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Second Career

Second Career is an Ontario government initiative that offers skills-training and financial support for eligible laid-off workers, helping them find jobs in high-demand occupations in Ontario.

People Laid-Off Because of COVID-19 in 2020

The Ontario government is making it easier for laid-off workers to access the Second Career program. If you were laid-off in one of the sectors most impacted by COVID-19 since March 1, 2020, you may benefit from these changes.

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How You Qualify for Second Career

As a start, you qualify for Second Career if:

  • you have been laid-off on or after January 1, 2005
  • are unemployed
  • you are a resident of Ontario
  • you are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident or a convention refugee claimant who meets the requirements (talk to an Employment Advisor to confirm eligibility)
  • you can demonstrate that there is a demand in the labour market for the occupation you want training in and evidence that there are good employment prospects locally or within Ontario

If you’re receiving Employment Insurance (EI), or have in the past, you can still apply.

When preparing your application, you are required to show:

  • how long you have been unemployed, or have been working your temporary job, and looking for work
  • places you have applied and positions you have applied for (for example cover letters, CV/resume and responses from potential employers)
  • level of education you have obtained
  • previous employment, how long you worked there, and skills that were required
  • what skills and knowledge you want to obtain and where this training is offered

Fast Track - Laid-Off Due to COVID-19

You may qualify for the Second Career Fast Track program if:

  • you were laid-off since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic (laid-off on or after March 1, 2020)
  • you have a high school education or less or laid-off from an occupation requiring high school education or less
  • you were laid-off from occupations hardest hit by COVID-19 such as hospitality and food services, transportation and warehousing or wholesale and retail trade
  • you are seeking training for occupations in demand in local communities or provincial priority areas, which are: Information and Communication Technology, Life Sciences and Advanced Manufacturing

woman taking online training class

person using calculator for finances

Financial Support

You may qualify for up to $28,000.00 for costs including:

  • Tuition
  • Books
  • Living expenses
  • Child care
  • Travel
  • Transportation
  • Disability supports
  • Basic living allowance (during skill training)

What You Pay Into Second Career

When you apply to Second Career, you have to show the costs to be covered during training.

You may have to pay part of these costs yourself. The amount you’ll have to pay is based on several things, starting with your gross (before tax) household income.

Finding and Applying to a Second Career Program

Looking for a Training Program

The Second Career program aims to help people rejoin the workforce quickly. That’s why the program is focusing on supporting training programs that take 52 weeks or less, including micro-credential programs.

People who want to attend training longer than one year can apply to the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) for a mix of grants and loans to help them pay for their postsecondary education.

Applying to Second Career

To apply to Second Career, work with Humber's Community Employment Services where our team of Employment Advisors can help you decide if this program is right for you – and, if it is, help you gather the information needed to support your application and assist you in completing your application.

Get More Information

For additional information on Second Career options visit the Employment Ontario website.

Employment Ontario

These Employment Ontario services are funded in part by the Government of Canada.

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