A business is truly only as strong as its team. Therefore, it’s highly important that small businesses in Canada are aware that there are Canadian government grants available for hiring and training initiatives to help offset the costs of onboarding new employees and/or offering training to new and existing staff. These grants can help to increase and enhance an organization’s talent pool while also connecting applicants with meaningful opportunities.
Read through this blog to discover hiring and training grants that are currently available across Canada to support small businesses in accessing and supporting staff.
In the list below, the 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. If you are reading this article in the future, a funding program listed below may or may not be open. Stay up to date with all programs by viewing our Hiring & Training Page to find programs currently open for intake.
Canadian Small Business Grants for Hiring and Training
1. Yves Landry Foundation Funding for Training Via the Government of Canada
The Yves Landry Foundation Funding for Training Via the Government of Canada helps organizations adapt to new technologies, processes, or procedures, as well as a drastic change within the company. This support for innovation and retooling may provide new lines of production for productivity output. Training through this program must be clearly linked to domestic supply chain improvements or competitive enhancements, such as expanding into new or enhanced domestic markets.
- Funding Amount: Successful applicants may access up to 25–50% of costs to a maximum of $100,000 per application.
- Applicant Eligibility: Ontario manufacturers may be eligible if they have 10–1000 employees. Read more about eligibility in our recent blog post.
The Mitacs Accelerate funding program pairs small businesses with talented applicants who have a Masters, PhD, or postdoctoral fellowship (PDF) to overcome innovation challenges. Eligible interns complete research and develop tools, models, technology, or solutions to support the small business’ challenges.
- Funding Amount: The program provides support up to $15,000 for each four- to six-month internship with a financial contribution of $7,500 from the partnering organization. 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.
- Applicant 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.
3. 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 from most areas such as business development, technical advancement, customer service, or administration. To get started, businesses should contact the National Research Council’s (NRC) Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP).
- Funding Amount: Provides up to $30,000 per graduate (up to two) for a period of 6 to 12 months.
- Applicant Eligibility: Incorporated and financially stable Canadian business with 1–500 employees; they must be responsible for finding graduates before applying. Candidates must be between 15 to 30 years old.
4. Canada Job Grant (CJG)
The Canada Job Grant (CJG) is a Canadian government funding program designed to reduce the costs of providing third-party skills training to new and existing employees. Launched in 2014, the Canada Job Grant allocates upwards of $194M annually to support the upskilling of new and existing employees so that they can learn new skills and become more valuable to their organization. Please note that the Canada Job Grant (CJG) maintains a provincial stream for each province and territory, except for Québec, and each individual stream has varying funding amounts, eligibility criteria, and deadlines to apply. Some streams are open year-round, such as the Canada-Ontario Job Grant (COJG), while others open periodically.
- Funding Amount: Provides eligible businesses, depending on provincial stream, up to 50-100% in non-repayable government grants for employee training projects.
- Applicant Eligibility: This criterion is set by each provincial stream; There are streams for Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Newfoundland, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island. Please refer to the main page to find stream details.
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.
If your business is looking to get started on accessing grants for hiring and training, connect with the Mentor Works, a Ryan Company 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.
If you would like access to exclusive details about the programs listed in this blog, please register for an upcoming webinar where our professional team discuss high level details regarding government funding opportunities for Canadian businesses.