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Better Jobs Ontario

Better Jobs Ontario (BJO) is an Ontario government program that gives individuals financial support to help get the training or education needed to secure a new job that is in high demand. Effective April 29, 2022, the program was expanded to better help people who face challenges finding stable jobs such as gig workers, youth and people on social assistance. If you have been unemployed for six months or longer, and are part of a low-income household, you may benefit from these changes. To better reflect the expansion of the program, we renamed the program Better Jobs Ontario (formally Second Career)

What Better Jobs Ontario Gives You

You can get new skills – those needed for jobs in demand now – and financial support when you qualify.

Apply for up to $28,000 for costs including:

  • tuition

  • workbooks, safety equipment or other instructional costs

  • transportation

  • basic living allowance (up tp $500 per week


Additional funding may be available for:

  • child care

  • disability-related supports

  • living away from home

  • Literacy and Basic Skills (LBS) and/or language training

Length of training programs

Better Jobs Ontario aims to help you rejoin the workforce quickly. That’s why the program focuses on training programs that take 52 weeks or less to complete, including micro-credential programs.

If you want to attend training longer than one year, you can apply to the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) for a mix of grants and loans to help you pay for your postsecondary education.


  • have been laid-off and have not been working or are working a temporary job just to cover costs

  • have not been laid-off but have been unemployed for six months or longer and are part of a low-income household

  • you are a resident of Ontario

  • you are a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident legally authorized to work in Canada

  • you have demonstrated occupational demand for the training requested with evidence of good employment prospects locally or within Ontario

If you’re receiving Employment Insurance (EI), Ontario Works (OW) or Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) funds, you can still apply.

Laid-off due to COVID-19?

While the Better Jobs Ontario program is open to unemployed jobseekers, a fast-track stream is available if you were laid-off because of COVID-19 and want to retrain for jobs in sectors that have potential for future employment.

If your application meets all the following criteria, you will go through a faster approval process, giving you access to training sooner:

  • You were laid-off on or after March 1, 2020.

  • You have a high school education or less, you were laid-off from an occupation requiring no more than a high school education and job-specific training, such as food and beverage servers, flight attendants and retail salespersons.

  • You were laid-off from an industry hit hard by the pandemic, such as hospitality and food services, transportation and warehousing or wholesale and retail trade.

  • You want to train for a career in demand in a local community or provincial priority area.

Applying to Second Career

To apply to Second Career, you’ll work with an employment services agency, where people are trained to help you decide if this program is right for you – and, if it is, to help you complete your application.

When preparing your application, you also have to show:

  • how long you have been unemployed, or working your temporary job, and looking for work

  • places you have applied and positions you have applied for (e.g. cover letters, CV and responses from potential employers)

  • an updated resume with your education, skills and previous work experiences

  • what skills you want to get and where you can get trained in them

  • information showing the skills and job you want to train for are in demand

When you apply to Better Jobs Ontario, you must provide information to support a financial needs assessment, such as:

  • some of the costs to be covered during training

  • your gross (before tax) household income

For more information or to book an appointment, please contact:

Jody Waldock, Program Manager

Crossroads Employment Services

Tel: 934 - 6203


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