The Canada-Ontario Job Grant (COJG) is a training grant that supports employers implementing third-party training programs to improve employee skillsets. Since it was launched in 2014, the program has helped thousands of companies across Ontario to develop and maintain a highly skilled workforce.
There have been some significant changes to COJG funding since the program was launched, including updates to employer and training program eligibility earlier this year. However, another change to the program this year has greatly shaped the way the program works.
COJG now allocates a larger portion of its funding to support consortium training. Two or more employers coming together to address the same skills can tap into these funds.
To get started with COJG consortium training, consider reaching out to your network to identify common workforce skills-related needs. Industry associations can also provide this critical pathway to finding multiple organizations that could benefit from similar training. Once the consortium is established, it can apply for funding from Ontario’s Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development (MAESD).
Canada-Ontario Job Grant: Employer Consortium Stream Update
Although consortium training was previously supported through the Canada-Ontario Job Grant, some significant changes have improved the value it provides to employers. The program’s budget now offers a larger amount of COJG’s overall funding pool to consortium projects. This indicates the program will fund a greater number of consortium training projects than in the past.
COJG funding offers consortium applicants up to 50-83% of eligible training costs to a maximum $10,000 per trainee.
So how does it work? Consortium applications require a lead applicant, which could be one of the organizations enrolled in training, the training vendor, or another party such as industry associations and other organizations that have a mandate to support multiple companies.
These “lead applicants” are expected to coordinate training by communicating with businesses to formalize a plan for who’s being trained, and by collecting fees from each business to ultimately pay the training provider. They’re also responsible for submitting a government funding application on behalf of the consortium. Because there is quite a bit of work needed from these lead applicants, they are eligible to receive 15% of the training grant amount as an “administrative fee.”
COJG Funding for Consortium Training: Grant Coverage
The same funding contribution levels apply as they do to single employers; however, funding is awarded based on the largest participant involved. If one company in the training consortium has 100 or more employees, the training cost is subject to a 50% contribution rate to a maximum $10,000 per employee. If all companies participating in the training have fewer than 100 employees, the consortium is eligible for up to 83% of eligible expenses.
COJG Consortium Training: Employer Eligibility
A company can participate in a COJG-funded consortium training program if it:
- Employs individuals selected for training;
- Legally operates in Ontario;
- Applies for training that is delivered in Ontario and relates to an Ontario-based job;
- Complies with the Occupational Health and Safety Act and the Employment Standards Act;
- Maintains appropriate Workplace Safety and Insurance Board or private workplace safety insurance coverage; and
- Has adequate third party general liability insurance as advised by its insurance broker.
Programs Supported Through COJG Grants for Training Employees
Employer demand drives training programs; as long as employer consortiums all have demand for the particular skills being taught, the training program will likely qualify. Some examples of eligible training themes include:
- Customer Service;
- Financial Planning;
- Food Safety;
- General Management;
- Lean Manufacturing Principles;
- Project Management;
- Strategic Planning;
- Software and Technology; and
- Sales and Marketing.
Get Started with COJG Funding for Training Employees
Consortium training is often the most cost-effective training method businesses can engage in because they share training costs among members of the consortium. There is typically some incremental cost increase per trainee added into the program, but this pales in comparison to the cost of training if each employer purchased their own training program.
To access the COJG Consortium stream, companies must first establish one or more other employers who could benefit from the same training program. Once a consortium has been developed, the lead applicant can submit an application, pay the trainer, and maintain communications with the consortium throughout training.
To discuss the COJG consortium stream and optimize the government funding process, please contact Mentor Works.