The Canada-Ontario Job Grant (COJG) is an Ontario government funding program that offers training grants to employers. Through the program, companies may receive non-repayable funding from the government to purchase third-party business training programs, including training for in-demand skillsets. Training is expected to improve the employability and value employees can provide; including new hires in these training sessions can also maximize your funding potential.
COJG funding can reduce the cost of employee training projects by up to 50-83%. This can cover up to $10,000 to $15,000 in training costs per trainee.
To access workforce development funding through COJG, employers must operate in Ontario and have adequate insurance during the training program. Training programs should lead to benefits for trainees, such as an improvement to their role or wage, or lead to employment in the case of a new hire who needs training to contribute effectively. Other eligibility criteria apply; continue reading to see if this Ontario training grant is suitable for your training plans.
What is the Canada-Ontario Job Grant (COJG)?
The Canada-Ontario Job Grant is a targeted initiative designed to help businesses deliver training programs that improve worker skills and employability. Training supported through this program is exclusive to third-party, purchased training programs where the trainer is not a member of the organization. Trainer, course, and some employee costs can be covered.
Depending on the size of an applicant’s organization, it may be eligible for up to 50-83% of training costs. Funding scales to support smaller, team-wide, and consortium-based training.
Companies can access COJG workforce development funding up to twice per year; companies should consider using training grants every six months to maximize the amount of funding received for training. To learn more about how the program works, please read Mentor Works’ COJG overview blog.
Who can Participate in the Canada-Ontario Job Grant?
To qualify for the Canada-Ontario Job Grant, applicants must be either an individual employer (for-profit or non-profit) or be an organization (industry association, training coordinator, employer consortium) applying on behalf of employers.
In addition, employers and consortiums must:
- Contribute a minimum 50% of eligible training costs;
- Employ trainees outlined in the training plan;
- Be licensed to operate in Ontario;
- Apply training to jobs that are offered in Ontario;
- Comply with provincial health and safety standards; and
- Maintain at least $2 million in general liability coverage for the duration of training.
Trainee Eligibility Criteria
Employees included in funded third-party training programs must be:
- A resident of Ontario;
- A Canadian citizen, permanent resident or protected person;
- On the company’s payroll;
- Not currently participating in any other full-time training or education (secondary or post-secondary); and
- Not a major shareholder in the company.
What Training Programs Qualify for COJG Funding?
The Canada-Ontario Job Grant offers support to qualified third-party training programs where there is a clear need for training. Companies should seek training programs that enable new business opportunities while improving the overall employability of workers.
Typically, all third-party training programs (outside of product vendor training) are accepted if employers can demonstrate the training’s benefit through:
- Advancement of employee roles/job titles;
- Increased wages/salaries for trainees;
- New jobs created; and/or
- The avoidance of layoffs.
Programs Ineligible for COJG Funding for Training Employees
There are two general types of training initiatives not supported through COJG. These include:
- Internal Training: Training programs led by company managers or other employees. Training expenses covered through COJG are predominantly used to cover the costs of training programs purchased from a third-party vendor.
- Product Vendor Training: Training where the vendor is involved in the creation/sale of the product and is also conducting the training in how to use that particular product. Training on software or equipment must be performed by an external organization.
What Expenses Qualify for COJG Training Grants?
COJG grants offset up to 50-83% of eligible expenses for business training programs. Ontario training grants will specifically cover the costs of:
- Third-party trainer fees;
- Tuition, student, and examination fees;
- Textbooks and course materials; and
- Training-related software.
Training project costs that can not be claimed for COJG funding include:
- In-house training programs; and
- Training programs performed outside of Ontario.
How to Get Started with the Canada-Ontario Job Grant
Determining how to best use the Canada-Ontario Job Grant is the first step towards maximizing your potential with training grants. Is your organization eligible? Are you better off applying individually or as part of a consortium? When should you submit your application?
When your business is ready to navigate the COJG application process, please contact Mentor Works. Our team of Government Funding Planners can help explain your eligibility and optimize the process.