from the project; (eg. OLMC); and
  • Show how meeting the project objectives will help to achieve the identified outcomes.

Project Objectives - provide a clear and measurable description of:

  • Project objectives, activities, goals and measurable milestones;
  • Expected outcomes, including how project activities will benefit the community and assist participants in acquiring employability skills, finding employment, becoming self-employed, or returning to school;
  • Targets for the number of youth completing the project and the number of participants achieving the results listed above; and
  • Other positive outcomes related to proposed activities.

Question 44 - Project Activities

Please describe the proposed project activities.

Project activities are the steps that will be taken to meet the objectives of the project. Activities should be specific, measurable, realistic and relevant to the project objectives and demonstrate how the project outcome(s) will be achieved.

Your project should be broken down into various steps (milestones) that reliably show your expected progress and plans to complete the project on time and within budget.

Please include details about how the project will be delivered. For example, will there be third-party agreements, or will the organization deliver all aspects of the project?

There should be a clear link between the project activities and the project costs outlined in the project budget. The information you provide here will have a significant bearing on the assessment of your project and of your organization’s ability to undertake the project successfully.

Proposed Activities - are key components of the proposal and should be clearly defined.

If you intend to have participants, this section should include information about the participants you plan to recruit.

Participant information should describe the:

  • Participants' recruitment method, (i.e. through interviews and/or information sessions, referrals from youth serving agencies, case managers and other community organizations) and based on links between the employment action plan and project activities;
  • basis for selection of participants (i.e. eligibility criteria, interests, commitment, education and/or readiness for participation in a project);
  • participants targeted (i.e. youth facing barriers to employment and employment equity designated groups); and
  • means by which participants' eligibility will be verified.

Skills Assessment Process of Participants (where applicable)

This section should include a detailed description of the methodology to be used to determine the employability needs of each participant. Client assessment and case management are required for all Skills Links participants.

Key elements of the assessment process include:

  • gathering information on participants' background, education, skills and goals;
  • determining eligibility;
  • identifying needs for work experience and/or employability skills support;
  • matching work experience with participant's needs;
  • confirming participants' interests and motivation; and
  • documenting assessment results.

Question 45 - Expected Results of the Project

Please summarize the expected results of your project. The expected results of the project must be clearly linked to the project objectives. They must also be specific, concrete and measurable.

Expected results may be defined in different ways, for example (but are not limited to):

  • Number of participants expected to achieve the outcome as a proportion of those enrolled;
  • Number of interventions;
  • Number of job placements; etc.

Expected results should be described in concrete terms, be realistic and measurable. Examples include:

  • the expected final outcomes, including how the project activities will assist participants in: acquiring advanced employability skills, finding employment, becoming self-employed, or returning to school;
  • the target number of youth participating in the project and the anticipated number of participants who will have completed the project and achieved the results listed above (e.g. 20 youth will be participating in this project. Of these 20, 15 will have found employment, 5 will have returned to school, and all 20 will have acquired advanced employability skills); and
  • other positive outcomes related to the proposed activities.
Section 2C – Project Details

Question 46 – Does the project include results measurement indicators?

Please describe how you will meet and track the expected results of the project.

Having a clear strategy to measure results is the best way to ensure that you know how your project is progressing towards meeting the expected results. HRSDC uses the information you provide in this section to assess the quality of your application and your capacity to demonstrate results.

Provide a description of how each participant's progress and achievements, and/or the overall success of the project will be measured, monitored and reported during and after the project.

Question 47 – Does the proposed project fit with your organization’s other activities?

Please describe how the project relates to the ongoing work of your organization. You may wish to highlight how past achievements and current activities and/or projects are related to your proposed project. This information helps HRSDC to determine the extent to which your organization is able to undertake the proposed project and to achieve the expected results.

Question 48 – Will any of the project activities be delivered in a different location than where your organization is located?

Please indicate “Yes” or “No”. If “yes”, please list the main address first, followed by each additional location.

If there are more than five locations, please include in Appendix A.

Question 49 – Is your project designed to benefit or involve people in English or French-language minority communities? If yes, please provide an explanation and any details on whether consultations will take place with these communities?

HRSDC is committed to enhancing the vitality of the English and French linguistic minorities in Canada by supporting and assisting their development and fostering the full recognition and use of both English and French in Canadian society. Official Language Minority Communities are English-speaking communities established within the province of Quebec and French-speaking communities established outside the province of Quebec.

If your proposed project will involve official language minority communities, you should answer ‘Yes’ to this question and ensure that this is listed and described in your answer to Question 43 - Project Objectives.

