History of the Canada-Ontario Job Grant

In the face of an aging generation retiring out of the Canadian workforce, there is a pressing need for training programs that will help younger employees develop their skills. The Canada-Ontario Job Grant (COJG) addresses this need, providing funding for job-related training that will not only benefit your employees, but also fuel the growth of your business.

Since its introduction in 2014, the COJG has subsidized third-party training for the employees of many businesses operating in Ontario, providing funding for up to 2/3 of training costs to a maximum of $10,000 per employee. You, the business owner, are required to contribute 1/3 of the training costs. For more detailed information about the COJG and its eligibility criteria, please see our previous blog post, “Canada-Ontario Job Grant”.

New Changes to the Canada-Ontario Job Grant Rules

As is the case for most new funding programs, the rules and criteria for grant eligibility are often reassessed, prompting changes over the first few years. Recently announced changes to the COJG rules are applicable to the 2017/2018 fiscal year and are effective April 1, 2017. Here are some of the more important changes:

  • If you operate a business with 50 or fewer employees and are considering hiring and training an unemployed individual, the COJG will fund up to 100% of that person’s training, to a maximum of $15,000 per new hire. Additionally, you, the employer, are not required to contribute to the training costs.
  • Costs related to training, such as textbooks, software, and other training materials, are now capped at a maximum of $500 of funding per trainee.
  • Travel costs are also capped at a maximum of $500 per trainee, and will be subsidized only if the trainee has to travel more than 24 km each way.
  • The training program must last no longer than one year (i.e. 52 weeks) and must be specifically related to the employee’s occupation. This ensures that the funding will support the immediate needs of your business.
  • Business owners, including those with a controlling interest in the company, are not eligible for funding as a trainee.
  • If you are applying for over $25,000 of funding, the COJG provider will ask you to provide three quotes to confirm that the training costs are reasonable and to determine which offering is the best value.

Example Under the New Rules

You run an interior design business with 10 employees, and with recent advances in imaging technology, you realize that adding a graphic design component to your services would attract more customers. You decide to hire an unemployed candidate who has some experience in graphic design, but with training in 3D computer-based modelling, would be able to expand your company’s design offerings. Training would also further develop the candidate’s computer design skills, broadening future career opportunities for her. The training program is 8 months long and costs $11,500. With a government grant through the COJG, 100% of the course cost ($11,500) will be funded, and you are not required to contribute anything to the cost.

Final Thought

Remember to do your research to stay up-to-date on funding program rules and requirements, as they are constantly evolving, or contact ConnexFund to answer all your funding-related questions.

ConnexFund specializes in grants and funding for innovative companies and start-ups with a focus on technology and manufacturing. Many Canadian businesses are aware that there is some free money available for them. But not so many know where to find it, how to access it and how to prepare a grant application that is successful. And this is exactly what ConnexFund does!