ontario second career program

Ontario could give you $28K to train for a new in-demand career right now

It's never too late to embark down the road of a lucrative new career, and there's never been a better time to do so for Ontario residents than now, while the provincial government is helping fund such ambitions through its Second Career program.

Those who are a fit for the program can receive up to $28,000 from Ontario to pay for their education and living expenses, with additional supports available for childcare, disability-related expenses and accomodation, as they pursue training to start a new career.

Previously, under a version of the Second Career program debuted in December of 2020 amid COVID lockdowns, these grants were only available to those who had been laid off and were not working, or had been laid off and were working "a temporary job just to cover costs."

Now, the program is being expanded to include so many more people in an apparent (and necessary) effort to build up Ontario's skilled labour force.

"As companies and jobs flock to Ontario, we want to ensure that our workers are trained to have the skills needed for these jobs of the future," said Premier Doug Ford when announcing the program's expansion and a proposed expansion of the Ontario Jobs Training Tax Credit on Monday.

"We are investing in our workers as we build an Ontario that leaves nobody behind."

The Premier's Office stated in a release today that the program would be expanded to "serve more people on social assistance, those who are self-employed, gig workers, youth, newcomers, and others who need a hand up."

"The Second Career program provides financial support to laid-off and unemployed workers. By Spring 2022, the Second Career program will begin supporting unemployed individuals with little or no work experience, those who are self-employed and those in the gig economy," reads the release.

"The program will also offer much better access for those whose employment barriers may have been made worse by the pandemic, including young people, newcomers, people on social assistance, and people with disabilities."

The program will also eventually help employers fill positions in some of the province's most in-demand industries — a benefit that cannot be overlooked.

Anyone interested in re-training can learn more on the province's website, but should note that the Second Career program only 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."

Want to go back to school for something that takes longer than a year to master? You can still apply to the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) for a mix of grants and loans to help pay for your postsecondary education.

As mentioned, the government is also proposing to extend the temporary, refundable Ontario Jobs Training Tax Credit to 2022 to help workers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic upgrade their skills.

The extension, if approved, would provide an estimated $275 million in additional support to about 240,000 people.

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