First Nations and Inuit Youth Employment Strategy – Skills Link Program - National Program Guidelines 2016-2017

Table of contents

1. Introduction

The First Nations and Inuit Skills Link Program (SLP) is one of two programs that Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) administers under the First Nations and Inuit Youth Employment Strategy (FNIYES).

2. Objectives

The SLP has the following objectives:

These objectives are consistent with, and support, the overall objectives of the Government of Canada's YES Skills Link Program.

3. Outcomes

Key expected outcomes/results of the SLP are:

4. Activities

The key activities of SLP are:

5. Eligibility Requirements

5.1 Eligible Recipients

Eligible recipients are First Nations and Inuit communities, governments and organizations, and to not-for-profit associations and private sector employers. For co-operative education activities, only First Nation schools or federal schools on reserve may submit proposals through their administering organization.

Eligible recipients may then enter into agreements with private sector and non-profit sector employers to access employment opportunities for youth. Private organizations may be eligible for funding provided that the nature and intent of the activity is non-commercial, not intended to generate profit, and supports FNIYES program priorities and objectives.

5.2 Eligible Participants

Eligible participants include First Nations and Inuit youth ordinarily resident on reserve, in recognized communities or on community lands, and Inuit who are residents in Canada, but who reside outside their territory, and are no longer eligible to be funded by their territory (proof of refusal is required). Eligible participants have to be legally entitled to work in Canada. Youth means persons aged 15 to 30 inclusive.

Mentored work placements, including ICT, are for youth who are not in school, or are unemployed or underemployed.

Co-operative education placements youth may be younger than 15 years of age as activities under cooperative placements are for students in grades 7 to 12 (secondary 1 to secondary 5), enrolled in and attending a federal or band-operated school.

For career promotion and science and technology activities, youth may be younger than 15 years of age.

6. Proposal Process

Proposals are selected on the basis of meeting program objectives.

Applicants must submit detailed proposals for the activities to be undertaken over the course of the agreement, clearly stating how the proposed activities will further the objectives and expected results of this program.

Eligible proposals must:

Submission of Proposals

Only proposals submitted in the electronic proposal form issued by INAC will be considered for assessment. Refer to the proposal form and the attached instructions for application details. Incomplete proposals will be returned to applicants.

The information required in the proposal is available in the Reporting Guide. Recipients who have access to the INAC Services Portal can access the proposal form by opening a session on the Portal. If you do not have access to the Portal, contact your regional office.

Deadline for Submission of Proposals
May 1

Assessment Criteria

All proposals will be assessed by the following criteria:

Capability: the experience and capacity of the recipient (and identified project leader, where applicable) to manage the implementation of the activities within their proposal successfully and complete the proposed employment initiative in a timely manner;

Comparability: the extent to which the proposed initiative is comparable with programs and services provided by provincial schools within the locality of the First Nation;

Implementation Activities: the extent to which the proposal aligns with eligible activities and meets program objectives. The assessment will consider timelines, cost-effectiveness and the degree to which the activities will result in expected outcomes

Project Management: how the initiative/project will be managed, including project governance, management of project scope, human resources, risk management, and project monitoring, control and reporting

Project Costs: realistic assessment of estimated total costs and a justification of the level of funding required

Cooperation and Partnerships: with other governments, employers, community-based organizations and interested organizations to encourage strategic partnerships, minimize overlap or duplication and operate in synergy with other related employment, entrepreneurship, economic development and social programs.

Note: Meeting these criteria does not guarantee funding from the First Nations and Inuit Skills Link Program.

Review and Approval of Proposals

The INAC regional office will review proposals, or the First Nations or Inuit organization managing the program will review and approve proposals from their member First Nations or Inuit communities. A written response will be sent to applicants to confirm whether, or not, their proposal has been approved for funding.

Funding will be available in the form of a one-year Set contribution. The results of the General Assessment (GA) of each recipient may impact the recipient's ability to access certain funding approaches. Information on funding approaches and the GA can be found through the Transfer Payments page on the INAC website.

7. Eligible Expenditures

7.1 For Mentored Work Placements, including ICT

  • participant wages and mandatory employment-related costs including the gross employee share of CPP, QPP, EI, vacation pay, WCB/CSST (Quebec) and where applicable, health insurance premiums
  • wage costs per participant will meet or exceed the applicable minimum wage in the province/territory where the work placement occurs
  • training experiences that support the acquisition of skills required for work placements may be included
  • other necessary costs directly related to a proposed work placement including, but not limited to, criminal record check, required uniforms, and personal safety gear such as work boots, safety hats, etc.) up to a maximum of $300 per participant
  • actual costs for special equipment and facilities to accommodate the needs of a disabled participant, up to a maximum of $3,000 per participant
  • participant costs such as living expenses, travel, room and board
    Note for recipients: Travel expenses are to be claimed at actual cost, but cannot exceed Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat’s guidelines as specified in the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat’s Travel Directive in effect at the time of travel. Expenses which exceed the rates set for in the Directive will not be paid.
  • dependent care for participants (documentation is required including a description of the type of arrangements available in the community if applicable).

