Overview of 3 Workforce Development Grants for Canadian Organizations

Workforce Development Grants for Canadian Organizations

Did you know that there are programs where the government reimburses you for a portion of your employee’s salary or for training skills to new and existing employees? These workforce development grants for Canadian organizations kill two birds with one stone because they allow you to have the opportunity to train your existing employees, which allows you to keep your skilled workforce. On the other hand, it also allows you to bring in new recruits who have a different perspective.

Here are three popular programs that you can apply to and receive wage subsidies for hiring a new employee or for the training of new and existing employees:

The Canada Job Grant (CJG) is a funding program from Employment and Social Development Canada. This program was launched in 2014 and has a provincial stream for each province and territory, except for Québec. Each individual stream has different funding amounts and eligibility criteria. The program is intended to reduce the costs of offering third-party training to new and existing employees. The grant can be used to give an employee the necessary skills needed for greater challenges. It can also be used to refresh, maintain, or upgrade a worker’s knowledge of an existing position.

Employers from private and non-profit organizations are eligible to apply. Funding approval is on a first-come, first-served basis, and each year’s funding coincides with the government’s fiscal year of April 1 to March 31. Organizations wishing to apply to this program should contact the program representatives of their province.

Employment and Social Development Canada is working with several funding recipients to offer the Student Work Placement program. This initiative gives post-secondary students across the country the opportunity to have paid work experience in their field of study.

Through the student work Placement program, employers can receive:

  • up to $5,000 for every student they hire through the program
  • up to $7,000 for every student they hire that is in their first year or student from an under-represented group including women in STEM, persons with disabilities, newcomers, indigenous students, and visible minorities.

Each funding recipients have specific requirements to satisfy. I invite you to visit the following website for a list of organizations that offer this program: https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/services/student-work-placements-wage-subsidies.html

The National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP) offers the Youth Employment Program. This program provides financial assistance to companies to offset the cost of hiring young talent to work on projects with R&D, engineering, multimedia or market analysis components, or to help develop a new product or process.

If you are an incorporated SME and you are ready to enhance your innovation capacity and willing to partner with NRC IRAP, this program will enable you to hire a student or a young graduate who will work on business, technical, or technology-related projects to help you:

  • advance research and development, engineering, and multimedia activities
  • develop new products and processes
  • conduct market analyses for new technology-based products
  • support business development related to science and technology activities
  • enhance customer services

Your organization can hire youth from 15 to 30 years old for an internship that will last a minimum of 6 months and a maximum of 12 months. The award amount will vary according to the length and also the type of internship. The new employee must be eligible to work in Canada and must be a first-time participant in a Youth Employment and Skills Strategy work experience program.

If you are interested in the program, the steps of the application are:

  1. Call the National Research Council Canada and discuss to determine the eligibility (topics: business description, objectives, innovation plans);
  2. If eligible, the next step is to discuss with one of the industrial technology advisors;
  3. Develop a project proposal;
  4. Find a youth candidate.

These programs are from the federal government but each of the provinces/territories has similar programs related to the objectives of the province/territory. I suggest that you visit the Skills and labour ministry website of your province/territory to learn more about the programs that are available.


Canada Job Grant (CJG): https://www.canada.ca/en/news/archive/2015/04/governments-canada-ontario-celebrate-canada-job-grant-success.html

Student Work Placement program: https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/services/student-work-placements-wage-subsidies.html

The National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP): https://nrc.canada.ca/en/support-technology-innovation/nrc-irap-funding-hire-young-graduates

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