Please also identify the linguistic profile of the beneficiaries targeted by the project, document any special needs of the official language minority community and indicate whether or not they were consulted. The related budgetary items can be identified in Part 3 of the Application.

Answering "no" to this question will not invalidate your application.

Question 50 – Will any other organizations, networks, or partners be involved in carrying out the project?

Some Programs require applicants to secure the involvement of other organizations, networks, or partners. If relevant, please describe the other group(s) or individual(s) as well as the role(s) and expertise they will bring to the project.

This information will help HRSDC to assess the support base for your project.

This section should specify details concerning the:

  • employers' participation and other partners (i.e. type of organization, location, experience dealing with the target group, etc. );
  • proposed job descriptions outlining the roles and responsibilities of partners involved; relationships between the various partners and the applicant, including monetary and/or in-kind contributions, and details concerning the specific involvement and relevant experience (if applicable) of each partner in the project; and
  • applicants and/or partners (including employers) must provide monetary and/or in-kind contributions that reflect a commitment to the success of the project. This funding could come from the private sector, not-for-profit organizations and/or other levels of government. In addition, private sector employers must make either a cash or in-kind contribution to the project.

For example, the following template could be used as a starting point:


The organization is supported by several community partners such as the XYZ Employment Centres, Operation Youth Placement and the Lower Mainland Youth Centre.

Cash contributions

Local employers will cover approximately 50% of the participants’ wages (or more, depending on the hourly rate) and will cover all of the employment-related costs during the work experience, which will last for 24 weeks.

In-kind contributions

RCM will deliver employability workshops and will organize employment-related activities throughout the project.

Question 51 – Does the proposed project address the Program’s national, regional or local priorities?

Please indicate “Yes” or “No”. If “yes”, please select all that apply.

Local Labour Market Priorities

Development of the skills needed to work in growth sectors and in jobs involving information and communication technologies

Digital Economy Strategy (DES)*

* (see Service Canada web site for more information on DES)

Question 52 – Does your project include activities that are listed in the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency’s (CEAA) Regulations Designating Physical Activities established under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012?

Please Note: Applicants need to verify if their proposed activities are listed under the above Act – Please visit Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency web site to access the list of Regulations Designating Physical Activities.

Please indicate “Yes” or “No”.

  • If the answer is NO - No Environmental Assessment will be required
  • If the answer is YES, then, as per the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012, applicant must submit the project description electronically to the CEAA further review. The CEAA will determine if an Environmental Assessment (EA) is required based on the project description.

Important: HRSDC funding will be conditional upon receipt by HRSDC of, as the case may be, CEAA confirmation that an EA is not required -or- a copy of the completed EA and confirmation that your organization is equipped to appropriately address the EA findings.

Part 3 – Funding

Section 3A – Anticipated Sources of Contribution

HRSDC’s funding programs generally encourage and/or require applicants to seek cash and/or in-kind contributions for their proposed project from other sources of funding. Each program has a “stacking limit”, that is, a maximum permitted amount of combined funding from federal, provincial, territorial and municipal governments for any one project or initiative. Contributions to the project cannot exceed 100% of eligible expenditures.

HRSDC uses the information provided in this section to verify that your funding request conforms to any stacking limit or requirement for funding from other sources.

“Other sources of funding” includes any source of funding (including from your organization) other than the program to which you are applying for funding.

Question 53 - Source Name

Please include the name of the organization that will contribute funds and/or in-kind contributions to this project. HRSDC should be listed as the first source name and any other sources listed below.

Question 54 - Source Type

Use the following list to identify the type of anticipated funding partner:

  • Crown Corporation
  • Federal Department or Agency
  • Foreign Governments
  • Not-for-Profit
  • Private Sector
  • Provincial/Territorial Government
  • Regional or Municipal Government
  • Sponsor/Organization/Recipient
  • Union
  • Other (please specify)

Question 55 - Cash

Please include the amount of funding that will be provided.

Question 56 - In-kind ($ value)

In-kind contributions are non-monetary goods or services that may be contributed to the project by your organization or other organizations or partners for which your organization will not be requesting re-imbursement. In-kind support may include donated equipment, services or facilities necessary for the proposed project that would otherwise have to be purchased.

To be considered valid, in-kind contributions should contribute to the success of the project, and their monetary equivalent estimated at fair market value.

Question 57 - Confirmed Cash and In-Kind

Cash and In-kind contributions should be committed to in writing by the contributing party. Please check (x) if this has been confirmed.

