How the Ontario Government is Investing in Skilled Workers to Meet Rising Labour Demand

The Ontario government announced in February 2022 that they will be making it easier for out-of-province skilled workers to register for their profession by removing common red tape. This commitment is likely to come to fruition as the Ontario government releases their provincial budget for 2022.

“At a time when our government is building Ontario, it’s never been more important that we attract more workers to fill in-demand jobs. To do so, we’re cutting red tape to make it easier for skilled professionals from across Canada to get the papers they need to work in Ontario, faster. This move opens more doors for workers to call Ontario home while contributing to our plan to build more roads, bridges, highways, homes and public transit.”

Doug Ford, Premier of Ontario

The benefits of reducing red tape will allow skilled workers to be regulated within 30 days of applying which should significantly cut down on application times and assist in fulfilling many skilled labor openings. The government has highlighted close to 350,000 job vacancies that need to be filled and has been implementing programs, such as the Group Sponsorship Grant (GSG), to address this challenge.

Group Sponsorship Grant: Investing in Apprenticeships and Skilled Workers

By encouraging employers and apprentices to use apprenticeships in the workplace through group sponsorships, the Group Sponsorship Grant (GSG) program aims to address challenges between employers and apprentices in Ontario’s skilled trades and apprenticeship system.

Amount of Funding:

Each year, no more than $1,000,000 can be provided to eligible applicants for funding for a period of one to three years to hire and train apprentices.

Eligible Applicants:

  • A business that is for-profit, a professional organization, or an employee organization;
  • Non-profit organizations, unions, and training trust funds;
  • Social agencies, charitable foundations, and more; and
  • Sponsors of group meetings, which may be prospective, new, or existing, including employer-unions, workforce intermediaries, and cooperatives.

Eligible Projects:

The following key activities must be included in the application to support its success in acquiring new apprentices and skilled workers, supporting training progression, and enhancing its network and service to its group sponsors:

  • A pre-screening of prospective apprentice candidates, trades readiness, and/or employability coaching;
  • Apprenticeships supported by centralized on-the-job mentoring;
  • Initiatives to provide registration services to apprentices and employees, including those from underrepresented groups; and
  • Training for employers and journeypersons to encourage a supportive workplace.

To see a comprehensive list of all eligible activities under the GSG program, review the

Group Sponsorship Grant (GSG) program page. 

Application Deadline and Timelines:

Applicants are accepted on an ongoing basis for this program. Ministry review could take up to two months.

More Government Funding Opportunities

The Group Sponsorship Grant offers a significant opportunity for Ontario businesses that are eager to hire and train new skilled workers to fill market demands. To learn more about government funding opportunities for hiring skilled workers, as well as other activities, visit our comprehensive government funding directory.

Moreover, sign up for our government funding newsletter to get more up-to-date information on new government funding programs, updates, and valuable resources that can help your business leverage government funding opportunities for growth.

Mentor Works streamlines the government funding process through optimized processes and resources. Businesses are paired with an experienced team of professional grant writers who complete each stage of the funding process.

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