According to Statistics Canada, in 2019 in total just over 11% of youth in Canada are considered NEET (youth who are not in education, employment or training) (source). That’s over a million youth under the age of 29; and doesn’t take into account those who are struggling or in the process of disengaging.

Low-income youth, youth with parents with no PSE, rural and remote youth, Indigenous youth, youth with disabilities are across the country more likely to not complete high school and not enter PSE than their peers. In certain parts of Canada racialized youth are more likely to be streamed into vocational pathways, despite their academic abilities, and more likely to be suspended or expelled than their peers. According to research conducted in Ontario, this is especially true for racialized boys (source).

Additionally, Statistics Canada identifies 478 communities (source) in Canada considered low-income in the last census; also called “high need” neighbourhoods, these tend to be characterized by low-income levels and low educational achievement. Communities that have the highest need can also be disconnected, isolated and under-resourced in their attempts to support their disengaged youth.

The Catapult Canada Access Innovation Fund: Funding stream for innovations in supporting NEET youth, as informed by the Catapult mandate, offers grants to grassroots initiatives and non-profit organizations supporting youth who are underserved, disengaged or have dropped out of the education system.

Funding Stream Objectives

Criteria for application

Learn more about the Access Innovation Fund