Government of Ontario’s Skills Development Fund (SDF) has supported 388 approved training projects across the province in the past two rounds, helping to provide career opportunities to more than 393,000 people. A third round of funding is now open for the SDF, with an additional $90 million investment for the purpose of addressing the current labour shortage across Ontario, where experts forecast there are over 370,000 unfilled jobs.

Eligible non-profit and for-profit businesses can now apply to receive funding for workforce development projects from the third round of the Skills Development Fund (SDF) which has an open intake from September 29, 2022, to January 31, 2023.

Through its SDF, Ontario provides funding for innovative training projects designed to address job shortage problems in the province following the COVID-19 pandemic. This new intake will help Ukrainian newcomers, people with disabilities, ex-offenders and those moving back into society, at-risk youth, Indigenous individuals, and others facing challenges to find employment.

About The Skills Development Fund (SDF) Open Intake

As a result of this third round of funding, Ontario government has now invested over $560 million in innovative workplace development projects for eligible Canadian businesses via the Skills Development Fund (SDF).

SDF invests in projects that:

  • Enhance Ontario’s economy by addressing labour shortages and stimulating growth;
  • By creating a sustainable and resilient workforce, Ontario will increase its economic competitiveness in the long run;
  • People with disabilities, Ukrainian newcomers, people returning from the criminal justice system, and at-risk youth need help finding employment.

“As we continue to combat the largest labour shortage in a generation, there are tens of thousands of people who need a hand up. I am calling on Ontario’s employers to help us deliver programs that lift people up and give them the tools they need to earn bigger paycheques and lead purpose-driven lives.”
Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development

Funding Amount:

Applicants to the SDF do not have to meet any minimum or maximum funding requirements. Nevertheless, the following should be noted:

  • A dedicated stream will be established for larger capital projects with budgets exceeding $150,000; and
  • Applicants are encouraged, but not required, to seek additional funding for their project expenses when applying for the SDF.

Eligible Applicants:

  • Skills Development Fund (SDF) applications are eligible for the following businesses:

    • Ontario-based employers;
    • Professional, employer, or industry associations for profit;
    • Organisations with a physical presence in Ontario, including Indigenous Band offices and Indigenous Skills and Employment Training agreements;
    • Agents providing apprenticeship training (other than those listed below);
    • Unions or organizations affiliated with unions;
    • Those responsible for the district social services administration board, the consolidated municipal service manager, and hospitals; and
    • In addition to the above eligible organizations, public colleges in Ontario, universities and Indigenous Institutes are also eligible to apply as co-applicants.

Eligible Projects:

Projects applying for Skills Development Funds (SDF) should demonstrate:

  • Empower workers and job seekers who face higher barriers of entry and help them find work;
  • Encourage partnerships across the economy and support innovative ideas and training solutions to address the labour shortage; and
  • Access to the labour market can help create a resilient workforce.

Eligible Expenses:

Applications for the Skills Development Fund (SDF) must demonstrate how projects will include, but are not limited to:

  • Costs associated with staffing, training, marketing, and mental health;
  • Services for virtual employment and training;
  • Support for apprenticeship training (virtual, in-class, equipment) and on-the-job training;
  • Research and development of new and innovative approaches to training;
  • Costs associated with the delivery of services, such as new training equipment, vehicles, or mobile units;
  • Support for job seekers and apprentices; and
  • Consumables and materials used by participants in the delivery of the project.

Apply for Skills Development Fund (SDF) Project Funding

Please consider applying for SDF support early on as funds are limited to first-come, first-serve. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis during the intake period.

Applications for Skills Development Fund (SDF) government funding will be accepted from September 29, 2022, to January 31, 2023, for both non-profit and for-profit businesses.

Need help? Our Mentor Works team of professional government application writers can help determine the likelihood a project will be eligible for funding and assist your business with the application process.

Mentor Works is a business support organization specializing in Canadian government funding. The Ontario-based business has helped hundreds of businesses build and execute their funding strategy through a mix of federal and provincial government grants, loans, and tax credits. Mentor Works offers free online resources, funding webinars, and news via their website at www.mentorworks.ca.

Author: Alena Barreca

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