Ontario Training Grants (2021): Improve Your Employees’ Skills with These 6 Government Programs

However you look at it, continued skills development is necessary to both growing your career and growing your business – and you can reduce the financial burden by checking out the Ontario training grants covered in this guide!

Take advantage of them to either learn what you need to know or learn what you want to know. Alternatively, apply for one of them to give your employees a chance to learn something new so they can apply that knowledge to your company’s products or processes.

Take a peek at the available options and see if any of them pique your interest!

6 Skills Development Grants for Ontario Businesses

Check out the infographic below that summarizes the 6 Skills Development Grants for Ontario Businesses.

Training Incentives Available Across Canada

Most financial incentive programs are available nationwide, so when it comes to skills development at least, it’s an even playing field. There are options available for trades and apprenticeships and entertainers alike!

Training Grants Available Across Canada

Canada’s Music Incubator (CMI) Artist Manager

For those small businesses in the entertainment industry, this program offers to fund 66% of the cost of this 8-week program geared at working with independent artists and artist managers to give them the skills they need to build and develop their music management business.

These classes take place in a real-world environment and are aimed at pairing entrepreneurs with industry professionals in such things as music law, accounting, and technical production.

Ordinarily, this program costs $7,500 per person, but those who qualify and are accepted into this program will only have to pay $2,500, thanks to the program’s sponsors, which include the JUNO Awards, Canadian Country Music Association, and more. You could qualify if you fit any one of 6 categories, which include self-managed artists, postsecondary music students, or current artist managers who have managed at least one client.

Don’t miss this rare opportunity to work alongside artists such as Simple Plan and Our Lady Peace. This program only runs a couple times a year, and the next deadline is August 4, 2020, for October 6 to November 27, 2020, classes. It’s easy to apply. Just fill out the online application form.

Canada’s Music Incubator (CMI) Artist Entrepreneur

As with the other program (above) offered by Canada’s Music Incubator, this program serves to help musical artists improve their existing skills and gain new ones to further their careers and build their businesses. Because that’s what being a successful musician takes today: being an entrepreneur.

Take advantage of networking with successful Canadian artists and participating in numerous workshops from performance or styling to marketing or social media with this eight-week training program. The next application deadline is June 1, 2020.

Normally, this program costs $7,500/artist, but if you qualify for the program, you’ll only have to pay $2,500, thanks to sponsors like Newcap Radio, Stingray Music, and Warner Music Canada.

The best part is, as long as you’re an emerging artist, you qualify!

If you’d like to know more, just send them an email.

Employment and Social Development Canada Apprenticeship Incentive Grant (AIG)

Do you employ an apprentice who’d like to complete their training and receive their certification or who you’d like to achieve this?

The Apprenticeship Incentive Grant (AIG) will help you (or the apprentice) do that. This program offers $1,000 to put toward the training, and a single apprentice in training can receive the same award twice to help them realize their certificate. However, this grant is taxable.

Qualifying for these funds is straightforward. As long as the apprentice is a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or protected person; registered as an apprentice in a designated Red Seal trade; and offers proof of successful completion of either their first or second year or level in a designated Red Seal trade; they qualify.

Applying is easy too. All the apprentice has to do is gather their supporting documents, such as a copy of their official Confirmation of Progress for the Apprenticeship Incentive Grant Letter, permanent resident visa, and/or personal SIN number, and complete the online application. Make sure the supporting documents are also submitted, either by email or in person and that the apprentice applies while still in school.

Here’s a list of supporting documents you may need by province. Once the application is complete and all documents sent in, expect to receive a reply within 28 days.

Check this page out for more information such as how this grant may affect EI benefits, and check this page for help applying.

Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada Digital Literacy Exchange Program

This is a timely program and one that could help so many people with the help of the nonprofit organizations who take advantage of this one.

The Canadian job market is currently undergoing fundamental changes, and at the same time, many parts of the country have abysmally high unemployment rates. This program aims to help you be part of the solution by funding nonprofit groups that offer digital skills training to under-represented groups in the digital economy sector.

The funding you could get for your digital training program has no minimum, maximum, or prescribed amount, but the total amount available for funding for 2020/2021 is $7.3 million. The funding you receive is completely dependent on the needs of your program and the funds left available to draw from.

