Second Career Information

The Ontario Government, through Employment Ontario, has made a multi-year commitment to increase the skills capacity of Ontario workers. To access Second Career you will need to visit our office. Our Employment Specialists can help you take the first step. Eligibility and suitability requirements and guidelines do change, so it is advisable to see one of our staff for the most current information.

What is Second Career?

Second Career provides laid-off workers with:

  • skills training to help find jobs in high-demand occupations in Ontario
  • financial support

Second Career is a cost-sharing grant provided on the basis of need, so you may be asked to contribute what you can to your training or education.
Second Career may provide funds for:

  • tuition
  • transportation
  • a basic living allowance
  • books and other instruction costs such as manuals or workbooks

Additional support may be available to accommodate the needs of people with disabilities, dependent care, costs of living away from home and academic upgrading.

Who Can Apply?

Individuals that have been laid-off since January, 2005, including worker who have taken interim jobs to make ends meet, and who require skills training for employment in demand occupations in Ontario are eligible to apply. Employment Insurance (EI) eligibility is not a requirement.
Participants may be required to contribute towards the cost of training. Your actual contribution to retraining will be determined by the ministry. There are limits to the amount the ministry will provide for dependent care, accommodation and other factors, such as tuition.

How do you Qualify?

To be eligible, participants must:

  • Have been laid off from a position due to shortage of work or end of contract after Jan 1, 2005 and still be unemployed or working an interim job or
  • Have received maternity or parental benefits and are looking to re-enter the labour force and have no position to return to or
  • Have left work due to medical reasons and can no longer perform in their previous occupation and
  • Be able to demonstrate occupational demand for training request with evidence of good employment prospects locally or within Ontario.

To Be suitable, participants must:

  • Meet a baseline suitability score, using an assessment that measures seven criteria including: period of active job search, length of unemployment, previous educational attainment, work history, labour market prospects, and type of training and previous work experience.


How Do I Apply?

Talk with our Employment Specialists about your experience, skills and interests. Explore the options that may be right for you. Together you can develop a personal plan to return to work.

Choose a new career with good job prospects in your area. Once you decide on a career, you will need proof that the job is in demand in your area. You need to research courses offered by three institutions such as, a community college or a private career college.

After research gathering is complete, prepare and submit an application with your Employment Specialist for financial assistance from Second Career. The application with then be forwarded to the Ministry. All negotiation and determining your actual contribution to retraining will be done through the Ministry.

For further information about this program please click on the link below. Second Career