Career-Ready with CTMA Hiring Grants: Frequently Asked Questions

Career-Ready with CTMA Webinar

Career-Ready with CTMA is a hiring grant designed to help close the skilled trades gap for automotive suppliers in the Machine, Tool, Die, Mould & Automation (MTDMA) sector. Through the program, eligible applicants may access funding to provide 10- to 16-week work placements to co-op students, recent graduates, and potential new apprentices. Funding supports up to 12 candidates per employer and a maximum of three placements per candidate.

Ontario-based automotive suppliers can access up to $3,000 to $15,000 per candidate. During their placements, candidates should receive training and exposure to valuable work experiences.

CTMA hiring grants are currently available on a first-come, first-served basis. Given the limited nature of funding, manufacturers should apply soon to maximize their chances of success. The below FAQ guide will help you better understand the program and prepare you to start the application process. If you have any further questions, please contact Mentor Works.

About the Career-Ready with CTMA Program


What is Career-Ready with CTMA?

Career-Ready with CTMA is a funding program designed to provide youth with valuable work experiences in the Machine, Tool, Die, Mould & Automation (MTDMA) sector. Employers in this area have expressed difficulty recruiting skilled labourers; CTMA’s hiring grant is designed to connect employers and youth to spur more highly qualified workers.

Through the program, employers can receive incentives to directly offset employment costs during the youth’s 10- to 16-week placement. Employment can continue after this initial period and bridge the gap to employment, helping both the company and the candidate. Candidates should receive valuable on-the-job training to support new skills development during this time.

Who administers the Career-Ready with CTMA program?

The program is administered through the Canadian Tooling and Machining Association (CTMA). These two organizations have taken the lead on program administration while Mentor Works helps employers navigate the application process. On behalf of CTMA, Mentor Works communicates directly with employers to complete the application(s) and submit them for review. This streamlines the process for interested applicants.

What type of funding does Career-Ready with CTMA offer?

Career-Ready with CTMA funding is awarded as a non-repayable grant. Companies can directly offset employment costs without claw-back if all reporting is complete and reflects the original application’s scope. Companies must receive approval prior to adding their candidate to payroll for the position to be eligible for funding.

How much funding is available?

How much funding a business may receive depends on the type of candidate(s) hired and number/length of work placements offered. In total, employers can receive funding for up to 12 candidates. Consider the funding criteria below to determine how much your business may receive:

  • Most Candidates: Up to $3,000 in hiring grants
  • Candidates with Self-Identified Disabilities: Up to $5,000 in hiring grants

Candidates hired and funded through the Career-Ready with CTMA program must complete a work period of 10-16 weeks. Employment can continue after the funding period.

Can Career-Ready with CTMA be combined with other funding programs?

The Career-Ready with CTMA program can be stacked with other federal hiring incentives. Depending on the type of candidate your organization plans to hire, the maximum value of incentives varies:

  • Co-op Students: Eligible candidate wages to a maximum $3K-$10K;
  • Recent Graduates: Eligible candidate wages to a maximum $9K-$15K; and
  • Potential New Apprentices: Eligible candidate wages to a maximum $9K-$15K.

Funding is based on placements of up to four months, with $3,000 per hire for most new recruits and $5,000 per hire for eligible hires with one or more disabilities that require special employment consideration.

How many candidates can receive funding per organization?

Up to 12 candidates in total may receive funding per applicant organization. This limit ensures that multiple employers across Ontario can benefit from Career-Ready with CTMA and that funding is disbursed in a controlled, fair manner.

The program can also support a maximum of three placements per candidate. A “placement” is defined as the 10- to 16-week employment period and a “hire” is defined as the funded individual. An employer can have a maximum of 12 hires that could qualify for up to three placements each.

How to Qualify for Career-Ready with CTMA Hiring Grants

Can businesses apply if they are not CTMA members?

Businesses do not need to be CTMA members to apply for Career-Ready with CTMA, although there are benefits of membership in terms of accessing the hiring grants. Compared to CTMA members, non-members must:

  • Maintain fewer than 1,000 employees;
  • Recruit candidates for priority roles, including tool and die manufacturing, mould making, CNC machining/precision metal working, robotics and automation, machine tool building, 3D printing and additive manufacturing, gauges and fixtures building, and computer-assisted design (CAD).

What businesses are eligible for CTMA hiring grants?

