Youth Development Initiative (YDI)

The Youth Development Initiative (YDI) is a year-round support program funded by the Department of Community Services to provide employment-focused supports and services, to youth, through community projects and paid work placements.

The program provides youth with opportunities to take part in a wide range of experiences to learn more about themselves and their career goals, and to gain work experience and engage in their communities.


YDI is available to youth ages 12 to 20 who are Nova Scotia residents; and

  • ESIA clients, or dependents of an ESIA client; or
  • Student family members; or
  • Attached to the Child, Youth and Family Supports program; or
  • Attending Halifax Youth Attendance Centre.

To be eligible, youth must be enrolled in an approved educational program or have expressed intent to return to an upcoming educational program upon completion of project or work experience.

YDI funds a variety of supports and services that are youth-focused and community-based. These include:

  • Community projects
  • Volunteer placements
  • Leadership development
  • Group-based experiential learning opportunities
  • Team building activities
  • Short-term certificate training (WHMIS, First Aid, Food Handler Course, etc.)
  • Job shadowing
  • Career development/ exploration
  • Leadership training and service learning
  • Wage subsidies (full or part time employment)

For more information on participating in a YDI community project or work experience, please contact 1-877-424-1177 and ask for your local Employment Support and Income Assistance Office.