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Desjardins and youth

A forward-looking present

Desjardins Youth Focus is a reflection of the Desjardins Group's commitment to your social, professional and financial development. Aimed at 15- to 30-year-olds in Quebec and Ontario, the program helps open the door to various initiatives through 4 areas of activity.

Young officers at Desjardins

The Young Intern Officer program is one of the means established by Desjardins to give young people a greater role in the organization's democratic process. By taking an active part in meetings and discussions, they discover all the facets of a Board member's role and develop a valuable network of contacts. In short, this unique experience gives young people, students and young workers the opportunity to acquire valuable knowledge and skills.

Cooperation as an entrepreneurial principle

Promoting cooperation as an entrepreneurial principle remains a main priority for us, and one that we aim to further through 2 youth cooperative programs, Coopérative Jeunesse de services and Jeune COOP, in partnership with the Conseil québécois de la coopération et de la mutualité (Quebec council for cooperation).

Desjardins is also affiliated with several Desjardins Foundation cooperative and reciprocity education programs, such as the La Relève en action (Emerging Professionals in Action) program (in French only), recognizing efforts made by young cooperators to promote cooperation in their communities.

Desjardins is also a partner in the Quebec government's Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge program, which strives to promote the entrepreneurial spirit and the development of cooperative attitudes and skills among future entrepreneurs.

The "Jeunes ambassadeurs coopératifs" edition of the Camp Leadership Coopératif de l'Ontario1 (LCO) encourages youth leadership by creating a strong and dynamic new generation. Its mission is to develop young people's commitment potential and provide them with the tools they need to learn about their collective responsibility and how they can change their environment to meet their needs and aspirations.

The program offers young people of the Mouvement coopératif francophone de l'Ontario:

  • training workshops on management principles of cooperatives by promoting mentoring relationships with community partners
  • the creation of local committees to support initiatives by and for young people
  • integration as members, employees and volunteers in French-speaking cooperatives

Recognizing and encouraging personal commitment

Desjardins Group is proud to partner with Forces Avenir to allow the organization to extend its program recognizing personal commitment to include Quebec high school students.

Forces Avenir recognizes, honours and promotes the commitment and entrepreneurship of young people.

Learn more
To learn more about this program and to find out who the weekly winners are, see the Forces Avenir site.

1. Available only in Ontario.

When he founded the first school caisse in 1901, Alphonse Desjardins came up with a powerful tool for teaching young people about the value of sound financial management and helping kindle their interest in the values of saving and cooperation.

Today, thanks to some 385 caisses, over 1,100 elementary schools across Quebec and more than 100 elementary schools in Ontario have an active school caisse dedicated to coaching and helping kids acquire sound purchasing habits.

Youth sections: better organization through increased knowledge

The Teens and Students sections distribute invaluable financial information in easy-to-understand language, including tips and advice on savings, investments, credit and insurance, in addition to various simulator tools.

In addition to articles in Cooperatives are everywhere the sections provide lots of general interest information about health, career and the community along with many useful links.

Desjardins also took advantage of its association with the Réseau intercollégial des activités socioculturelles du Québec to meet with students2.

Raising young people's interest in international cooperation

In 2011, Développement international Desjardins (DID) launched the sixth edition of the contest, which invites 18- to 30-year-olds to give their opinion about microfinance as a solution to encouraging sustainable development in developing countries. Winners will go on a week-long familiarization tour to a developing country where Desjardins experts are active.

2. Available only in Quebec.

In a world where innovation is key, Desjardins supports universal access to a solid basic education and the pursuit of a higher education. Our support is felt in many ways.

Desjardins Foundation
Lowering the dropout rate
First summer jobs
Reversing the youth exodus
Helping talented young people get started

Desjardins Foundation

Desjardins Foundation is a private organization that awards university scholarships in Quebec. In addition, the Fondation awards prizes for cooperative education projects and to entrepreneurs who demonstrate the excellence of Quebec and Ontario businesses, as well as to non-profit organizations that make remarkable contributions to the community or help further the affirmation of culture and its democratization.

Through its bursary program, Desjardins helps propel young people doing great things for their community along the road to academic success by providing them the fuel they need to pursue their studies and achieve higher levels of excellence.

Lowering the dropout rate

The caisses took a number of steps in the past year aimed at lowering the school dropout rate and fighting the social exclusion of people who don't succeed at school or who are facing major difficulties in life.


Currently, the 18 to 30 age group accounts for 19% of our employees. Our recruiting and hiring practices take young people into consideration. To learn about career opportunities at Desjardins, see our job opportunities or submit your profile.

Desjardins also takes part in Career Days in colleges and universities to help young people learn about career opportunities.

First summer jobs

Through the Desjardins Youth Work Experience program3, 15- to 18-year-olds can complete 180-hour paid and supervised summer internships at local businesses. The program also provides job search training and practice interviews to help improve their employability.

Carried out in partnership with Carrefours jeunesse-emploi and local businesses, the program has achieved outstanding results.

Reversing the youth exodus

Desjardins is actively working to stem the exodus of 18- to 35-year-olds to urban centres and encourage young people to move to regional areas.

It is possible to build successful careers in outlying areas. To facilitate your professional integration and help you set up your own businesses, Desjardins has been supporting Place aux jeunes du Québec (in French only) for the past 17 years.


Desjardins Venture Capital offers a mentoring program for young entrepreneurs, which helps them see their projects through with the guidance of highly qualified individuals who already head up recognized businesses3.

In 2005, Desjardins Foundation launched an extensive entrepreneur recognition program in Quebec and Ontario by offering 11 prizes worth a total of $400,000. Included were 4 Desjardins Young Entrepreneurs Prizes to reward the creativity and entrepreneurship of young people.

Helping talented young people get started

Since 1997, Desjardins has been associated with the Réseau intercollégial des activités socioculturelles du Québec (RIASQ) (in French only), as official presenter and main sponsor. Nearly 130,000 young people are involved in RIASQ activities.

3. Available only in Quebec.

Your Desjardins caisse got together with local businesses and organizations to create the Desjardins Youth Work Experience program in order to offer you this unique opportunity to get your first summer job4.

Looking for your first job?
Want to get involved in your community?
Want to learn something new and expand your skills and knowledge?
Want to be more financially independent?

You're 14 to 18 years old and you are a member or agree to become a member of a participating Desjardins caisse?

This program is for you!

The goal of the Desjardins Youth Work Experience program is to help young people become more employable in the future by giving them a chance to acquire new skills by allowing them to:

  • get their first stimulating experience in the job market or a first rewarding work experience
  • learn about attitudes on the job and the basics in job search techniques (interview simulation, writing a resumé, etc.)
  • take part in an awareness-raising workshop on cooperation and financial management

The program also:

  • makes studies relevant by providing jobs, thereby enlightening young people on potential future career paths and encouraging them to pursue their studies
  • gives young people a sense of belonging to their region and prevents an eventual exodus
  • promotes networking between young people and local businesses and organizations
  • contributes to the development of participating businesses and organizations by helping them hire an extra employee for the summer
  • supports non-profit organizations
  • allows young people to enjoy a rewarding experience as members of the community

Here's your chance to break into your community's the job market, take on new responsibilities and become more financially independent!

4. The Desjardins Youth Work Experience program is available only at participating Desjardins caisses in Quebec.