Better Jobs Ontario (formerly Second Career)

Better Jobs Ontario offers up to $28,000 to help job seekers get the skills they need for in-demand careers

Better Jobs Ontario provides eligible individuals access to skills training in order to find jobs in high-demand occupations. Those who have been laid-off, unemployed for six months or longer, and/or are part of a low-income household, may be eligible for funding. The program focuses on funding educational training programs that are 52 weeks or less in duration, including micro-credential programs. Start learning the skills you need to get back into the workforce. 

Job seekers 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

If the training you want to take is longer than one year, you can apply to the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) for a mix of grants and loans to help you pay for your postsecondary education.


  • If you have been laid-off and have not been working or are working a temporary job just to cover costs
  • If you 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 Employment Insurance (EI), Ontario Works (OW) and/or Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) supports.

Laid-off due to COVID-19
While the Better Jobs Ontario program is open to unemployed job seekers, a fast-track stream is available if you were laid-off because of COVID-19. 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

How do I apply for Better Jobs Ontario?

  1. To get started, contact Northwest Employment Works (NEW) (807) 473-3829 and request to meet with a trained Employment Advisor to discuss your career goals and determine if you are eligible for funding
  2. Determine the program you wish to attend with the help of your Employment Advisor
  3. Apply to your program of choice online through
  4. Meet with your Employment Advisor to complete your Better Jobs Ontario application
  5. Once accepted into your program, your application to BJO will be sent in for review
When preparing your application with Northwest Employment Works, you will have to show:
  • how long you have been unemployed, or working your temporary job, and looking for work
  • places you have applied and positions you have applied for (for example, cover letters, CVs or resumes, and responses from potential employers)
  • level of education obtained
  • previous employment, how long you worked there, and skills that were required
  • what skills you want to obtain and where you can get trained in them

When you apply to Better Jobs Ontario, you must provide information to support a financial needs assessment, such as:

  • some of the costs to be covered during training
  • your gross (before tax) household income

The amount of support you will receive is based on individual needs and available funding.

School Information

You must research at least three training institutions to make sure they offer the training you need. Make sure to include at least:

  • one college of applied arts and technology
  • one private career college

You are only required to research one training institution if you either:

  • pay for your tuition and training costs on your own
  • apply through the fast-track process

Do you have questions or ready to get started? Call Northwest Employment Works (NEW) at (807) 473-3829 or visit our website to learn more 

What is processes applications for Ontario colleges. With one online form, you can apply for up to five programs. Up to three of these can be at any one college. For example, you could apply to three programs at Confederation College and two at another college using the same application. The application is good for one complete academic cycle (September 2014 to August 2015).

How do I know if the program that I want is open, wait-listed or closed?

The status of all programs are listed online at and on the Confederation College web site

Status definitions:

  • Open - There is still room available in the program
  • Wait-listed - More applications were received for the program than there are seats. Applicants who have met eligibility requirements for the program may be placed on a wait-list. If you are put onto a wait-list, you will be contacted by the college in the event that a seat becomes available. The wait-lists are maintained until the end of the first 10 days of the program
  • Closed - The program has received a high level of applicants who have met the eligibility requirements. The college will no longer be accepting applications

My Employment Advisor said I need an acceptance letter, how do I get this from Confederation College?

In order to receive a letter of acceptance into a program at Confederation College, you must first apply at An admissions officer will review your application and if you meet the entrance requirements and there is space available, you will receive a letter stating that you have been admitted to the program. This letter will need to accompany your application for Better Jobs Ontario funding.

Payment Options for Better Jobs Ontario funded students:

In order to secure your seat you must provide us with a signed contract from your local Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities office by the deadline date on your Offer of Admission.

If you have already received your contract and your funding,  pay your fees using one of the payment options noted in the Offer Booklet by the deadline date on your Offer of Admission.  Payment options can also be found at

Anyone who has not received their contract or funding should contact their Employment Advisor at Northwest Employment Works (NEW) as soon as possible so they can look into the status of your Better Jobs Ontario application.  Have your Advisor provide Confederation College with a letter indicating that your application is currently being processed in order to reserve your seat in your program.
Formal arrangements to secure your program seat, MUST BE MADE by the deadline date showing on your Offer of Admission. If arrangements are not made by the deadline date, you risk losing your seat in the program.

Text Books can be purchased at the Follett Bookstore located in the Shuniah Building at the Thunder Bay Campus or by visiting the regional campus that you will be attending.

Textbooks (and other courseware materials) required for your program can be identified and ordered online by visiting the College Follett Bookstore website ...

CAUTION: textbook requirements are subject to change!
We recommend that students wait until they are officially "registered" into their program-of-study and have their official timetable, before ordering/purchasing textbooks. In addition, we recommend that students not open text book packages until after their first day of class to verify with their instructors that they have the right book and version required for the course.

If you have questions, you can phone the College Follett Bookstore at (807) 475-6225, or toll free at 1 (877) 295-3851.

For more information please visit Better Jobs Ontario website.

Request a Detailed Program Letter

Applicants to Better Jobs Ontario Funding, Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP’s), or for other funding sponsors may require a DETAILED Program Letter which includes information regarding specific tuition fees, program dates and program hours.