Call For Applications
August 2019 – DS4Y Cohort 3
The Ontario Library Association will be administering the new Digital Skills for Youth (DS4Y) program for publicly-funded libraries and not-for-profit library organizations that support publicly-funded libraries across Canada.
General Information – ISED’s Digital Skills for Youth
Digital Skills for Youth (DS4Y) connects underemployed recent post-secondary graduates with small businesses and not-for-profit organizations where they can gain meaningful work experience to help them transition to career-oriented employment.
The DS4Y program will combine valuable work experience and training related to digital skills for underemployed recent post-secondary graduates so that they can successfully transition to the labour market.
The DS4Y will enable organizations to provide youth with skills development opportunities and work experience that will facilitate transition to the labour market. Internships will allow youth to acquire technical and soft skills using digital technologies and will support a range of organizations that are looking to engage in online activities. This program is on a matching basis thereby leveraging the employers’ contribution to youth salaries and benefits ensuring that youth are meaningfully engaged and will benefit from their work experience.
Intern Hosting Organizations (IHOs) are the workplaces where the Youth Intern will be trained, supervised, and where they will undertake their work. At this time the Ontario Library Association is mandated by their contract with ISED to only work with publicly-funded libraries in Canada or organizations that support those libraries.
Career Focus positions for 450, 700, or 900 hours at a minimum of $23 an hour. Youth must be focussed on an IT project (or projects).
The Government of Canada has developed DS4Y to help recent underemployed post-secondary graduates enhance and develop digital and soft skills through work and training.
DS4Y will create employment opportunities, specifically related to digital skills development, for underemployed youth so that they can improve their employability and receive information they need to make a successful transition into the workplace. Additionally, it will provide training opportunities related to digital and soft skills allowing youth to apply new skills and knowledge during their internship.
Program participants will be able to use the skills acquired during their studies and apply them in a professional setting. Moreover, they will be able to upskill if required to better meet the demands of the labour market.
This program also supports the Government of Canada’s Innovation and Skills Plan (ISP), by ensuring that all Canadians have the opportunity to participate and thrive in the new digital economy.
Youth Interns participating in a DS4Y internship will assume a variety of roles to improve their employability but their responsibilities must include digital-related activities, for example:
- Web design and web development;
- Coding and App development;
- IT tech support/help desk;
- Hardware repair/refurbishment;
- Social media tools, strategies, and content; and
- Data processing and management.
Applications due: September 13, 2019. (Applications will continue to be received after this point and approved on a funding available basis.)
If demand exceeds the supply of hours OLA will be convening an adjudication committee to consider the applications on merit and workplan. If supply exceeds demand the application process will stay open.
The http://www.ds4ontario.ca website is the primary source for all DS4Y information. Once published on this site it is considered disseminated.
OLA intends to use similar methodology as in the past to manage DS4Y, to make the implementation as smooth and as efficient as possible.
What a Library Would Receive
- Opportunity to hire one or multiple eligible youth interns.
- $17.25 per hour wage subsidy for hours worked by the intern. It would be considered to be full-time work;
- Approximately 16% for CPP, EI, WSIB.
- Amount of funding available would be to a max. of approximately $18,009 (for 900 hours) inclusive of taxes per intern.
- Enrollment in a Digital Skills for Libraries Certificate (Issued by The Education Institute) for the Youth Intern providing approximately 45 hours of training and evaluation during their Internship led and directed by the OLA and their partner The Education Institute, including the option to attend the OLA Super Conference and use the career services offered (or by remote access if attendance is not an option). The Intern is required to complete this as part of the formal evaluation of the DS4Y program. Approximate value $1,600.
What a Library Would Need to Provide
- A 25% top up of the wage. At a minimum of $5.75 per hour.
- 16% to cover Mandatory Employment Related costs like CPP, EI, WSIB, etc.
- Supervision of the intern; including some mentorship opportunity.
- Detailed and complete training and supervision plans for the length of the program.
- Equipment like computer, space, and other workplace items.
Hiring A Youth Intern
The criteria for the hiring of Youth Interns is not written in stone. Each IHO must have a large amount of autonomy in operating their program in order to meet their particular needs.
Career Focus – work must be completed by March 15, 2020.
Prospective interns are responsible for applying to the libraries. To be eligible for DS4Y, interns must meet the following criteria:
- Be between 15 and 30 years of age at the start of the internship.
- Have recently completed post-secondary studies. Graduates of degree or diploma programs from universities, colleges, post-secondary schools of technology, postsecondary institutes and CEGEP. These may be either publicly or privately funded institutions.
- Legally entitled to work in Canada.
- Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or person who has been granted refugee status.
- Not in receipt of Employment Insurance during their internship.
- Self-assess as underemployed, meaning they are employed below their level of education and/or hold part-time employments.
- Has not previously participated in a YES Career Focus internship.
Positions are for 450, 700, or 900 hours. Rate of grant is $17.25 per hour + 16% for CPP, EI, WSIB.
The position should be filled fairly and equitably. When hiring please remember that these youth are looking for meaningful work experiences and, given the right direction, will be valuable assets to your community, your organization, and Canada as a whole.
The wages and benefits outlined above are for one Youth to work between their start date and March 15, 2020. This allocation cannot be divided among multiple Youth Interns. The work term is designed to maintain the quality of the employment experience and to provide a sufficient number of work hours for each Intern.
The OLA contracts with an incorporated entity only. No exceptions.
In the event that more organizations are interested than there are positions, we reserve the right to limit the number of hours each IHO receives. We may be assembling an adjudication panel to consider the applications on a competitive basis if demand meets supply. Keep this in mind while completing your application.
Please be thoughtful in considering your needs and whether it will be possible to use the full allocation. OLA can only approve up to the amount of their contract which means if organizations do not use their full allocation that monies are returned to ISED rather than spent in your communities.
The Call for Applications is in no way an approval to proceed at this point. It is intended to be an expression of interest to ensure that funding levels meet demand. When the contract receives final approval, additional information may be required before OLA can issue contracts to Intern Host Organizations.
Administrators interested in hiring Youth Interns for their sites should complete the application and submit it to the Ontario Library Association through the www.ds4ontario.ca website.
Career Focus Applications: September 13, 2019. Applications will continue to be received after this point and approved on a funding available basis.
Applications are being submitted online
OLA will endeavour to notify successful applicants by Friday September 20, 2019.
We look forward to working with you throughout the Youth Internships Program period. And I need to reiterate that this communiqué is not an authorization to proceed, but the first step in getting the youth initiative underway.