We live in a modern world where the technology used by the workforce is constantly changing and evolving. This has completely transformed how companies just like yours train their employees. A week or two of training during the onboarding process used to be enough. It was a standard practice across many industries that most employees would have little to no additional training opportunities after the initial onboarding process with their employer.
Today, employers must offer continued upskilling opportunities to their employees in order for their business to thrive. Continued training helps prevent churn, encourages innovation, and keeps your business competitive in your market. There are endless reasons why upskilling brings value to your business, and there’s no question that it’s worth the cost. However, not every company has the necessary funding to provide additional corporate training to their staff.
Intro To Government Funded Upskilling
If you’re an Ontario business and you’ve been wanting to provide further training to your staff, what is it that’s been holding you back? Have you been hesitant to spend available funds or does your business lack the budget required to fund the training? Thankfully, the government has also recognized the tremendous value that upskilling can bring to a business and it’s employees so they’ve created grants to assist companies like yours.
The Canada-Ontario Job Grant is a government grant that was created to help businesses get the training they need. In this article, we’ll provide you with information about the Canada-Ontario Job Grant. You will learn more about the eligibility requirements and the funding you can receive. Also, how you can use it to add value to your business.
Disclaimer: SkildLabs is in no way providing taxation or grant supervision services. Our team has put together this resource using publicly available information from government websites in order to raise awareness of this helpful funding.
What is the Canada-Ontario Job Grant Program?
The Canada-Ontario Job Grant provides employers the opportunity to invest in their business by upskilling their staff using government funding. The grant was created so that Ontario businesses and their employees could maintain their competitive edge by having access to continued education and training in the workplace.
In addition to the great upskilling benefits, the funds are also non-repayable. Unlike applying for a loan, companies can benefit from the government’s assistance without having to worry about repaying the funds at a later date.
What Are The Benefits Of Upskilling?
Upskilling your employees can provide a significant number of benefits to your business:
Empower Your Employees. The more knowledge and expertise your employees have, the more confident and efficient they are while performing their jobs. This will not only improve their productivity, but it also makes for a better customer experience as they are more confident and comfortable with their tools.
Improve Your Business. As your staff is trained in new skills, they’ll get inspired and become more innovative. They can start to develop ideas on how to improve processes, strategies, and more. The more skilled they become, the better they’ll be at selling and articulating these innovations internally (within your company) as well as externally (to clients).
Save Money. Every day, new jobs are being created that require skill sets that you may not be able to find within your existing team. Hiring a new specialized employee or outsourcing work can be very costly to your business. If you’re in need of a particular skillset on your team, you can leverage the grant to get the appropriate training for an existing employee instead of outsourcing. You can also hire a new employee that may not have the skills yet, but they can learn them using a training program funded by the grant.
In addition, we have a more in-depth article that further explains the great benefits of upskilling your employees.
Is My Business Eligible for the Canada-Ontario Job Grant?
The size of your business is a factor that determines much funding your company is qualified to receive, but it does not determine whether or not you’re eligible for the grant. In order to qualify for funding, your organization must meet the following criteria:
- Be a for-profit, non-profit, or a First Nation band council.
- Have a demand for a specific skillset that can improve your business and further educate your employees.
- Have applied for or have a plan to apply for eligible third-party training programs that will be delivered in Ontario.
- Your business needs to be licensed and located in Ontario.
- The training must take place in the Ontario.
- The company must abide by the Occupational Health & Safety Act and the Employment Standards Act.
- Have proof of third-party liability insurance coverage.
- Possess Workplace Safety & Insurance Board or private workplace safety insurance coverage.
The trainees must qualify as well in order to participate in the COJG upskilling programs. Trainees must:
- Be citizens, permanent residents, or protected person’s of Canada.
- Live in Ontario and complete their training in Ontario.
- Not already be participating in another government-funded training or educational program.
- Have received sponsorship for the employer (this applies to current and new employees).
What Kind of Training Activities Are Eligible For The Canada-Ontario Job Grant?
The Canada-Ontario Job Grant is meant for training and upskilling programs that will help the employee with their current/future position. The new skills should provide a direct positive impact to the business and have been identified as a necessary skill for the company to continue to grow.
The focus should be on improving or teaching the following skills:
- Project management
- Technology and software
- Health & safety
- Sales and account management
While many types of training programs can qualify for the grant, the following training program categories are approved most frequently:
Essential Skills Training
These skills are easily transferable to any job and help the trainee find success in the workplace. Skills like communication, workplace etiquette, organization, public speaking, and time management are among such skills.
Career Development Training
These skills enable employees to acquire the necessary knowledge, expertise, and abilities required to advance in their careers. This can help prepare employees for managerial roles or to take on entirely new positions within the business that need more intensive or specialized training.
Refresh and Maintenance Skills Training
These programs are meant to refresh existing skills and provide updated knowledge to specialists in the business. With technology changing, it’s vital for staff to stay up to date while revisiting skills they should be using regularly.
The training programs can cover the fees of third-party training, trainee tuition, textbooks, course material, and any training-related software. Keep in mind; your company can participate in these training grant programs as often as you’re eligible. Employees can participate in funded training programs more than once as long as they’re not repeating one they’ve already completed.
Note: Internal trainings are ineligible. A third party must complete the programs or learning experiences.
What Amount Of Funding Will My Company Receive?
The Canada-Ontario Job Grant is meant to help with the cost of providing high-quality training programs to employees. The training should lead to improvements in the organization and improve the skill level of the Ontario workforce.
The size of your business will ultimately determine how much funding you will receive:
Large business (>100 Employees): Funding can cover up to 50% of training costs, up to $10,000 per trainee.
Small Business (<100 Employees): Funding will typically cover up to 83% of the training costs, up to $10,000 per trainee. In most cases, new employees, especially those that were previously unemployed, will automatically qualify for 100% coverage of their training costs, up to $15,000.
Also, you can use this grant calculator from the Ontario government to help you calculate the amount of funding you can receive for your corporate training program.
How Do I Apply For Employee Training Grants?
Businesses that meet the qualifications mentioned above can apply for the grant online here.
The process is quite simple, and you can even save a draft of your application to return to later if you don’t have all the necessary information or qualifications at the moment.
Any Further Questions About the Canada-Ontario Job Grant?
This is a lot of information to take in and you may still have some questions. Thankfully, there is a great FAQ section on the COJG website that you can look into here.
SkildLabs Can Help!
At SkildLabs, we understand the value of upskilling, which is why we create tailored learning experiences that empower your employees. Providing high-quality education is essential and, with the Canadian-Ontario Job Grant, it doesn’t need to be expensive. If you’ve recognized a skill gap in your organization and you’d like to address it with an engaging, interactive, and customized learning experience, contact SkildLabs today. Our team will work with you to develop an effective curriculum that will equip your staff with the skills your business needs.
Is your business not located in Ontario? No problem! Most provinces have some form of government-funded employee training grants. Learn more about them here.