Young Canada Works

Program Advantages

Work Experience

YCW student conducting wildlife survey & habitat evaluation.
YCW student conducting wildlife survey & habitat evaluation.
© Parks Canada / 06.64.09.11(18), 2000

The type of work experience may vary from student to student, depending on the work location needs. Here are some advantages that may be available to YCW Students:

  • Improve current skills or develop new ones, while belonging to a team of committed employees responsible for protecting and presenting our country's natural and cultural heritage on behalf of all Canadians.
  • Gain exposure to various career options by working on two or more projects during your employment.
  • Observe what various employees working in sciences, history, communications, visitor services, corporate services, and trades accomplish in a workday.
  • Enhance your knowledge of Parks Canada's operations to fully understand the significance of Canada's National Parks and National Historic Sites.
  • Participate in career development activities.
  • Earn wages to help support your future studies.
  • Experience a dynamic environment of both indoor and outdoor work.
  • You may even have the chance to work in another part of Canada, as some post-secondary students may be considered for partial travel assistance to select work locations.
"The program offers students the opportunity to obtain specific skills and transfer knowledge to future work and scholastic pursuits, ultimately increasing their employability."- 2004 YCW Student

Development Activities

YCW student with warden in fire fighting gear
YCW student with warden in fire fighting gear.
© Parks Canada / Gélinas, L. / 05.51.09.11(77), 2001

Young Canada Works is a hands-on work experience that is further complemented with career development activities to expand a student's skill set. These activities are an integral part of the program and offer other growth opportunities. Development activities are scheduled throughout the student's work term, as part of the YCW experience.

YCW Students are expected to attend all YCW development activities. These activities can be offered both during and after regular work hours and might include guest lectures, enhanced training, career development workshops, job shadowing and mentoring.

Working For Young Canada Works and Parks Canada

YCW students serve tea to visitors
YCW students serve tea to visitors.
© Parks Canada / H.06.67.06.09(38), 2000

Working in one of Canada's National Parks or National Historic Sites is more than a nine-to-five-summer job - it's an experience. Interacting with the visiting public, gathering data on endangered species, and being part of historical re-enactments require commitment beyond the ordinary and enthusiasm for the task at hand. There are many benefits from acquiring hands-on experience, developing transferable skills, or gaining technical knowledge, such as how to use scientific equipment or handling artifacts.

You could be involved working in the local community organizing a special event, conducting field research, or as a development activity attend a workshop about preparing for a job interview. YCW offers unique and diverse work experiences to add to your resume and help you get started on your career path.

If you become a YCW student, you will be able to work with and learn from the various professionals and trades people who dedicate themselves to protecting, preserving and presenting Canada's National Parks and National Historic Sites to Canadians.

" YCW is a summer job that gives you a taste of a career, rather than simply a dead-end job you wouldn't pursue."- 2004 YCW Student

Explore where you might fit. Picture yourself informing people about the balance of preservation and visitor use, removing invasive plant species like purple loosestrife, re-enacting blacksmithing or cooking techniques. Or, envision yourself at the archives sleuthing out fascinating historical facts, or narrating an artillery demonstration of military music for the public. Use your imagination; these are some examples of experiences you could have.

Young Canada Works
Young Canada Works is a joint initiative of the Parks Canada Agency and the Department of Canadian Heritage