If you’re ready to start training for a new in-demand career, the Ontario government is stepping up to support you. The province has expanded its Second Career program and if you qualify, you could get up to $28,000 for your education and living costs while you learn your new skills.
Through Second Career, self-employed workers, gig workers, youth, newcomers, and others who need a hand up can get the financial support they need while they take time off for their studies.
The money you get will go towards your tuition, books, and training material like manuals and workbooks. Transportation costs and living expenses of up to $500 a week are also included, as well as childcare and disability supports if needed.
You can qualify for the program if you’ve been laid off and aren’t currently working, or are working a temporary job to pay your bills. If you’re receiving EI or have in the past, you’re still welcome to apply.
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Your application will be fast-tracked if you were laid off since March 2020, especially if you were working in an industry that was hit hard by the pandemic. You’ll also get faster approval if you have a high school education or job-specific training.
In your application, you’ll have to answer how long you have been unemployed, working your temporary job, and looking for work. You’ll also have to list the jobs you’ve applied for, your education level, household income and expenses, employment history, and most importantly, the skills you want to obtain in your new career.
The next step would be to apply for the program at your local employment services agency — the province has provided a map of all the locations so you can find the one nearest you. If you want some extra help, you can also make an appointment with an Employment Ontario counselor.
And if you’re not sure which new career path to take, you can take a look at Canada’s most in-demand jobs for some inspiration.