In March 2018 the Canada-Ontario Job Grant (COJG), a useful training grant for Ontario employers, announced several changes. Among the most significant is an increase in the number of businesses who can consider themselves a “small employer”. This will allow those businesses to receive a higher percentage of training project costs than the previous version.
The Canada-Ontario Job Grant is a government funding for training program that offsets third-party employee training expenses. Employers can select training that meets their workforce development needs and choose the individuals who participate in the training.
Effective immediately, COJG funding offsets 50-83% of businesses’ training costs to a maximum $10,000 to $15,000 per trainee.
Another notable change to the program through 2018-2019 is that a sizeable portion of the government’s budget will be devoted to funding consortium groups. Consortia training, defined as two or more employers being trained as part of the same program, seeks to attract smaller employers and industry associations.
2018-19 Changes to the Canada-Ontario Job Grant
The Canada-Ontario Job Grant has been enhanced through its 2018-19 guidelines. In light of of these changes, employers should review how much support their upcoming training project may receive and ensure their training is still eligible for government funding.
Update to Employer Size and Contribution Amounts
This year’s guidelines introduce new criteria for defining small and large employers. Since the size of an employer is an important factor in determining how much funding a project qualifies to receive, this is a significant change that applicants should be aware of:
- More employers will qualify as a small employer due to the threshold being increased from <50 to <100 employees.
- The standard contribution rate for small employers is 5/6 (83%) of training costs to a maximum $10,000/trainee.
- By hiring and training unemployed individuals, small employers may qualify for up to 100% of training costs to a maximum $15,000/trainee.
- Large employers are now defined as having 100+ employees.
- The standard contribution rate for large employers is 1/2 (50%) of training costs to a maximum $10,000/trainee.
- Large employers do not qualify for increased contributions by hiring and training unemployed individuals.
Update to Consortium Training
Although consortium training has previously been supported through the Canada-Ontario Job Grant, the provincial government has introduced some significant changes to this stream of the grant.
The program’s budget has been structured so that consortium training projects can be prioritized and awarded more than in the past. This is great news for companies that can benefit from similar training projects as other firms.
So how does it work?
Consortium application requires a lead applicant, which could be one of the organizations enrolling training, the training vendor, or another party such as industry associations and other organizations that have a mandate to support multiple companies.
These “lead applicants” are expected to coordinate training by communicating with businesses to formalize a plan for who’s being trained, and collecting fees from each business to ultimately pay the training provider. They’re also responsible for submitting a government funding application on behalf of the consortium.
The same funding contribution levels apply as they do to single employers. However, funding is awarded based on the largest training participant involved. So, if one company in the training consortium has 100 or more employees, the training cost is subject to a 50% contribution rate to a maximum $10,000 per employee. If all companies participating in the training have fewer than 100 employees, the consortium is eligible for up to 83% of eligible expenses.
This option is often the most cost-effective training method businesses can engage in because they share training costs among members of the consortium. There is typically some incremental cost increase per trainee added into the program, but this pales in comparison to the cost of training if each employer purchased their own training program.
To receive COJG funding, employers must:
- Maintain operations in Ontario
- Provide cash contributions to pay non-grant covered training costs
- Abide by the Occupational Health and Safety Act and the Employment Standards Act
- Have sufficient Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) or private workplace safety insurance.
The Canada-Ontario Job Grant also maintains specific criteria to evaluate the eligibility of training programs. To access COJG grants, training must:
- Take place in Ontario
- Be led by a qualified third-party training provider
- Deliver training that directly related to a business’ needs
- Not exceed one year in duration
How to Apply for COJG Training Grants
To receive COJG funding for an upcoming training project, employers must submit a comprehensive application package consisting of a company overview, detailed training plans, and multiple vendor quotes. Typically, applications are reviewed within 2-4 weeks.
To discuss your business’ eligibility and learn how to optimize the application process, please contact Mentor Works.