When applicable, and if possible, written confirmation of partner involvement should be submitted prior to signing a contribution agreement.

Section 3B – Project Budget

HRSDC uses the information provided in this section to assess the overall cost of the proposed project, as well as the general nature of the expenditures to be covered by all anticipated sources of funding.

Please find in Appendix B the Budget Detail Template* which must be included as part of the application.

Question 58 – Cost Categories

Please summarize your project budget according to the Budget Detail Template* attached in Appendix B.

Key elements to consider in determining the project budget are: contributions from other sources, duration of the project, occupations, prevailing wage rates and type of project activities. Please note that applicants must also detail monetary and/or in-kind contributions from other sources that reflect a commitment to the success of the project.

No costs are eligible as a contingency option. Costs must be foreseeable to be negotiated in the original agreement and will otherwise require a negotiation and amendment of the contribution agreement.

Costing Options for Skills Link

HRSDC/SC has developed an approach whereby applicants to Skills Link can choose one of two costing options. One of these costing options includes a flat percentage rate developed to represent actual costs of delivering a project and/or operating a business. Contribution recipients must keep receipts and supporting documents that support the expenditures under the flat rate as they could be subject to an audit; and if asked must supply this supporting documentation. The options available to applicants are:

  • Departmental Flat Percentage Rate: a flat percentage rate that is offered by the department for Projects Costs (type 3C in the eligible costs listing) and, if applicable, Administrative Costs (type 1A). The rates offered by HRSDC/SC to applicants for Skills Link projects are:
    • 4% for Project Costs (3C) - (4% of (Staff Wages (3A) plus Participant Costs (3B )); and
    • 10% for Administrative Costs (1A) - (10% of (Staff Wages (3A) plus Participant Costs (3B) plus Project Costs (3C))); or
  • Reimbursement of Actual Costs: reimbursement is based on actual expenditures incurred.

The applicant will select a costing option and submit an application based on that chosen method. The costing option cannot be changed over the course of an agreement.

Also, choosing a costing option using a flat percentage rate requires that a flat percentage rate be used for cost type 3C as well as, if relevant, type 1A costs. In other words, applicants cannot choose a flat percentage rate for cost type 1A and request reimbursement for actual costs incurred for cost type 3C.

The departmental flat rates can currently be applied for Skills Link (Project) agreements delivered by HRSDC/SC that include:

  • Skills Link Employment Services for Youth:
  • Youth Outreach,
  • Client Assessment,
  • Case Management, and
  • Employment Sessions; and/or
  • Skills Link Employment Interventions for Youth:
  • Group-based Employability Skills,
  • Employability Skills through Community Service,
  • Employability Skills through Work Experience,
  • Employability Skills through Entrepreneurship,
  • Work Experience; and/or
  • Individual Skills Enhancement (Community Coordinator only); and
  • Any combination of the Employment Services and/or Employment Interventions listed above.

The departmental flat rates cannot be applied for Skills Link agreements that include the following activities:

  • Community-based Planning
  • Pre-operational Assistance
  • Individual Work Experience
  • Individual Skills Enhancement (with/for an individual)

Cost Categories

Eligible expenditures are the expenses considered necessary to support the purpose of the funding. The following list of items consists of possible expenditures if they are related to the project’s activities and eligible under the program.

1. Administrative Costs

a) Administrative Costs

Means costs related to:

  • Audit fees;
  • Bank fees;
  • Basic telephone fees (including fax lines);
  • Contracting (if not contracted specifically to support the project), bookkeeping, janitorial services, Information Technology (IT), equipment maintenance services, security, translator, training fees, consultant fees, printing contracts fees (i.e. large job);
  • Equipment repair and maintenance (includes photocopy meter charges);
  • Insurance (fire, theft, liability);
  • IT maintenance;
  • Legal fees;
  • Materials and office supplies (e.g. pens, pencils, paper, envelopes, cleaning supplies, subscriptions);
  • Monthly internet fees;
  • Management and administrative staff wages not working on outcome of projects including Mandatory Employment Related Costs (MERCs), Employment Insurance (EI), Canada Pension Plan (CPP), Quebec Pension Plan (QPP), Quebec Parental Insurance Program (QPIP), vacation pay and benefits;
  • Operational printing contracted externally (business cards, letterhead, ad hoc unanticipated print jobs, minor updates and/or printing of organizational or program brochures, etc.);
  • Other non-participant-based costs (e.g. water where public water is not safe for drinking, staff and volunteer recognition);
  • Postage and courier fees;
  • Professional development for management and administrative staff - amount to cover basic training needs as per organization’s existing policies and employment related requirements; and
  • Staff and volunteer transportation (bus fare, taxi and parking required for delivery of project activities but not part of travel claims; does not include monthly parking fees nor bus pass).

