The strength of a business is determined by its team. Therefore, it’s highly important that small businesses in Canada are aware that there are Canadian government grants available for hiring and training initiatives to help offset the costs of onboarding new employees and/or offering training to new and existing staff. Applicants can access meaningful opportunities through these grants, increasing and enhancing an organization’s talent pool. 

Below are government funding programs for hiring and training that can assist organizations in hiring or retraining staff, improving their effectiveness, and upskilling their staff in new areas such as advanced technologies or operations. Stay up to date with all programs by viewing our Hiring & Training Page to find programs currently open for intake.  

Canadian Small Business Grants for Hiring and Training

1. Yves Landry Foundation Funding for Training Via the Government of Canada

The Yves Landry Foundation Funding for Training Via the Government of Canada helps organizations adapt to new technologies, processes, or procedures, as well as a drastic change within the company. Investing in innovation and retooling can enhance productivity output by enabling new production lines to be developed. The training provided through this program must have a clear link to improving the domestic supply chain or enhancing competitiveness, such as expanding into new or enhanced domestic markets.

  • Funding Amount: Successful applicants may access up to 25–50% of costs to a maximum of $100,000 per application. 
  • Applicant Eligibility: Ontario manufacturers may be eligible if their company has between 10 and 1000 employees. Read more about eligibility in our recent blog post. 

2. Mitacs Accelerate Program

The Mitacs Accelerate funding program pairs small businesses with talented applicants who have a Masters, PhD, or postdoctoral fellowship (PDF) to overcome innovation challenges. Interns who meet the internship requirements complete research and develop tools, models, technology, and solutions that support the challenges of a small business. 

  • Funding Amount: $15,000 per internship for a period of four to six months with a $7,500 contribution from the partnering organization. Using the cluster stream, businesses can receive additional funding support if they leverage six or more internship periods from three or more interns. Research costs and intern stipends are included in the funding. 
  • Applicant Eligibility: Corporations and non-profit organizations throughout Canada. Innovation research and development projects are supported across all industries and sectors. 

3. IRAP Youth Employment Program (YEP)

The Youth Employment Program (YEP) is designed to assist in the hiring and training of young Canadian post-secondary graduates. There are a variety of funding opportunities available for graduates, including business development, technical advancement, customer service, and administration. Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP) of the National Research Council (NRC) can assist businesses in getting started. 

  • Funding Amount: Graduates (up to two) can receive up to $30,000 for a six to twelve month period. 
  • Applicant Eligibility: Incorporated and financially stable Canadian business with 1–500 employees; they must be responsible for finding graduates before applying. Candidates must be between 15 to 30 years old. 

4. Canada Job Grant (CJG)

The Canada Job Grant (CJG) is a Canadian government funding program designed to reduce the costs of providing third-party skills training to new and existing employees. In 2014, the Canada Job Grant was launched to support new and existing employees in learning new skills and becoming more valuable to their organization. Every province and territory, except Québec, has its own Canada Job Grant (CJG) and each has its own funding amounts, eligibility criteria, and application deadlines. Some streams are open year-round, such as the Canada-Ontario Job Grant (COJG), while others open periodically.  

  • Funding Amount: Provides eligible businesses, depending on provincial stream, up to 50-100% in non-repayable government grants for employee training projects. 
  • Applicant Eligibility: This criterion is set by each provincial stream; There are streams for Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Newfoundland, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island. Please refer to the main page to find stream details.  

Learn More About Government Funding Opportunities

The Canadian government funding programs for hiring and training listed in this blog are intended for small to medium-sized businesses.  If your business does not meet requirements of any given program, you can gain access to our free Canadian Startup Business Resources

If your business is looking to get started on accessing grants for hiring and training, connect with the Mentor Works, a Ryan Company team to learn which grant program could fit for your business, and make sure to subscribe to our Weekly Funding Newsletter to stay updated with the latest government funding news. 

If you would like access to exclusive details about the programs listed in this blog, please register for an upcoming webinar where our professional team discuss high level details regarding government funding opportunities for Canadian businesses.  

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

Author: Alena Barreca

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