7.2 For Co-operative Education Placements and Internships

  • salaries and employee benefits for teachers, co-op/internship coordinators, career counsellors and other staff directly related to FNIYES program delivery not already covered by existing programs, such as the INAC elementary/secondary education or band support/tribal council funding
  • other necessary costs directly related to a work placement including, but not limited to, criminal record check, uniforms required by the workplace for the students, personal safety gear such as work boots, safety hats) up to a maximum of $300 per participant
  • actual costs for special equipment and facilities to accommodate the needs of a disabled individual, up to a maximum of $3,000 per participant
  • Staff training on co-operative education and internships
  • other incidental co-op and internship placement costs including insurance for students during their co-op or internship placement
  • travel for co-op coordinators/teachers to meet employers
  • participant costs such as living expenses, travel costs and room and board.
    Note for recipients: Travel expenses are to be claimed at actual cost, but cannot exceed Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat’s guidelines as specified in the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat’s Travel Directive in effect at the time of travel. Expenses which exceed the rates set for in the Directive will not be paid.

7.3 For Activities Related to Career Planning and Promotion of Science and Technology

  • facility rental
  • materials produced exclusively for students to promote specific careers, subjects, fields of study for such as testimonials, biographies, etc.) but not including general program advertising
  • honoraria and speaker fees
  • transportation
    Note for recipients: Travel expenses are to be claimed at actual cost, but cannot exceed Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat’s guidelines as specified in the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat’s Travel Directive in effect at the time of travel. Expenses which exceed the rates set for in the Directive will not be paid
  • admission and event fees for students and chaperones.

7.4 For All Activities

Administration Costs: Administration costs must not exceed 10% of the sub-total amount requested before administration costs. The program's Data Collection Instrument (DCI) will automatically calculate the amount. Eligible administration costs include (but are not limited to):

  • office/general expenses
  • materials
  • supplies
  • advertising
  • communication and printing costs
  • professional services.

Further distribution of funds by INAC's funding recipients: When a funding recipient further transfers, to a Third Party, funds that were received under this program, the 10% allowed for administration costs must be divided between the parties, as agreed to between the parties. The total administration costs retained by all parties must not exceed 10% of the sub-total amount requested before administration costs.

8. Ineligible Expenditures

Ineligible expenditures include, but are not limited to:

9. Maximum Program Contribution

The initiative is regionally based and proposal-driven.

The non-profit sector is eligible to receive a contribution of up to 100% of the applicable wage, plus mandatory employment-related costs (MERC), while the private sector is eligible to receive up to 50% of the applicable wage only.

Note: Where a participant with disabilities is hired, all employers are eligible to apply for 100% of the wage. A maximum contribution of $3,000 per participant may be available, on an actual cost basis, for special equipment and facilities to accommodate the student's needs.

10. Monitoring and Accountability

Funding recipients must deliver the programs in accordance with the provisions of their funding agreement and the program delivery requirements outlined in these National Program Guidelines while also ensuring that the necessary management controls are in place to manage funding and monitor activities. Funding recipients are required to exercise due diligence when approving expenditures and must ensure that such expenditures are in accordance with the eligible expenditures set out in these National Program Guidelines.

INAC is committed to providing assistance to recipients in order for them to effectively carry out obligations under these National Program Guidelines and funding agreements. Regional offices and other departmental contacts are available to answer questions and provide guidance related to INAC programs and funding.

To ensure that program delivery requirements are being met, that funds are expended on the intended purposes, and that INAC's accountability to Parliament is being met, activities including audits, evaluations, as well as desk and on-site compliance reviews will be conducted with all funding recipients.

  • The department's collection and use of personal information and other records for the purposes of program compliance reviews will be limited to what is necessary to ensure program delivery requirements are met.
  • The department is responsible for all information and records in its possession. The confidentiality of the information will be managed by INAC in accordance with the Privacy Act and other related policies on privacy. Recipients are responsible for the protection of personal information per the privacy legislation, regulations and/or policies that govern them up to the point that it is transferred to INAC.

11. Reporting Requirements

The reporting requirements are listed in the recipient's funding agreement, and details on these requirements are available in the Reporting Guide. Recipients are responsible for ensuring that reporting requirements are met and reports are accurate and submitted on or before the established due dates. Recipients who have access to the INAC Services Portal can access the reporting forms (Data Collection Instruments) by opening a session on the Portal. If you do not have access to the Portal, contact your regional office.

Data Collection Tools for Community Use ONLY:

Do NOT submit the following forms to INAC but keep them on file at the community level for evaluation purposes.

12. Contact Information

For further program information, please visit the First Nations and Inuit Skills Link Program page.

The regional offices coordinates can be found on the Contact Regional Offices page.

You can also write to:
Education Branch
Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada
10 Wellington Street
GATINEAU QC K1A 0H4
Fax number: (819) 934-1478
aadnc.education.aandc@canada.ca

These National Program Guidelines can be consulted in the Education National Program Guidelines page of INAC's website and through the View Instructions button on the first page of this program's Data Collection Instrument (DCI).

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