Use the ‘Canada Job Grant’ to cover 50-100% of employee training costs

Written in partnership with Mentor Works.

Canadian employers should consider using government grants and incentives when hiring and training young employees. Not only is it a great way to reduce the burden on your cashflow and hire more youth, but it also helps ensure that new hires can reinforce their skills while building new ones. Ultimately, the one-two punch of hiring and training grants can help your organization improve the quality and quantity of work that students and recent graduates can perform.

Once you’ve hired a candidate with government funding, recruiting managers should shift their focus to employee onboarding. What skills should the new hire(s) have that they don’t already? Also, consider the timing of your training. Are there other employees within the organization that would benefit from similar skills-based training programs? If so, it might be a good fit for training grants like the Canada Job Grant (CJG).

The Canada Job Grant is a federal incentive that helps employers reduce the costs associated with third-party employee training programs. Support varies from province to province.

In most provinces, employers can receive up to 50-100% of eligible training costs to implement training programs that lead to employees’ improved skillsets. This article will further explore the Canada Job Grant via its Ontario variant, the Canada-Ontario Job Grant (COJG). While the program is similar in other provinces, each supports unique eligibility criteria. Be sure to consult your province’s unique criteria prior to application.

What is the Canada-Ontario Job Grant?

The Canada-Ontario Job Grant (COJG) is a stream of the Canada Job Grant that is directed solely to Ontario-based employers. Through the program, organizations can receive grants to reduce the costs of training, therefore expanding training budgets and helping more employees receive valuable skills. This training can apply to both new and existing employees. As the employer, you select the training program and the employees who receive training.

How much funding is available?

The value of COJG training grants depends on a couple of factors, including how many employees the applicant company has and whether new hires are included in the training:

  • Large Employers (100+ Employees): Up to 50% of eligible training expenses to a maximum $10,000 per trainee.
  • Small Employers (<100 Employees): Up to 83% of eligible training expenses to a maximum $10,000 per trainee.
  • Small Employers Hiring and Training Unemployed Individuals (New Hires): Up to 100% of eligible training costs to a maximum $15,000 per trainee. All trainees are eligible for increased funding, not just those who are new hires.

What types of training does COJG support?

COJG funding supports third-party training for skills that are in high demand by employers. Organizations can choose the training that meets the needs of their organization, and purchase the training as offered by a private trainer, university or college, school board, or union-based training centre. Common training categories include:

  • Career or Development Training: Upgrading the knowledge, skills, and ability of employees to support their career advancement.
  • Maintenance and Refresher Skills Training: Updating and maintaining the knowledge, skills, and ability of specialists within an organization.
  • Essential Skills Training: Providing the skills needed for work, learning, and life. These are easily transferrable skills employees can use to find a job and succeed in a basic workplace.

Why COJG is the smart way to approach youth hires

Through the Canada-Ontario Job Grant, small employers can receive up to 100% of training costs to a maximum $10,000 per employee. In addition to youth-focused hiring incentives, this source of capital can significantly reduce hiring and training costs and help your company implement a powerful recruitment strategy.

Hiring and training students or recent graduates can even help to reduce the training costs of mature workers in the organization if they’re included in the same training program.

Ultimately, government funding for training should be a priority of any employer. It expands your human resources budget and enables new thoughts, skills, and actions among your staff. It can even drive greater engagement and help employees find new ways to benefit your business.

Canada Job Grant: COJG variants for other provinces

As a six-year initiative that launched in 2014, the Canada Job Grant (CJG) has supported the training needs of thousands of businesses across the country. It’s one of the most well-known and used government funding programs as it applies to organizations of all sizes and in all areas of the country (except Quebec, which has a similar program).

Typically, there are small changes in the way each province administers the training grant. Some provinces offer different financial contributions, restrict application intake to certain intake periods (COJG does not), or place maximum levels on the amount of funding an employer can receive during the province’s fiscal year.

Other provincial variants of the Canada Job Grant include:

To discuss your upcoming training project and explore if it’s a good fit for the Canada Job Grant, please contact Mentor Works, the Government Funding Planners™.

Written in partnership with Mentor Works, a business support organization specializing in Canadian government funding. The Ontario-based business has helped hundreds of businesses build and execute their funding strategy through a mix of federal and provincial government grants, loans, and tax credits. Mentor Works offers free online resources, funding webinars, and news via their website at

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