To access Career-Ready with CTMA funding, employers must meet the following criteria:

  • Automotive Manufacturers must derive at least 50% of revenues from the automotive supply sector;
  • Advanced Manufacturers must derive at least 30% of revenues from the automotive supply sector;
  • Both of the above can include manufacturers that have shifted to produce medical supplies and equipment in response to the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • Typically operate in the Machine, Tool, Die, Mould & Automation industry;
  • Operate in Ontario

Note: Non-CTMA members must also maintain fewer than 1,000 employees.

What types of roles does the program offer funding towards?

To be eligible for Career-Ready with CTMA hiring grants, the candidate’s role must:

  • Be full-time and at least 10-16 weeks in duration;
  • Pay candidates at least $14/hour for the duration of the program;
  • Begin no earlier than April 1, 2020 or later than February 1, 2021 (employment can continue after the funding period has ended);
  • Not begin until a funding agreement has been signed; and
  • Fall into one of the following manufacturing-related roles:
    • Robotics and automation;
    • Tool and die manufacturing;
    • Mould making;
    • Building gauges and fixtures;
    • Machine tool building;
    • 3D printing and additive manufacturing;
    • Computer-assisted design (CAD);
    • CAD/CAM – Computer-assisted design / Computer-assisted manufacturing;
    • CNC machining/precision metal working;
    • Design/Engineering;
    • Software development; and
    • Advanced cutting tool manufacturing.

Career-Ready with CTMA will NOT support non-CTMA member companies whose primary focus is large-scale production stamping, moulding, or machining of components, etc.

What types of candidates are eligible for funding?

To be eligible for companies to hire and access Career-Ready with CTMA funding towards, candidates must:

  • Be a potential new apprentice, co-op student (currently enrolled in an Ontario diploma, certificate, or degree program), or a recent graduate from an Ontario publicly-funded post-secondary institution (within 18 months); and
  • Be an Ontario resident that can legally work in Canada.

What happens if employers haven’t found a suitable candidate?

Employers must identify suitable job candidates at the time of application to be considered. If your organization has not identified job candidates worth pursuing, you may reach out to Robert Cattle, Executive Director at CTMA ( CTMA can help facilitate a matchmaking process, although employers may have the best potential for funding success if identifying their own candidate.

What expenses are eligible for Career-Ready with CTMA?

Only direct employment expenses related to hiring and training candidates are eligible for funding. This program places less of a focus on expenses than other programs and generally provides a full $3,000 to $5,000 contribution per eligible candidate.

How to Apply for Career-Ready with CTMA Hiring Grants

What information is required in Career-Ready with CTMA applications?

To access Career-Ready with CTMA funding, employers are responsible for submitting an employer application form in addition to a form for each of the candidates being hired. Applications require:

  • Business contact/administrative information;
  • Attestation that at least 50% (automotive manufacturers) or at least 30% (advanced manufacturers) of company revenues come from the automotive sector;
  • Identification of the proposed candidate as a co-op student, recent graduate, or potential new apprentice;
  • Confirmation of placement length and focus area; and
  • Attestation that the candidate will receive valuable work experiences in a safe environment.

How are funding applications assessed?

Applications are generally assessed based on completeness and ability to provide a youth candidate with valuable work experiences. CTMA membership is not used as an application assessment factor, although non-CTMA members must comply with additional eligibility criteria.

Is there a deadline to apply for funding?

Eligible companies can now apply for the Career-Ready with CTMA program. All funded positions must be complete within the 10- to 16-week work placement. Placements can begin no earlier than April 1, 2020 or later than February 1, 2021. Applicants should target an application date well ahead of these deadlines to optimize their chances of funding success.

How long does it take for Career-Ready with CTMA applications to be reviewed?

Applications are assessed on a first-come, first-served basis until the available funding pool is depleted. Generally, applications take three days from submission to be received, reviewed, and have a funding decision made.

What are the program’s reporting requirements?

To satisfy the program’s reporting requirements, all Career-Ready with CTMA applicants must provide:

  • A learning plan and final evaluation;
  • Access to CTMA for periodic monitoring visits (minimum two per placement); and
  • Responses to phone calls, emails, and/or questionnaires from CTMA.

CTMA hiring grants are available on a first-come, first-served basis. With a limited pool of funding, employers that are a good fit for the program should apply as soon as possible. Contact Mentor Works to begin your application.

Career-Ready with CTMA

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