Second Career Program

Choosing a second career can be stressful and difficult for a lot of people, especially those on a long break from their careers. The Government of the Ontario Province in Canada has a unique scheme that helps unemployed people get back on their feet. This program, appropriately named the Second Career, is a great initiative to support the studies of unemployed citizens so that they can get back to work. 

This section answers the basic questions that students or professionals might have regarding the program such as Second Career options and how to apply for Second Career initiative. 

1. What is second career program?

The Second Career initiative has been launched by the Government of Ontario to partially fund the cost of targeted educational courses that can be pursued by eligible citizens or permanent residents to get a job listed under the National Occupation Classification in Canada.

This is a great program to enhance careers with relevant qualifications for those who are unemployed or have taken time off their careers for a valid reason. The best part of the program is that the selected candidates do not have to pay the amount of the financial assistance back to the Ontario Government.

A Fast-Track Stream has been temporarily added to the second career program to support Phase 1 of the Second Career redesign. This stream prioritizes workers with lower-skills, who have been laid-off as of March 1, 2020, from sectors highly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. It will also help individuals train for in-demand occupations in local communities and provincial priority areas. 

2. What kind of programs can you pursue under this initiative? 

This program gives you a chance to apply for all the professional courses that are in high demand, develop relevant skills, and improve career prospects in your preferred industry. Second Career approved courses also provide specific technical expertise in the industrially relevant domains.

The training program you choose must be vocational in nature and lead to a certificate or diploma. The training program must be for a job that has good employment prospects in Ontario and must be no longer than 52 weeks long. This applies for both fast track and normal processing.

A wide range of programs offered at the Toronto School of Management (TSoM) are recognized by Second Career. 

3. What programs at TSoM can be pursued under Second Career?

With the wide range of Second Career courses, TSoM can become the beginning of a new phase of your career. Here is the Second Career program list at our College.

4. Who are eligible to apply for the program?

You can be eligible to apply for Second Career if you are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident living in the province of Ontario and are unemployed or have been laid off. People working temporary jobs to cover costs after their lay-off can also qualify for Second Career Program. However, they need to ensure that their work hours do not exceed 19 hours per week.

Apart from these primary Second Career eligibility criteria, you would also need to show your past employment history, the duration of your unemployment, cover letters and correspondence from potential employers to show the positions you applied for, along with your educational status. You would also need to specify your current skills, additional requirement for a job and the courses you think would help you obtain the relevant expertise.

5. What kind of jobs can you after enrolling in Second Career?

Depending upon your selection of the domain and subject selected from the Second Career choices, you can hope to find a decent paying job in the relevant domain. Pursuing Second Career courses in TSoM can allow you to build a professional network which may assist you during job hunting. The Co-op programs can also provide placement assistance as a part of the course modules.
6. How much funding can you get under the program?

While applying to Second Career, you can be asked to specify the estimated costs of career training. Based on your profile and gross household income, the program can foot the bills for:

  • Tuition
  • Books, manuals or other instructional costs
  • Transportation
  • Child care and
  • Basic living allowance (not more than CAD 410 per week).

The maximum amount of reimbursement as a part of Second Career funding is CAD 28,000. If your costs exceed that or you receive less than CAD 28,000, you will have to pay the rest of the amount from your pocket.

7. What does Second Career Program not cover?

Second Career does not cover the following costs.

  • Funding beyond the end of the academic year
  • Funding over the maximum limit of CAD 28,000
  • Funding beyond one year of academic upgrading
  • Funding beyond 52 weeks of formal training or education
  • Missed or failed courses; students have to pay an additional fee from their pockets to fund these semesters.
  • School supplies such as note books, pencils, paper, printing costs etc.
8. How can you apply to this program?

To apply for this program, you can contact an employment services agency near you who can help you draft the Second Career application. The agency staff can also help you gather the information required to submit along with the application and finalize a training or course applicable for you.

If you are unable to find a suitable employment services agency, you can contact an Employment Ontario Counsellor from the Ontario Government website who can answer your queries on the Second Career guidelines and help you finalize an agency.

The duration of the course or training program selected by you should not exceed 2 years and it should be offered in a full-time format. In addition, the course should correspond to the occupational categories mentioned on codes B and C of the National Occupation Classification or NOC. While drafting the application, you should provide complete information about your preferred job and the intended nature of training.

9. Where can you get further information regarding the initiative?

For further queries regarding the Second Career requirements or application process, you can email us at

To book an appointment with an Employment Ontario Counselor and starting your application process, please visit the Second Career page on the Ontario Government’s website.

Click here for more information regarding the TSoM programs.