Canada Ontario Job Grant (2022): How to Use the COJB to Get Free Training for Your Employees

The Canada Ontario Job Grant is one of those rare win-win-win-win programs, meaning when one part of a system benefits, all parts of the system benefit.

In this case, we live in a fast-paced, ever-changing world where technology is constantly changing and evolving, and as a result, jobs and skills are forever being eliminated and newly created. Jobs are opening now that didn’t exist, let alone have a name, a decade ago. Jobs are continually being created that require skills and training no one, or not enough people, have yet.

So this program provides funding so businesses can hire and train workers so their business can grow and thrive, and workers benefit from the newly acquired skills, training, and experience. And when businesses are succeeding and people are working, Ontario and Canada also thrive. So, win-win-win-win.

Comments on Funding:

Funding is up to $10,000.

Employers with 100 or more employees need to contribute 1/2 of the training costs.

Small employers with less than 100 employees need to contribute 1/6 of training costs.

Small employers who are training and hiring unemployed individuals may be eligible for 100% funding and up to $15,000 per trainee.

Most organizations acting as an intermediary are eligible for administrative funding equal to 15% of the government contribution.

The applications with “New Hire” trainees will be automatically assessed for 100% funding. The maximum support for textbooks, software and other training materials are $500 for each trainee. The maximum allowable support for travel costs are $500 per trainee and is only supported when the distance travelled is greater than 24 km each way. If the employer has a travel costs policy, travel costs will be supported according to the employer’s policy up to the maximum $500 per trainee.

Eligibility:

The applicant must be:

  • be individual private and not-for-profit sector employers, First Nations and organizations acting on behalf of employers (including union training halls, industry associations, training coordinators and other employer consortiums that meet the requirements below);
  • make minimum cash contributions towards training costs; 
  • employ the individual selected for training. Higher priority is given to employers who are training and hiring unemployed individuals. If the employer has hired an unemployed individual to fill a vacancy, the offer of employment can be conditional upon the individual having completed training and subject to the employer’s regular probationary period
  • be licensed to operate in Ontario;
  • be applying for training that is delivered in Ontario and is related to a job that is also located in Ontario;
  • comply with the Occupational Health and Safety Act and the Employment Standards Act;
  • maintain appropriate Workplace Safety and Insurance Board or private workplace safety insurance coverage;
  • have adequate third-party general liability insurance, as advised by its insurance broker;
  • comply with all applicable federal and provincial human rights legislation, regulations, and any other relevant standards.

Application Steps:

If you have difficulties, please contact the Employment Ontario Contact Centre at their toll-free number: 1-800-387-5656, or through the TTY line: 1-866-533-6339.

Documentation Needed:

Applicants must submit the following forms:

  • COJG Employer/Consortium Application Form: This form will be filled-out by the employer and it will act as the request for COJG funding. If the application is approved, it will act as the employer registration form to enter employer information into the data management system and for follow-up purposes. Please see the form for more details on privacy.
  • COJG Employer Registration for Consortium: This form must be completed for each employer represented in a consortium application. The ministry will request these forms as needed.
  • COJG Employer and Training Provider Attestation Forms: These forms must be individually completed by employer and training provider, prior to the application’s approval.
  • COJG Participant Registration Form: This form will need to be completed only after the application is approved for funding, by each individual participating in training. Please see the form for more details on privacy.
  • Placement Agreement: For exceptional circumstances where there will be a job placement for an unemployed individual, the placement agreement will be completed and agreed to between the employer, placement individual and service provider.
  • Electronic Funds Transfer Form: Employers requesting training for over 25 participants and all consortiums must complete this form.

Other Things to Note:

Documentation updated from Employer Questions and Answers section (updated in November 2021).

Program Contact:

Canada Ontario Job Grant

cojg-deck-employer-training-2019-en.pdf

Canada-Ontario Job Grant Employer Questions and Answer

How It Works


The Government of Canada provides funding to the Government of Ontario, who administers the Canada-Ontario Job Grant Program. The program then offers those funds to individual employers, or groups of employers, who want to purchase training for their employees.