Note: if using a flat rate option, include the total amount calculated for Type 1A costs. In that case, details by cost item are not required.

2. Capital Costs

a) Capital Assets

Any asset/expenditure requiring agreement of disposition, with a purchase cost exceeding $1,000 (before tax). For example:

  • Computer;
  • Furniture; and
  • Software.

All capital purchases require prior written approval from HRSDC/SC and must include a plan for disposal upon completion of the project. Also, it is sound business practice to obtain more than one quote when purchasing capital assets.

3. Direct Costs

a) Staff Wages

Means wages, MERCs and benefits paid to or on behalf of staff working directly on the project. MERCs mean Mandatory Employment Related Costs and include Employment Insurance Premiums, Canada Pension Plan / Quebec Pension Plan contributions, vacation pay, etc.). Benefits means payments an employer is required to make by virtue of company policy or a collective agreement such as contributions to a group pension plan.

b) Participant Costs

Means participant wages and Mandatory Employment-Related Costs (MERCs); Completion bonuses; other employment-related benefit costs (Workers Compensation Board, medical care, dental, pension, etc.) where warranted by current organizational Human Resources policies and/or provincial/territorial labour standards

General project participant costs:

  • Adaptive-technology set-up;
  • Dependent care;
  • Disability-related incremental costs (i.e. additional per diems for fees for assistance provided, etc.);
  • Disability-related supports (attendant care, note takers, sign language interpreters);
  • Emergency assistance (financial assistance provided to a participant to cover accommodation, food, laundry, telephone calls);
  • Living expenses;
  • Materials and supplies, books and testing materials to be used by/for participants;
  • Participation and completion recognition;
  • Professional fees related to participants – sub-contracting (i.e. vocational assessments, needs assessments, guest speakers, etc.);
  • Travel, transportation; and
  • Tuition fees.

c) Project Costs

If you have chosen the flat rate option, cost items do not need to be detailed or negotiated. However, for audit purposes, it is important to keep in mind that this category means:

  • Advertising (newspaper ads, website ads, flyers, etc.);
  • Conference attendance fees;
  • Conference fees (meeting room rental, guest speakers, etc.);
  • Equipment lease, rental or purchase (including computers, fax machines, etc.); Computer software (with a value that is less than the amount identified in the funding agreement under the disposition of capital assets clause or without lease to own);
  • Furniture (with a value that is less than the amount identified in the funding agreement under the disposition of capital assets clause);
  • Goods and services tax (GST) / Harmonized sales tax (HST) / Provincial sales tax (PST);
  • Hospitality;
  • Materials and office supplies (e.g. pens, pencils, paper, envelopes, cleaning supplies, subscriptions);
  • Memberships fees (professional and organizational), affiliation fees and business licenses and permits;
  • Professional fees related to project activities;
  • Reference materials (books, periodicals, subscriptions, etc., which cannot be easily traced/tracked back to usage by project participants);
  • Signage;
  • Significant project costs associated with the following types of expenditures (non-standard/non-basic amounts over and above the regular, day-to-day operational costs):
    • Contracting (if contracted specifically to support the project) (e.g. bookkeeping, janitorial services, Information Technology (IT), equipment maintenance services, security, audit costs, legal fees, translator, training);
    • Internet (web page design, etc.) and other IT requirements (significant costs associated with project activities, which increase expected internet related costs beyond normal operating requirements);
    • Postage fees (significant costs associated with project activities, which increase expected costs of postage beyond normal operating requirements);
    • Printing fees (significant costs associated with project activities, which increase expected printing costs beyond normal operating requirements);
    • Professional development for Staff (courses required by staff, which are not part of the routine development courses required by the organization’s policies);
    • Telephone (installation and extraordinary costs related to telephones and/or fax lines required over and above regular operating requirements);
  • Costs related to transition/wind-down (severance pay, other Human Resources related costs, penalties for breaking leases, etc.);
  • Staff disability supports (duty to accommodate);
  • Staff training for disability-related issues (e.g. sign language training);
  • Utilities; and
  • Support to individuals.

d) Rent

Means rent, lease (including applicant owned premises), repairs and leasehold improvements.

