Better Jobs Ontario will offer up to $28,000 for learning skills needed to earn bigger paycheques

PETERBOROUGH — The Ontario government is working for workers by launching a new training program, Better Jobs OntarioAnyone looking to train for in-demand work, including those on social assistance, who are self-employed, gig workers, youth, and newcomers to the province, can apply to start learning the skills they need to earn bigger paycheques for themselves and their families.

“To build a stronger Ontario, we need all hands on deck. Our government is on a mission to help everyday people earn bigger paycheques and we’re leaving nobody behind,” said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development. “Whether you are a young person struggling to break into the job market, a gig worker hustling to make ends meet, or unemployed and on social assistance, our government is here to give you a hand up to building a better life and stronger province for us all.”

Starting this Friday, Better Jobs Ontario will pay up to $28,000 in tuition and other costs for short-duration training programs that allow job seekers to match their skills with the needs of hiring employers in the community. Expanding on the current Second Career program, more applicants will now be eligible for up to $500 per week in financial support for basic living expenses.

“Better Jobs Ontario is an innovative program that provides important opportunities for individuals seeking meaningful employment in their communities,” said Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Children, Community and Social Services. “I encourage individuals on social assistance to pursue this incredible program if they can, with the certainty that they will not lose their health benefits while enrolled.”

“This funding opens doors for underemployed workers, new students and anyone looking to pursue a new career that requires a specific skillset,” said Fleming College President Maureen Adamson. “It expands job training and education to those who need it the most.”

Concurrent to launching this new training program, the government is continuing to transform the Employment Ontario services in York, Halton and Stratford-Bruce Peninsula to improve outcomes. Each month, only one per cent of people leave Ontario Works for a job, demonstrating the current system is failing those who need it most. The changes will help unemployed and underemployed people find meaningful careers in the community and support local businesses struggling to find workers.

The expansion of the employment services transformation builds on the success of the first three integrated regions in Peel, Hamilton-Niagara and Muskoka-Kawarthas, where 87 per cent of clients completing their employment plans have found jobs and 81 per cent are working more than 20 hours a week.

These efforts build on the government’s ongoing efforts to attract, support, and protect workers, making Ontario the top place in the world to work, live and raise a family.

Quick Facts

  • The Better Jobs Ontario program funds tuition for training programs of 52 weeks duration or less, including eligible college and some university courses, micro-credential programs, and other vocational training programs.
  • Since January 2021, 5,168 people have started training through the program to get the hand up they need into in-demand long-term jobs in their communities.
  • Through Better Jobs Ontario, additional support applicants may also receive disability-related supports, childcare, or accommodation near their training, depending on their circumstances.
  • The number of people unemployed in Ontario was 429,800 in March 2022.
  • Employment Ontario is supported through labour market transfer agreements between the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario.