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39 Employment Grants in Ontario for Hiring Students, Apprentices and More

Did you know, in Ontario, there are more than two dozen grants for hiring students, apprentices, interns and more?

That’s right, there is support to help you build your business’s team.

Some are just for Ontario businesses, while others are available across Canada. There are wage subsidies, tax credits and refunds, and, of course, grants. So, take your time and look through and see what program is the best fit for you.

Canada-Wide Employment Incentives

However you may feel about the Canadian government, it has a wide variety of programs in many sectors to help bring the right team members to your business. It doesn’t matter whether your business operates in the creative sector or the technology sector, there’s something for almost everyone.

Apprenticeship Incentive Grant – Employment and Social Development Canada

Apprentices who have completed their first year/level, or equivalent, can apply for the Apprenticeship Incentive Grant to help pay for expenses when training in a designated Red Seal trade. You can apply for the grant twice during training and again after completing your second year of training.

Foreign Credential Recognition Program (FCRP) – Employment and Social Development Canada

The Canadian government provides funding to organizations and governments through the FCRP to support foreign credential recognition in Canada. Money is not provided directly to individuals, organizations and governments use the funding for programs that will help recognize and assess the international work experience and credentials that individuals have acquired in other countries.

The Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC) – Work Integrated Learning (WIL) Digital Subsidy

This program supports businesses in Canada that offer student work placements in the Digital Economy and helps employers grow their business by providing funding for hiring post-secondary students. The funding can be put towards the student’s salary and more can be given if the student falls into one of the under-represented groups, including Women in STEM, Indigenous students, students with disabilities, newcomers, visible minorities, and first-year students.

Need funding for your small business?

    Ministry of Colleges and Universities – Labour Market Partnerships Program

    This program supports partnerships with employers, community organizations, and employer/employee associations. The program helps partners to promote the creation of community/industry partnerships, assist communities to develop innovative strategies for future skills requirements and prevent skill shortages, plan for the utilization of local human resources, and develop and promote labour market intelligence.

    Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) – Canada Summer Jobs Program

    Employers from the public sector, non-profit organizations, and private sector organizations with 50 or fewer full-time employees can receive wage subsidies to create quality summer work experiences for young people between the ages of 15 to 30.

    Ontario Chamber of Commerce – Talent Opportunities Program

    The Ontario Chamber of Commerce created the Talent Opportunities Program to help employers that are located anywhere in Canada hire college and university students on work placements. Employers can receive a wage subsidy for each new placement from an under-represented group, including Indigenous people, newcomers, persons with disabilities, visible minorities, first-year students, and/or women in STEM.

    Ministry of Labour, Training, and Skills Development – Group Sponsorship Grant (GSC)

    To encourage employers to come together using a group sponsorship arrangement to train and hire apprentices, the Group Sponsorship Grant gives annual support to employers share apprenticeship management and training responsibilities, which will structure training, streamline administration, and reduce pressure on any employer to see their apprentice through the completion of their training.

    Environmental Careers Organization of Canada (ECO Canada) Co-Op Student Placement

    This program works with employers and institutions across Canada to fund work for students as they are transitioning from their study field into meaningful employment in the environmental sector. The wage subsidy covers a portion of the student’s wages.

    Environmental Careers Organization of Canada (ECO Canada) Digital Skills for Youth

    Your business can increase the supply of highly qualified candidates and facilitate their transition to a quickly changing labour market within the digital economy through this internship program. Small and medium-sized businesses can receive wage subsidies to cover all of the candidate’s salary.

    BioTalent Canada – Career Starter Program

    The Career Starter Program will enable the transition of youth into the labour market and increase their knowledge within the sector the recent, practical work experience. The program will help with 50% of the youth’s salary in wage subsidies for a three to nine-month placement. This will help you satisfy your need for skilled labour and adopt an inclusive, diverse work culture.

    Ontario Apprenticeship Training Tax Credit – Ontario Ministry of Finance

    This is a refundable tax credit and is based on salaries and wages that are paid to an apprentice. Qualifying businesses can claim 25% of eligible expenses, 30% for small businesses, made during the first three years of the apprenticeship program.

