Young Canada Works
How to prepare a great application

Is your museum looking for an extra set of hands or fresh ideas? Consider employing a talented student or young graduate through the Young Canada Works (YCW) program. Our how-to tips can help.

The Canadian Museums Association (CMA) is proud to deliver the YCW program, on behalf of the Department of Canadian Heritage, as part of the Government of Canada’s Youth Employment and Skills Strategy. It’s a great way for students and young professionals to develop meaningful work experience and a network in the field, all while bolstering the capacity of museums and heritage institutions. The program has two streams: YCW in Heritage Organizations, which involves short-term work experiences for students and YCW at Building Careers in Heritage, which focuses on internships for college or university graduates.

To support employers in navigating the process and preparing great YCW applications, the CMA is happy to share some tips.

Are you submitting your application in the right place? It may seem obvious, but ensure that you are applying to the correct program year. For the upcoming year, you’ll want to make sure that you’re applying for the 2021-2022 cycle (not 2020-2021).

1. Draft first

Once you’ve assessed whether your organization is eligible and can meet the obligations for the program, prepare and review your complete application before submitting it through the YCW portal.

2. Save your work

The portal automatically logs you out after 30 minutes of inactivity so save your work often and at all steps. Save a copy elsewhere in case you are logged out.

3. Align your goals

Understand the YCW program’s goals. Read about them at Show how your project supports these goals. The program goals are, in general:

l To improve knowledge skills, practice and experience in the heritage field l To provide opportunities for networking and integration into the sector l To help support heritage institutions’ operations

4. Outline

Start by outlining the positions you want to offer and their associated tasks. Think of somebody who would fit that role — what are their skill sets and qualifications? The tasks must be suitable for and appealing to an emerging professional within the heritage sector.

5. Stand out

Clearly outline and highlight what makes this opportunity unique and how it will be beneficial to you and your future employee. Answer these questions: Why is your project important? Why should it be funded?

6. Budget

Take time to understand your organization’s contributions and the amount you are requesting through the YCW Program. Accordingly, draw up a clear and well thought-out budget. If you find the task daunting, reach out to us for help!

7. Have measurable outcomes

The outcomes of the program must be measurable. Include your organization’s goals and how you will define success. Show how you intend to track progress , i.e. through visitor surveys, tabulating catalogued records, tracking attendance, and more. 

8. Timeline

Build and outline a comprehensive timeline for the position, detailing how you will manage your employee’s time. Include their training or orientation schedule, any special professional development opportunities, progress check-ins, and project milestones.

9. Supervision plan

Include a supervision plan that will detail your plan to provide professional development opportunities that will help your employee gain heritage work skills, special experiences, and create meaningful professional connections for your employees. Identify who will be mentoring or supervising them.

10. Consider an equity statement

Explain your job equity strategy. Consider attaching an employer equity statement to your job poster that will show all students or graduates that they are welcome to apply.

Get your application started today at Visit the CMA’s YCW Program web pages for program updates and important information on Employer Eligibility Criteria, Selection Criteria and FAQs. Check out the pool of talented youth with relevant skill sets and interests. M

Questions? The CMA is happy to help. Contact us at and 1-888-822-2907 and visit

Young Canada Works is generously supported by the Department of Canadian Heritage.