The Skills Development Fund offers funding to organizations for innovative projects that address challenges to hiring, training or retaining workers, including apprentices, during the pandemic.

COVID‑19 has created pressing challenges for businesses, workers, job seekers and communities across the province. And while training and retraining are essential for keeping Ontario’s workers and businesses competitive, the pandemic has affected education, training and employment service providers as well.

The Skills Development Fund offers funding to support innovative, market-driven solutions that can help people and businesses make it through the pandemic successfully. These solutions may also lead to lasting improvements to cross-sector employment and training in Ontario.

Projects can also receive funds for designated supports for workers and job seekers with disabilities and mental health supports for participants.

Ontario provided funding to 146 successful organizations in February 2021.

Applications are now closed.


Eligible organizations

The following organizations are eligible to apply to the Skills Development Fund:

  • employers with a presence in Ontario
  • apprenticeship training delivery agents (TDAs), other than those listed below as co-applicants
  • non-profit organizations with a physical presence in Ontario, including Indigenous Band offices and Indigenous Skills and Employment Training agreement holders
  • professional/industry/employer/sector associations
  • trade unions/union affiliated organizations
  • municipalities, District Social Services Administration Boards, Consolidated Municipal Service Managers, hospitals

The following organizations are eligible to apply to the Skills Development Fund as a co-applicant with one or more of the organizations above:

  • publicly assisted colleges, universities or Indigenous Institutes in Ontario
  • private career colleges registered under the Private Career Colleges Act, 2005

Project requirements

Applications must show how the funding will support one or more of the following focus areas:

  • Support the skills and talent needs of economic sectors or employers that have been impacted by the pandemic.
  • Better align education, training and skills development with the needs of employers and the local labour market
  • Test local solutions that better support labour market needs in communities that have been hit hard by the pandemic or are at risk of facing a disproportionate impact.
  • Better support the employment of women, youth, persons with disabilities, racialized groups, Indigenous peoples and other groups that are traditionally underrepresented in some sectors.
  • Improve the quality of skills training, strengthen provision of worker and job seeker supports, or the capacity to deliver training safely and effectively during a pandemic.
  • Create solutions that take job seekers and workers at risk of layoff to jobs in sectors with high growth prospects or a high demand for workers, like advanced manufacturing or health care professions like personal support workers.
  • Increase access to Ontario’s apprenticeship system by encouraging greater employer participation and improving supports for apprentices on-the-job, and in-class through the provision of wrap-around supports, up-to-date training equipment and increased capacity.
  • Increase apprentice registrations, training progression and training completion by improving the apprentice experience either on-the-job or during in-class training.
  • Give job seekers, laid-off workers or those at risk of layoff immediate access to employment, training supports, job placements or work experience.
  • Improve the recruitment and career advancement chances for workers with the right essential, technical and employability skills.

Apply for project funding

Applications are now closed.

Funding proposals were accepted until:

  • February 11, 2022 for proposals targeting the participation of persons with disabilities (65% participation or higher)
  • February 7, 2022 for all other proposals