COJG Guidelines: Eligibility


Small, medium, and large businesses that have a particular skills demand all qualify, provided you have a plan to deliver short-term training to existing and new employees. Businesses can be for-profit, nonprofit, or Indigenous groups as long as you’re licensed in Ontario and employ those workers to be trained. The program gives priority to businesses who hire those who were previously unemployed.

You should know, though, that businesses with more than 100 employees will need to contribute ½ of the training costs, and small employers with less than 100 employees will need to contribute 16 of training costs. Training will also have to be conducted by an eligible third-party.

Eligible third parties include colleges of applied arts and technology, publicly assisted universities, publicly assisted Indigenous institutes, school boards, private trainers operating in compliance with the Private Career Colleges Act, 2005, union-based training centres, and product vendors (only if they deliver training unrelated to their product or service).  

The training you want to provide with also have to be delivered and related to a job in Ontario and comply with the Occupational Health and Safety Act and the Employment Standards Act.

Make sure you also maintain appropriate Workplace Safety and Insurance Board or private workplace safety insurance coverage, have adequate third-party general liability insurance, and comply with all applicable federal and provincial human rights legislation and regulations.

But wait! There’s a whole other stream for employer groups who want to provide training and receive funding under this program called The COJG Consortium Stream. This allows employer groups who have the same training goals and objectives to pool their resources and offer training. Just make sure all partners and trainees meet the program requirements and all employer partners can contribute their financial share to qualify.

One point to take special note of is that business consulting does not qualify under this program. Apprenticeship training is also not covered under this funding program, nor is any training required by law such as that which results in certification. Finally, senior management and owners also don’t qualify for training with this program.

COJG Funding


If you can meet those qualifications, however, you could get up to $15,000/trainee to cover your training costs, and you’ll get better qualified and/or new, more skilled employees as a result.

Large companies will receive 50% of their training costs, up to $10,000/trainee, and smaller businesses can get up to 100% of their training costs covered, up to $15,000/trainee. If you hire a new employee to train, you’ll automatically qualify for 100% coverage.

You can even get up to $500/trainee for textbooks, software, and other training materials plus another $500/trainee for travel when the trainee has to travel more than 24 kms each way for training.

Organizations acting as intermediaries also qualify for funding with this program, but you’ll only get 15% of that available $10,000.

The best part of this program is that you can participate in it as often as you’d like, provided you continually meet all the previously mentioned eligibility criteria. Even your employees can participate more than once as long as they aren’t repeating the same training.

COJG Application: How to Apply for Canada Ontario Job Grant


Only employers or employer groups can apply to participate in this program. Individuals will not qualify.

Employers, however, can easily apply online. You can even start an application, save it, and go back and complete it another time by retrieving a draft application.

When you complete the form and hit Submit, your application will be directed straight to the Ministry if you’re training a group of more than 25 employees. If you’re training a group of 25 employees or less though, you’ll be directed to enter your postal code for a list of program service providers near you, and you’ll have to submit your application to the appropriate provider. Training for groups larger than 25 will also have to submit an Electronic Funds Transfer form with the application.

Once you complete your application, you’ll then be required to complete a few additional forms to finish the application process:

Wrapping Up

This is a simple program with a valuable outcome, so if you’re a business that would succeed by hiring and training more workers in your new technology, process, service, product, etc., then consider taking part in this program. Why pay all the costs associated with training if you don’t have to?

You can take a look at their FAQs page if you still have questions about the program, and you can always get in touch with them too. For general questions, you can call 416-326-5656 or 1-800-387-5656 toll free or chat live online.

For specific inquiries about training programs of less than 25, contact a program service provider as directed in the application form, and for training programs of more than 25, contact the Ministry at 416-325-2929 or 1-800-387-5514 toll free.


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