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A business is truly only as strong as its team. This is why it’s important that small businesses in Canada are aware that there are a wide selection of Canadian government grants for hiring and training that are available to them so that they can offset the costs of onboarding new employees. These grants can help to increase and enhance an organization’s talent pool, while also connecting applicants with meaningful opportunities.

Discover hiring and training grants that are available across Canada to support small businesses in accessing new talent.

These selected government funding programs for hiring and training can aid organizations to hire or retrain staff, improve their effectiveness, and upskill their staff in new areas such as advanced technologies or operational processes. Depending on when you’re reading this article, a funding program listed below may or may not be open. View our Hiring & Training Page to find the most up-to-date programs.

Small Business Grants for Hiring and Training

1. Canada Job Grant (CJG)

The Canada Job Grant (CJG) is a federal government grant program designed to reduce the costs of providing external skills training to new and existing staff. It is available Canada-wide, with tailored programs available in each province so that the grant funding is suited towards each unique workforce and business composition.

  • Amount: Non-repayable grant subsidies of up to 50-100% of training costs (e.g., course, exams, textbooks, software resources, etc.) to a maximum $5,000 to $15,000 per trainee (new or existing employee).
  • Eligibility: Any Canadian SME with at least $2M in liability insurance. Trainees must be a permanent Canadian citizen or possess granted refugee status.

2. Connect Canada Internship

The Connect Canada Internship supports the hiring and training of an intern in any research field, including natural sciences, engineering, social science, health, environment, and ethics studies. With approved funding, a company can tap into an intern’s skillset in order to solve a research and development challenge during a four- to six-month project.

  • Amount: Up to $5,000 per applicant when the eligible organization matches the same amount.
  • Eligibility: A Canadian private-sector business that receives the majority of their revenues from the sale of a product and/or service.

3. FedDev Ontario Training Program (FOTP)

The FedDev Ontario Training Program (FOTP) AIME@Home Program currently supports two types of eligible training activities for southern Ontario manufacturers impacted by COVID-19: Training that supports the adoption of new technology, new processes or procedures or a change within the company to support innovation or retooling, and training that supports and develops highly skilled personnel in any area that leads to innovation or productivity improvements or upskilling to respond to current or emerging pandemic needs.

  • Amount: Provides non-repayable grant contributions to a maximum $100,000 per business towards eligible expenses.
  • Eligibility: Ontario manufacturers with 10-1000 employees, continuously in business for at least three years, demonstrate a solid financial footing over the three-year period, have manufacturing facilities in southern Ontario, manufacture a specific product for sale in Ontario or elsewhere, and demonstrate they are engaged in interprovincial or international markets or have urgent demands to retool production as a result of COVID-19 to respond to emerging needs.

4. Mitacs Accelerate Program

The Mitacs Accelerate funding program pairs small businesses with talented applicants that have a Masters, PhD, and PDF to overcome innovation challenges. Eligible interns complete research and develop tools, models, technology, or solutions to support the small business’ challenges.

  • Amount: The program matches funds up to $7,500 per a four- to six-month internship. The cluster stream is available for additional funding support if the business leverages 6+ internship periods from 3+ interns. Funding includes intern stipend and research costs.
  • Eligibility: Incorporated, for-profit businesses and select non-profits across Canada. All industries and sectors are supported; preference is given to research and development projects in innovation.

5. IRAP Youth Employment Program (YEP)

The Youth Employment Program (YEP) is designed to assist in the hiring and training of young Canadian post-secondary graduates. A graduate can be selected for funding based on most areas such as business development, technical advancement, customer service, or administration.

  • Amount: Provides up to $30,000 per graduate (up to two) for a period of six to 12 months.
  • Eligibility: Incorporated and financially stable Canadian business with 1-500 employees; must be responsible for finding graduates before applying. Candidates must be between 15-30 years old.

Learn More About Government Funding Opportunities

The Canadian government funding programs for hiring and training listed in this blog are intended for small to medium-sized businesses.  If your business does not meet requirements of any given program, you can gain access to our free Canadian Startup Business Resources.

Looking to get started on accessing grants for hiring and training? Connect with the Mentor Works team to learn which grant program could fit for your business, and make sure to subscribe to our Weekly Funding Newsletter to stay updated with the latest government funding news.

Canadian Small Business Funding News

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Written by

Alena Barreca has worked in a variety of media communications roles in numerous industries. As a Marketing Coordinator at Mentor Works, Alena enjoys utilizing her creative and analytical mind to help strengthen ongoing marketing strategies.

Comments 1

14 April 2013 Reply

I am a Canadian business owner looking to get government grants and funding. I would love to tell MentorWorks about our Friendship Cube Educational Programs. Keep up the great work. It is always good to hear from you.

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