In March 2018 the Canada-Ontario Job Grant (COJG), a popular training grant for Ontario-based employers, announced several changes. Among the most significant effects an increase in the number of businesses who can consider themselves a “small employer”, resulting in broader funding support for training projects.

Effective immediately, COJG funding will offset up to 50-83% of training costs to a maximum $10,000 to $15,000 per trainee.

Another notable change to the program’s 2018-2019 guidelines is the formalization of training programs led by product vendors. As result of this clarification, product vendors will no longer be able to deliver training on how to use the products/services they provide; rather, they may only provide general, transferrable soft skills training.

Changes to the Canada-Ontario Job Grant for 2018-2019

The Canada-Ontario Job Grant has been enhanced through its 2018-19 guidelines. Because of these changes, employers should review how much support their upcoming training project may receive, and ensure their training is still eligible for Ontario government funding.

Update to Employer Size and Contribution Amounts

COJG’s 2018-19 guidelines introduce new criteria for defining small and large employers. Since the size of an employer is an important factor in determining how much funding a project qualifies to receive, this is a significant change that applicants should consider:

Small Employers:

  • More employers will qualify as a small employer due to the threshold being increased from <50 to <100 employees.
  • The standard contribution rate for small employers is 5/6 (83%) of training costs to a maximum $10,000/trainee.
  • By hiring and training unemployed individuals, small employers may qualify for up to 100% of training costs to a maximum $15,000/trainee.

Large Employers:

  • Large employers are now defined as having 100+ employees.
  • The standard contribution rate for large employers is 1/2 (50%) of training costs to a maximum $10,000/trainee.
  • Large employers do not qualify for increased contributions by hiring and training unemployed individuals.

Update to Product Vendor Training

New rules have also been introduced to identify the eligibility of training provided through product vendors. These changes will strengthen COJG’s focus on promoting soft skills training, whereby the skills gained through the training are easily transferrable between employers and industries.

Product vendors are developers/sellers of a product who also provide training on how to use the product.

  • Product vendors are ineligible to deliver training on how to use their product or service.
  • Product vendors are only eligible to deliver training that is unrelated to the use of their product or service, instead focusing on transferrable skills.

COJG Funding for Training: Updated Program Snapshot

The Canada-Ontario Job Grant is a government funding for training program that offsets third-party employee training expenses. Employers can select training that meets their workforce development needs and choose the individuals who participate in the training.

COJG Funding Contribution

As of March 2018, the amount of funding employers may receive includes:

  • 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: Up to 100% of eligible training costs to a maximum $15,000 per trainee.

COJG Employer Eligibility

To receive COJG funding, employers must:

  • Maintain operations in Ontario;
  • Provide cash contributions to pay non-grant covered training costs;
  • Abide by the Occupational Health and Safety Act and the Employment Standards Act; and
  • Have sufficient Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) or private workplace safety insurance.

COJG Training Eligibility

The Canada-Ontario Job Grant also maintains specific criteria to evaluate the eligibility of training programs. To access COJG grants, training programs must:

    • Take place in Ontario;
    • Be led by a qualified third-party training provider;
  • Deliver training that directly related to a business’ needs; and
  • Not exceed one year in duration.

COJG Funding for Training Employees: How to Apply

To receive COJG funding for an upcoming training project, employers must submit a comprehensive application package consisting of a company overview, detailed training plans, and multiple vendor quotes. Typically, applications are reviewed within 2-4 weeks.

To discuss your business’ eligibility and learn how to optimize the application process, please contact Mentor Works.


This post originally appeared on Mentor Works. Mentor Works helps established for-profit companies find and leverage Canadian business grants and loans.