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Better Jobs Ontario

The Better Jobs Ontario (formerly Second Career) program is an application-based grant program that provides unemployed individuals with vocational skills training.


This training program, which takes 52 weeks or less to complete, is available to unemployed individuals for which skills training is the most appropriate intervention to transition them into high-skill, in-demand occupations.


This program is available to unemployed individuals, who have been laid-off, or are from a low-income household experiencing challenges attaching to the labour market.


The program was expanded in 2022 to better help people who may 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. 


Better Jobs Ontario provides eligible applicants with:

  • skills training for in-demand jobs
  • financial support

You can apply for up to $28,000 for costs, including:

  • tuition
  • books
  • other instructional costs, including student fees, supplies and electronic devices
  • transportation
  • basic living allowance (up to $500 per week)

Additional funding may be available for:

  • childcare
  • disability-related supports
  • living away from home
  • Literacy and Basic Skills (LBS) and/or language training

Is Better Jobs Ontario right for you?

  • You may qualify for Better Jobs Ontario if you either:

    • 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 can still apply if you receive either:

    • Employment Insurance (EI)
    • Ontario Works (OW)
    • Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP)

Contact us to get started with Better Jobs Ontario


Attend a Better Jobs Ontario Orientation Session.


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.


Youth Job Connection

Youth Job Connection (YJC) is a program for youth aged 15 to 29 who face barriers to employment but want to work.

Youth, join us for a 3-week paid youth employment training program where participants will learn about and participate in:

  • Career exploration
  • Job target and readiness
  • Employment & Life Skills
  • Education & training pathways
  • Apprenticeship information Industry field trips
  • Paid Job placements

Program Eligibility:

  • Ages 15 to 29 years-old
  • Must be unemployed
  • Not in education or training
  • Eligible to work in Canada (active SIN)
  • Live in Durham Region

Upcoming sessions
Youth interested can contact:
905-431-5693 – text or call

Youth Job Connection Summer

Are you between the ages of 15-18 and looking for summer or part time work while in high school?

If you are facing challenging life circumstances and want to learn the fundamentals of securing and maintaining employment, the Youth Job Connection Summer could be for you.


Youth will gain:

  • Up to 20 hours of paid pre-employment training
  • Job placements up to 8 weeks during the summer
  • Job placements up to 10 hours per week during the school year

905-431-5693 – text or call


Job Search Workshops

Are you new to Canada? Ready to start job searching? Learn what Canadian employers want newcomers to know about finding a job in Canada.


Job Search Workshop (JSW) is a program designed to help immigrants find employment in Canada.


The program offers pre-employment training and assists internationally trained individuals with the initial stages of their job search.


JSW helps you learn:

  • How to Effectively Search for Employment in Canada
  • What Canadian Employers Are Looking For
  • How to Gain Canadian Work Experience
  • How to Develop a Résumé that Works in Canada

Who can participate?

Internationally-educated individuals (newcomers) who are:

  • Ready, willing and able to work and have a clear occupational goal
  • Able to communicate in the English language
  • Permanent residents, landed immigrants, convention refugees or live-in caregivers

If you are an Internationally-educated individual looking for work, contact the Pickering Welcome Centre to learn more about this program.

TRIEC  Mentoring Partnership

Find a mentor to help you progress your career in Canada.


If you are an immigrant with a professional background, TRIEC Mentoring Partnership* can help you reconnect with your career with the support of a mentor who works in your field, in Canada.


By talking to a mentor who shares your professional background and knows how the local labour market works, you can get a head start on your journey to success in Canada.


In fact, 75% of participants find a job in their professional field within one year.


You should sign up for the program if you:

  • Have 2+ years of international experience in your professional field
  • Have lived in Canada for less than five years
  • Are unemployed or underemployed and looking to reconnect with your career

A mentor can help you:

  • Understand Canadian industry trends
  • Develop more effective job search strategies
  • Build your professional network
  • Find ways of leveraging your experience and skills

Interested? Contact a Mentoring Partnership Coach to learn how to sign-up.


TRIEC Mentoring Partnership is a collaboration of employer and community partners, and operates as a program of TRIEC. TRIEC champions the skills and talents that immigrants bring to the Greater Toronto Area.


Funding for TRIEC Mentoring Partnership is provided by the Governments of Canada and Ontario, Ontario Trillium Foundation, RBC Foundation and Manulife.


Register for a TRIEC information session.


Information about TRIEC.


Information about TRIEC Mentoring Partnership.


Durham Region Unemployed Help Centre is a partner in TRIEC Mentoring Partnership – a program of the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council delivered by 12 community partners across the GTA, including the Durham Region.

Durham Region Unemployed Help Centre

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