Note: For each space rented detail the cost per square footage, monthly and for the length of the project in the Detailed Budget Description column. Detail all costs related to the rental (e.g. security, secretariat, parking, etc.) in that column as well. The rent must be in line with fair market value.

e) Travel

Means staff, consultant and volunteer travel (costs may include transportation costs, taxi, kilometric charges, per diems, accommodation, etc.) as per staff/volunteer travel claims; international travel where warranted.

Ineligible Cost

  • Costs associated with fundraising activities;
  • Canada Revenue Agency or payroll penalties;
  • Parking tickets;
  • Fines or penalties;
  • Entertainment costs;
  • Depreciation on fixed assets;
  • Board membership fees;
  • Capital costs for the construction of a building (other than minor repairs or renovations) or the purchase of land or buildings;
  • Purchase of motor vehicles;
  • Legal fees and court awards for inappropriate dismissal or other inappropriate/illegal activity;
  • Membership fees for privates clubs, etc. (golf clubs, gyms, etc.) unless part of existing (non-monetary) employment benefits package;
  • Staff salary bonuses if not originally negotiated into agreement;
  • Purchase of alcoholic beverages;
  • Purchase of any illegal substances;
  • Mentor and/or coach wages;
  • Unreasonable gifts or unreasonable payments for recognition; and
  • Other costs ineligible as per program terms and conditions.

Costs can be based on historical data but they must also reflect current rates of similar costs in the geographical location of the project. Depending upon your organization's taxable status, you may be entitled to receive a portion of the GST paid on goods and services reimbursed by the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA). As such, it is important to declare your organization's GST reimbursement rate to HRSDC/SC on the submission of your application for funding so that HRSDC/SC does not reimburse a second time for the same cost. In your proposal, the budgeted amount of a cost item should include only the GST portion eligible to be claimed.

Contracting and Subcontracting

Clearly identify in your application any use of contribution funds that may result in a contract or subcontract of $25,000 or over. Contribution recipients must receive approval, in writing, from HRSDC/SC for all such contracts. Contribution recipients must also receive approval in writing for the subcontracting of any part of the project activities. All contracts and subcontracts of $25,000 and over must involve a competitive process including at least three bids, otherwise, a justification for sole-sourcing must be provided in writing to HRSDC and approved by the appropriate HRSDC/SC official. Please note that contracting and subcontracting with non-arms-length organizations is not permitted.

For all cost categories where travel costs are requested, applicants must indicate, in the Detailed Budget Description column, who in the project will require travel, the reason, the destination, the period, the transportation method (including tokens or commute transportation passes), the meals and the accommodation, if applicable. An approximation of the mileage required must be included, if applicable. Travel rates cannot exceed Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS) rates.

Other Participant Costs

Financial assistance may be provided to individuals to cover all or a portion of living expenses. Assistance may also be provided to cover all or part of the incremental costs related to participation such as living expenses, disability-related supports and incremental costs, dependent care costs, transportation and accommodation costs. Provide a description of the type of assistance required and how many individuals it will benefit. Also indicate how it is related to the individual's participation in the project.

When completing questions 58-61 on the application please provide budget totals for categories 1, 2 and 3.

Any detail or additional information regarding the proposed budget that does not fit on the Budget Detail Template* (Appendix B) can be included in Question 64.

Question 59 – 61 – HRSDC/ Other - Cash/ Other - In-kind

Please provide the total planned expenditures.

Section 3C – Budget Details

Question 62 – Associated Businesses or Individuals. 

Please check all statements that apply to your planned expenditures of HRSDC funding.

In carrying-out projects, contribution recipients may have to purchase various goods or services needed to perform the project from contractors. Some recipients may also contract-out with third-parties (i.e. outside providers) to perform part of the project activities and aid the contribution recipient to achieve the objectives of the project.

“Associated Businesses or Individuals” means:

  • an officer, director or employee of your organization;
  • a member of the immediate family of an officer, director or employee of your organization;
  • a business in which an officer, director or employee of your Organization, or a member of their immediate family, has a financial interest; or,
  • a business which is related to, or associated or affiliated with, your organization.

Question 63 - Capital Assets: Are capital assets among your planned expenditures with HRSDC funding? Please indicate Yes or No.

Explain how your project will benefit from the purchase of capital assets. A disposal plan for the capital assets should also be included.

A capital asset is any single or composite asset with a purchase value of more than $1,000 that is not physically incorporated into another product and that remains functional at the end of the project.

A composite asset is a collection of unique assets that form one identifiable functional unit, where all components are required for the asset to be functional. The collection of assets is treated as a single capital asset if the total cost of all individual items together is greater than $1,000 (before tax).

