Second Career

What is Second Career?

The objective of the Second Career program is to provide laid-off, unemployed individuals with skills training to help them find employment in occupations with demonstrated labour market prospects in Ontario. The intention of the Second Career program is to return individuals to employment by the most cost effective path.

The Second Career program has a $28 000 maximum for costs excluding disability needs, dependent care, living away from home allowance and alls costs related to LBS training.

Additional support may be available to accommodate the needs of people with disabilities, dependent care, costs of living away from home and academic upgrading.

There are three distinct and incremental levels of assessment to determine participation in the Second Career program:

  1. Eligibility
  2. Suitability
  3. Financial Need

1. Eligibility

To be eligible, individuals must:

  • Have been laid off on or after January 1st, 2005;
  • Be unemployed;
  • Be residents of Ontario;
  • Be Canadian citizens or permanent residents legally authorized to work in Canada;
  • Demonstrate occupational demand for the skills training request with evidence of good employment prospects locally or within Ontario

For the purposes of Second Career, “laid-off” individuals also includes those:

  • Whose employment contract has ended;
  • Who have received EI Part 1 maternity or parental benefits and are seeking to re-enter the labour force;
  • Who have left work due to medical reasons.

2. Suitability

  • Active job search
  • Duration of Unemployment
  • Educational Attainment
  • Work History
  • Labour Market Prospects
  • Type of Skills Training
  • Experience and occupational Skills

3. What will be my contribution?

Your contribution to retraining will depend on your financial situation and the cost of training.

Eligible costs include:

  • Basic living allowance including rent\mortgage, food and utilities (i.e. hydro, heat, water, phone and Internet);
  • Skills training and incremental costs including tuition costs, other instructional costs, other personal support and transportation costs and dependent care costs;
  • Disability needs.

Participants may be required to contribute towards the cost of training. Your actual contribution to retraining will be determined by the ministry. There are limits to the amount the ministry will provide for dependent care, accommodation and other factors, such as tuition. Staff at an Employment Options office can help.


Still have questions? Consult these Frequently Asked Questions on the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities website.