Canada-Ontario Job Grant: Does Your Business Qualify for Training Grants?

The Canada-Ontario Job Grant (COJG) is an Ontario government funding program that offers training grants to eligible employers. Through the COJG program, companies may receive non-repayable grants from the provincial government to obtain third-party business training, including training for in-demand skillsets. Training must improve the employability and value of employees; including new hires in these training sessions can also maximize your funding potential.

The Canada-Ontario Job Grant (COJG) funding program can reduce the cost of eligible employee training projects by 50-100%. This program will cover up to $15,000 in training costs per trainee.

To access training development funding through the COJG program, employers must operate in Ontario and have adequate insurance during the training program. Eligible training programs covered by COJG grants 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 (COJG) is a targeted provincial initiative in Ontario designed to help businesses deliver training programs that improve worker skills and employability. Training supported through this program is exclusive to third-party training programs where the trainer is not a member of the applicant organization. The training, trainer, the specific course(s), and eligible employee costs can be covered.

Depending on the size of an employer applicant’s organization, they may be eligible for up to 50-100% of training costs. COJG funding aims to support smaller, team-wide, and consortium-based training.

Ontario businesses can access COJG training development funding up to twice per year; companies should strongly consider using training grants every six months to maximize the amount of funding for hiring and training that they can receive on a yearly basis.

Who Qualifies for the Canada-Ontario Job Grant?

To qualify for the Canada-Ontario Job Grant (COJG) funding program, applicants must be an individual employer (for-profit or non-profit) or organization (industry association, training coordinator, employer consortium, or First Nations Council) applying on behalf of employers.

Furthermore, eligible applicants must also:

  • Have a license to operate in Ontario;
  • Apply for third-party training programs that are delivered in Ontario;
  • Abide by the Occupational Health and Safety Act and the Employment Standards Act;
  • Possess Workplace Safety and Insurance Board or private workplace safety insurance coverage; and
  • Maintain third-party liability insurance coverage.

Trainee Eligibility Criteria

To participate in COJG-funded training programs, all trainees must:

  • Be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or protected person;
  • Reside in Ontario and complete an Ontario-based training program;
  • Receive sponsorship from an employer (whether currently employed or not); and
  • Not be a participant in any other full-time training or educational programs.

What Training Programs Qualify for COJG Funding?

The Canada-Ontario Job Grant (COJG) program supports qualified third-party training programs where there is a clear need for training. Interested businesses 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
  • 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 must be 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 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.

Ineligible Expenses

Training project costs that cannot be claimed for COJG funding include:

  • In-house training programs; and
  • Training programs performed outside of Ontario.

When Should I Apply for the Canada-Ontario Job Grant (COJG) Program?

To be considered for funding via the COJG program, businesses should be aware that:

  • Application packages are accepted year-round;
  • Employers should apply for funding prior to their expected training start date;
  • COJG applications are typically reviewed within three to five weeks; and
  • Once approved, companies can start their training and receive reimbursement for costs.

How to Get Started with the Canada-Ontario Job Grant

Determining how to best use the Canada-Ontario Job Grant (COJG) is the first step towards maximizing your business’ 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, a Ryan Company. Our team of funding specialists can help explain your eligibility and optimize the process.

Consider signing up for our free e-newsletter or registering for a free upcoming webinar to stay up to date with funding programs available for your business.

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