    Innovation Initiatives Ontario North (IION) – Entrepreneurship Development Program (EDP)

    The EDP is a 16-week placement that involves educational and experiential learning for high potential participants that are interested in entrepreneurship and innovation. For-profit businesses can receive a competitive wage subsidy to apply to the applicant’s wages.

    Canada’s Music Incubator (CMI) – Artist Manager

    The Artist Manager is an eight-week development program that has been designed to mentor active artist managers and/or self-managed artists within an active management company in Toronto. The program will help you to push your skills as an entrepreneur, customize your business model, connect you with music industry professionals, and solidify your understanding of industry revenue streams and contracts.

    United Nations Association (UNA) in Canada – Canada Green Corps

    Funded through Environment and Climate Change Canada and Natural Resources Canada, Canada Green Corps is an innovative youth employment program that is designed to launch the careers of talented Canadian youth. It strategically fulfills government commitments to provide new employment opportunities for youth and showcase national leadership on climate action.

    United Nations Association (UNA) in Canada – Green Spaces Youth

    This program places youth in employment positions that provide training in professional development and will increase their passion, knowledge, and experience of working within the green economy. The participants of Green Spaces will go through an 8-to-16-week work learning placement with businesses in a variety of Canadian sectors.

    The Community Development Corporation of Sault Ste. Marie & Area (CDC) – Northeastern Ontario Youth Internship Program (NEOYIP)

    The NEOYIP provides up to 50% of the eligible costs of employee benefit expenses, salary, professional/business skills development, and associated costs of travel to businesses that hire post-secondary graduates for a period of 12 months in a full-time position. This is a fit for businesses that are looking to undertake a project that is related to the digital economy, innovation, or trade.

    North Claybelt Community Futures Development Corporation – Northeastern Ontario Youth Internship Program

    Business owners can receive a wage subsidy from this program for the eligible costs of employee benefit expenses, salary, training, and the costs for training-related travel for business and professional skills development for a 12-month period in a full-time position.

    Federal Employment Grants

    Employment and Social Development Canada Student Work Placement Program

    This is one of the few programs that are offered by Employment and Social Development Canada. This program will provide you with funding for every student that you hire, more if you hire an individual from an underrepresented group such as women in STEM, newcomers, persons with disabilities, first-year students, or Indigenous students, to help you grow your team and offer a student an opportunity.

    National Research Council of Canada (NRC) IRAP Youth Employment Program

    This is a Canada-wide employment incentive program that helps small and medium-sized businesses in every sector to offer jobs with engineering, research, and development, market analysis, or multimedia components to young workers between the ages of 15 to 30. Your business can receive funding to cover the wages of your new employee, however, this is a cost-sharing program so you will be required for any additional costs.

    Canada Heritage – Canada Book Fund

    The Government of Canada recognizes that publishing in the country is expensive and wants to ease the costs involved to help publishers market and produce content in Canada. The Support for Publishers grant was created to offer grants to publishers to use for business planning and internships. When you qualify for this grant, you can use the funds to pay for a portion of the eligible expenses from hiring an intern.

    Employment and Social Development Canada

    If you’re thinking of hiring an apprentice in any sector, you should consider this two-option grant which can cover a portion of the costs from hiring an apprentice with the Apprenticeship Completion Grant (ACG) and the Apprenticeship Incentive Grant for Women (AIG-W). The ACG grant was made to cover the wage of anyone that is hired, who has completed their apprenticeship training and received their journeyperson certification in a Red Seal trade. The AIG-W will compensate you for hiring a female apprentice who has completed training and received a certification in an underrepresented trade.

    Federal Employment Subsidies

    Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation: Housing Internship Initiative for First Nations and Inuit Youth (HIIY)

    This is a wage subsidy for Inuit or First Nations organizations that provide on-the-job training and work experience for Inuit and First Nations youth between the ages of 15 to 30. To be eligible you must be an Inuit or First Nations council, business, or self-governing body, have the staff and time resources to provide training, have an office in an Inuit or First Nation community, or close by, cover the costs for housing and travel for your intern, and cover all the administrative costs that are related to the position.

    BioTalent Canada: Student Work Placement Program (SWPP) and Science Horizons Youth Internship Program

    It can be difficult to grow your business in the tech sector but hiring the most skilled students with the best potential can be just as hard. The following programs are a perfect fit for you if you have a similar problem and your business is operating in the biotech sector.

