If you’ve been considering a new line of work, there are high demand jobs out in the market waiting to be had. Pandemic-related layoffs impacted countless people, but the government of Ontario has a new program to help springboard you back into the workforce.
Better Jobs Ontario is the newest iteration of the Second Career program.
It offers funding up to $28,000 for individuals seeking employment in fields that offer good employment prospects. To qualify, you must have been laid off, or be from a low-income household and experiencing challenges attaching to the labour market.
“It’s a really great opportunity for individuals who want to re-train for a job that’s in demand,” said Theresa Bott, community outreach coordinator and job coach with Agilec Orillia. “This program was developed to help those with upgrading those skills and helping them get into a job that’s going to be sustainable long-term employment.”
There are multiple intake streams for the Better Jobs Ontario program, and anyone laid off after March 1, 2020, due to COVID-19 has priority approval process and will be fast-tracked through the program.
The government of Ontario deems several sectors as in-demand fields, like positions in information and communication technology, life sciences, construction, advanced manufacturing, and supportive health services.
Qualified individuals not only can receive funding for tuition and books, but if the training or schooling is out of town, living expenses and transportation costs may also be covered as well, along with child care support and disability accommodations. The aim is for these job seekers to complete training in less than a year so they can re-enter the workforce as soon as possible.
Bott has witnessed first-hand the difference a program like Better Jobs Ontario can make in the life of someone looking for long-term employment. This program provides people the opportunity they need to succeed and thrive in the workforce.
“I’m really passionate about this program because I’ve seen it change people’s lives,” Bott said. “It’s that opportunity; I’ve worked with individuals who have had seasonal jobs and experience layoffs every year move into long-term year-round employment. Just the difference that can make for someone.”
On average, approval into the Better Jobs Ontario program could take four to six weeks, but Bott recommends applicants give themselves ample time to go through the application and approval process. She said 8-10 weeks in advance is a good buffer for anyone looking to apply.
Job seekers don’t need to have all the answers or a clear direction for where they want to go.
Agilec’s job coaches can support individuals in figuring out the best direction for them and offer guidance in determining which sectors would be sustainable and long-term.
“When people come to us, they don’t need to know exactly the direction they want to go in,” Bott said. “That’s part of our job, is helping them dive into career assessments, job exploration, looking at the local labour market to see what would be supportive of that transition for them.”
For those who want to find out a little more about the Better Jobs Ontario program, Agilec offers a pre-recorded workshop where applicants can learn more information.
Better yet, speak to an Agilec job coach to find out if the Better Jobs Ontario program is right for you. Get started at Agilec.ca.