For example, a personal computer composed of a hard-drive, a monitor, a keyboard, a mouse and cabling is a composite capital asset. Four $300 chairs are not capital assets because each chair is functional on its own and, as single units, fall below the established threshold of $1,000 (before tax).

Capital Costs

Any asset with a purchase cost exceeding $1,000 (before tax) requires prior written approval from HRSDC, and must include a plan for disposal upon completion of the project. Also, it is a sound business practice to obtain more than one quote when purchasing capital assets.

Question 64 – Further Budget Details

Part 4 – Declaration

Please ensure that your application is signed by an official, authorized representative of your organization. People with signing authority are normally one or more of the executive members of the board of directors (president, vice president, secretary or treasurer) and employees of the organization (chief executive officer, executive director, chiefs of finance or human resources).

The Application for Funding must be signed in accordance with the organization’s statutes, by-laws or other constituting documents. For example, the president and the chief financial officer may be required to sign all outgoing documents.

Appendix – A

Please use this section to complete questions from previous sections of the application; and specify the question or section meant to be continued.   

Appendix – B

Next Step


It is recommended that you submit your application well ahead of the projected start date. If you require information or clarification that is not provided in the Applicant Guide, please contact 1-800-935-5555 (TTY: 1-800-926-9105).

For every section in the Application for Funding, the guide shows the type of detail Skills Link requires for your organization to complete application.

The Government of Canada is under no obligation to approve any of application for funding. In the event that your application is approved your project may be randomly selected for review and/or audit.

Apply Online

The online application process is quick and easy. A confirmation number that confirms successful receipt will be generated once the online application is submitted.

Grants and Contributions Online Services: User Guides

The following documents will guide applicants/recipients through the creation, modification and submission of Applications for Funding, claims, Forecast of Project Expenditures (FPE) and activity reports. Questions regarding these user guides should be submitted via the GCOS Contact Us.

Mailing Applications

Employers and organizations may submit their completed applications in-person or by mail. Please consult the listing below to find out where to submit an application in your area.

Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan

Applications can be mailed to your local Service Canada Centre.

New Brunswick
Fredericton Service Canada Centre
633 Queen Street
PO Box 12000
Fredericton, New Brunswick E3B 5G4
Newfoundland and Labrador

For Eastern Newfoundland

St. John's Service Canada Centre
P.O. Box 8548
223 Churchill Ave, Pleasantville
St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador A1B 3P3

For Western Newfoundland and Labrador

Stephenville Service Canada Centre
133 Carolina Avenue
Stephenville, Newfoundland and Labrador A2N 3B5
Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and Yukon

Applications can be mailed to your local Service Canada Centre.

Nova Scotia
Halifax Service Canada Centre
Program Delivery Unit
PO Box 1800
7001 Mumford Road
Halifax, Nova Scotia B3J 3V1
Service Canada
430 Courtneypark Drive East
Mississauga, Ontario L5T 2S5
Prince Edward Island
Service Canada
85 Fitzroy Street
PO Box 8000
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island C1A 8K1

Applications can be mailed to the following address:

Service Canada
1001 Maisonneuve Boulevard East, 4th Floor
Montréal, Québec H2L 5A1

Applications can also be submitted in-person to your local Service Canada Centre.

Notice to Applicants:

The information collected in your application will be used, and may be disclosed, for the purposes of assessing the merits of your application. As part of the assessment process, the information may be shared with external consultants, review committee members, officials in other departments, federal, provincial and/or territorial governments or Members of Parliament.

It may also be used and/or disclosed for policy analysis, research, and/or evaluation purposes. In order to conduct these activities, various sources of information under the custody and control of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) may be linked. However, these additional uses and/or disclosures of information will not impact on your project.

In the event that the application contains personal information, the personal information will be administered in accordance with the Privacy Act. 

The application is also subject to the Access to Information Act (“ATIA”). The ATIA provides every person with a right of access to information under the control of the department, subject to a limited set of exemptions. Instructions for obtaining access to this information are outlined in the government publication entitled Info Source, which is available at InfoSource. Info Source may also be accessed on-line at any Service Canada Centre.


Under normal conditions, we will acknowledge receipt of your proposal within 21 calendar days of receiving your application. We will notify you, in writing whether or not your application has been approved. If a Call for Proposals is underway, the application details will be available on the Service Canada Calls for Proposals for Employment Programs Web page.

Please note, that decisions are final and applicants have no right of appeal.