    The Student Workplacement Program

    Your business must offer a workplace educational opportunity for a business or STEM student to get yourself in this program and start hiring candidates. The role must be a full-time, paid position.

    Science Horizons Youth Internship Program

    This program provides a wage subsidy to help recent graduates to work in STEM fields, but the position must be linked to the green economy.

    Career-Launcher Internships

    If you own a business in the technology sector, there are even more hiring incentives. The Career-Launcher Internship programs will subsidize your employee’s wages if you hire an intern full-time for 6 to 12 months. They have three categories to choose from:

    Career-Launcher Clean Tech Internship

    Career-Launcher Natural Resources Internship

    Career-Launcher Digital Tech Internship

    Any business can apply to have an intern on their team, however, only small to medium-sized businesses with less than 500 employees will qualify for the Digital Tech Internship.

    Environment and Climate Change Canada Science and Technology Internship

    This is a Canada-wide grant that will help your business, within a wide variety of sectors, to help hire young people and give them more opportunities to gain valuable experience and skills in fields such as STEM and a chance to work in some priority sectors including energy, clean technology, earth sciences, forestry and mining.

    Mining Industry Human Resources Council (MiHR) Gearing Up Student Work Placement Program

    This is a wage subsidy that is aimed towards mining industry employers who are creating new work-integrated learning opportunities for students who are enrolled in business or STEM programs. The opportunities can include internships, co-ops, field placements, capstone projects, applied projects, and case competitions.

    Federal Employment Tax Credits/Refunds

    Canada Revenue Agency Apprenticeship Job Creation Tax Credit

    In an effort to create more Canadian jobs in trades, the CRA offers a tax credit for all businesses and organizations to hire an apprentice. The credit is equal to 10% of the apprentice’s wages. Red Seal trade apprentices are eligible for the first two years of their contract for employment.

    Other Federal Employment Support

    Employment and Social Development Canada: Compensation for Employers of Reservists Program

    Through the Department of National Defense, the Canadian government offers compensation for organizations and businesses that hire reservists. If you are a self-employed reservist, you can still apply for the grant. The purpose of the grant is to help mitigate the costs that arise when a reservist employee is deployed full-time.

    Ontario Employment Grants

    Government of Ontario Apprenticeship Completion Employer Bonus

    Ontario employers who train apprentices can be eligible to receive this grant to help with the costs of training.  The purpose is to help more businesses hire apprentices to build the skilled trades and apprenticeship pipeline in Ontario. The grant will also support the progress of the apprentice by giving grant payments to you when your apprentice reaches a major milestone.

    Canadian Tooling and Machining Association (CTMA): Career-Ready with CTMA

    The CTMA program provides funding for businesses in the Machine, Tool, Die & Mould (MTDM) sector of the automotive manufacturing industry that is interested in providing a workplace experience opportunity to a secondary co-op student, recent Mechanical Technician graduate, or similar program that is offered at an Ontario college.

    Ontario Employment Tax Credits/Refunds

    Ministry of Finance Co-operative Education Tax Credit

    When tax time comes around in Ontario, there is a tax credit that you can claim for your business for hiring a student that is studying in a co-op education program at a college or university in Ontario. Your business can claim a portion of the expenses and most placements are for a minimum period of 10 weeks to a maximum of 4 months.

    Northern Ontario Employment Grants

    FEDNOR Youth Internship Under the Northern Ontario Development Program (NODP) and Youth Internship Under the Economic Development Initiative (EDI)

    Under two ongoing internship programs that have been designed for small and medium-sized businesses and non-profits in Northern Ontario, FEDNOR offers grants to these organizations. Under the NODP, businesses and non-profits can receive a grant to cover a portion of wages and benefits for a full-time internship that is expected to be 12 months long.

    Bottom Line

    You have just discovered that there are plenty of incentives to take advantage of when hiring a student or graduate. This is a win-win situation, you get the help you need and only must pay a portion of the costs that you would pay a regular employee, and your intern/apprentice gets the work experience and skills development that they need to be successful.

    Most of the programs are easy to apply for and qualify for. Some will even do the work for you. The number one thing that you should keep in mind is to keep all the necessary documents organized and easy to access if needed. This will keep the application process simple and improve your odds of success.

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