That said, while the program is closed for now, keep checking back so you can be among the first to apply for funding. That way, you’ll be assured of receiving the funding you need to deliver your training program.

While all nonprofits incorporated in Canada with a plan to deliver free training in place qualify, and you can have funding from as many partners and/or levels of government as you like, be aware that your funding can’t exceed more than 100% of the total cost of the project (of course!).

Take a look at their FAQs for more information, and again, keep checking back.

Training Incentives Available in Ontario

The province of Ontario again offers its residents and organizations a few additional funding programs on top of those available for skills development across the country.

If you’re lucky enough to be based in this province, apply for one this year and take advantage of the added opportunity to improve your skills or your employees’ skills for the betterment of your organization—and the country’s economy!

Ontario Training Grants

Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities Canada-Ontario Job Grant

Skills development is valuable, so the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities will grant money to any Ontario business that wants to give their employees more training.

As long as you have a definitive plan to provide short-term skills training for your employees, you qualify, whether you’re big or small or incorporated or not. But you do have to be licenced to operate in Ontario and ensure the training is to be delivered in Ontario and related to jobs also located in Ontario.

All you have to do to apply is fill out the application form before training starts and submit an Employer Attestation form, a Training Provider Attestation form, a Participant Registration form, a Employer Registration form (for Consortia applications), and an Electronic Funds Transfer form (for Over 25/Consortia applications). Use this handy guide for help filling it all out, and check out the FAQs.

If you still find yourself with questions about the program or the process, contact the Employment Ontario Contact Centre at 1-800-387-5656, use TTY at 1-866-533-6339, or email them.

Ontario Training Tax Credits

Ministry of Finance Apprenticeship Training Tax Credit

Before you read any further, you should know this tax credit is only available to those businesses that took on an apprentice on or before November 15, 2017. However, if this does apply to you, you could find yourself with a larger tax return!

You could qualify if you and your apprentice were part of an apprenticeship program registered under the Ontario College of Trades and Apprenticeship Act, 2009 or a predecessor and if the trade falls under one of the 120 eligible categories (30 are ineligible.). For example, automotive painting and plumbing are eligible trades.

So with that information in hand, you could get back either $10,000 or 35% of expenses you incurred with respect to the apprentice you hired if you hired them between March 26, 2009, and April 24, 2015, whichever amount is less. If you’re an SME, your percentage is raised to 45%.

And if you hired an apprentice under a registered contract between April 24, 2015, and November 15, 2017, you could get back either $5,000 or 25% of your apprentice-related expenses, 30% for SMEs.

For the purposes of this tax credit, an SME is defined as business in any form—individual, partnership, or corporation—who paid out less than $400,000 in payroll in the previous year.

To receive this tax credit, simply claim it on Schedule 552 and file it with your T2 if you’re incorporated. For those who aren’t incorporated, you can claim it on Form ON479, Ontario Credits and file it in your personal tax return.

And just to make things a little confusing, while partnerships can claim the credit, you can only claim your portion. At the same time, limited partners can’t claim it at all, but general partners of a limited partnership can claim their share.

If you’d like to learn more about hiring an apprentice, check out their FAQs or give the Employment Ontario Contact Centre a shout at 1-800-387‑5656. For questions or more information about the tax credit, you can get in touch with them in 1 of 4 ways:

1 866 ONT-TAXS (1 866 668-8297)
Fax:1 866 888-3850
TTY:1 800 263-7776

Ministry of Finance
33 King Street West
Oshawa, Ontario, Canada
L1H 8H5

The Bottom Line

Okay, so there isn’t an abundance of funding programs to help with skills development. But there are some, and perhaps that will increase with time, so keep looking!

On the upside, there is still a variety to choose from, all geared toward different sectors, so there’s probably one that’s right for you.

While it’s easy to say we don’t have time to work on or update our skills and hard to find the time in our busy schedules with all the other work that needs to be done, there’s nothing that screams success like a fully trained employee with cutting-edge knowledge. And, given that knowledge is changing more and more rapidly, it’s smart to keep yourself and your employees learning! So why not start this year?

Infographic of 6 Skills Development Grants for Ontario Businesses

6 Skills Development Grants for Ontario Businesses

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