Employment Programs

Strengthening our region's workforce

Employment programs support labour market demands in our region.

Local job seekers and employers can reach employment goals by accessing Government and Employment Service Provider programs that offer funds for in-demand skills training and free employment services.

For Job Seekers: Employment programs set unemployed people, underemployed (20 hours or less) staff, or laid off workers on a pathway to meaningful, long-lasting work — that lead to higher wage opportunities — by offering funds for in-demand skills training and free 1:1 employment support from service provider staff.

For Employers: Employment programs provide training funds to advance employee skillsets within the workplaces, access to hiring incentives and 1:1 employment support, and open doors to untapped pools of skilled workers for hire.

Government Funded Employment Programs

The Government of Ontario, in partnership with the Government of Canada, offers ways to help people get the training and experience they need to achieve their employment goals, and help employers continuously train their workforce to maintain a competitive advantage.

Receive education and financial support when you train for a new career. Great for people who would like to rejoin the workforce or who may face challenges finding stable jobs such as gig workers, youth and people on social assistance.

This government-funded program provides opportunities for employers, individually or in groups, to invest in their workforce, with help from the government.

Employment Service Provider Programs

Service Providers across the Muskoka-Kawarthas region offer specialized programs for job seekers and employers based on local demographic and labour market needs.

For Job Seekers

In this 16-week outreach program, participants will build relationships build relationships, have meals together, build resources, engage in their community, learn to create stability, build a set of tools and resources that move themselves and their family out of poverty. Participants will learn to evaluate themselves and their situations, choose behaviours, make plans to stabilize their environments, and build resources for a better life.

This program is open to individuals living in City of Kawartha Lakes.

Contact: 705-328-0180   |   info@vcss.work

This 8-week pre-employment program helps individuals to engage, create and be actively involved in developing their own employment pathway. Job seekers will develop a better understanding of their own knowledge, skills, abilities and other attributes that connect them to the job market. This program takes a client-centered approach in a supportive and immersive environment and includes Psychological First-Aid training to help job seekers, manage stress, loss, trauma, grief and learn to build self-care resiliency.

Concurrently, this D-4 program will engage employers in workplace stability training (Bridges Out of Poverty).

The D-4 program is open to individuals living in City of Kawartha Lakes and delivered by VCCS Employment Services.

Contact: 705-328-0180   |   info@vcss.work

This 6-week empowerment program for women teaches skills required to be mentally ready to return to work, maintain employment, and excel in the workplace. Participants will learn assertiveness, self-advocacy, financial literacy, self-care, and setting healthy boundaries. One-day per week is set aside for visits to partnering agencies and includes a meal out in the community. Participants will develop a self-care/retention plan before the course is completed.

This program is offered to individuals living in City and County of Peterborough.

Contact: 705-748-4070   |   findwork@ceo.ymca.ca

Targeted to Youth, the In Motion and Momentum (IMM) program is a 10–13-week, innovative, action-oriented program to support employment readiness.  It is a strength-based, participant-centered program that:

  • focuses on self-awareness, strengths, skills, and values to create a vision for the future
  • identifies and builds communication skills, healthy interpersonal relationships, problem-solving skills, stress and money management skills and support dealing with change
  • provides opportunities to learn and practice critical life and employability skills
  • development of realistic and meaningful goals
  • development and involvement in a community project
  • coaching for ongoing success

Contact: 705-748-9110 ext. 229   |   kristen@epcjobs.ca



The program will be lead from a strengths-based lens running Strengths Quest assessment to frame individual’s brand and strengths as it relates to four core themes:

  • Career exploration for the mature worker – finding your job fit
  • Continuous learning – technology and beyond – empowerment through education & Better Jobs Ontario
  • Employment and the benefits in breaking social isolation and building confidence
  • Beyond the myth of ageism – values and transferable skills

Group work to debrief a case study and unpack daily information and accumulative learning and how they are transferable to real-life workplace situations.

Contact: 705-787-0349 ext.3024  |   saleem.hall@sm.ymca.ca

Our half-day workshops prepare people for work by teaching skills such as time management, communication, customer service, problem solving, understanding yourself, resolving conflict, using technology in the workplace, and how to explore the job market.

These workshops are offered to individuals living in Haliburton, Kawartha Lakes, Muskoka, Northumberland and Peterborough regions.

Contact: 705-748-4070   |    mkes@flemingcollege.ca

For Employers

Employers will learn ways to attract new hires, foster a healthy and supportive work environment, improve employee retention, and boost their reputation within the community. The workshops will include the advantages of offering a living wage, provide opportunities for advancement, the importance of a defined orientation process,  performance review process, a training plan, and mentorship opportunities, and offering paid sick/mental health/vacations days.

The program will be offered to anyone participating in a training agreement with one of our job seekers and integrated into the registration/sign up process with Job Developers.

This program will include:

  1. Recruitment Strategies
  2. Diversity & Inclusion in the Workplace
  3. Employee Retention
  4. Mental Health & Wellness
  5. Bridges out of Poverty for Employers

This program is open to individuals living in the City and County of Peterborough

Contact: 705-748-4070   |   findwork@ceo.ymca.ca

Workplace Stability Training will help employers to improve employee engagement, productivity, and financial returns using strategies to stabilize lower wage employees who are living in daily instability. The training will focus on five key areas:

  1. Understanding the cost of instability and the return on investing in a Stability Initiatives Plan.
  2. Creating an accepting employer culture by identifying obstacles caused by daily obstacles  experienced by employees caused by poverty.
  3. Providing training to employers on economic class diversity to create an awareness of potential issues among employees.
  4. Develop a network of support for employees who are experiencing daily stability.
  5. Identify the most effective techniques and tactics for increasing workplace stability and creating an action plan to suit the employer, its culture, and its employees.

This Workplace Stability program is available to employers in City of Kawartha lakes and delivered by VCCS Employment Services.

Contact: 705-328-0180   |   info@vcss.work

The Best Employers Ever! (BEE!) program is delivered through monthly meetings that include presentations and discussion periods for employers.  Sessions will focus on enhancing an employer’s hiring, onboarding, and employee retention/coaching practices and provide skill development and other opportunities for employers to attract and retain employees.

This program is offered to individuals living in in Northumberland County.

Contact: 1-888-348-8854   |   info@watton.ca

Fleming College Training Programs

Funded by the Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development, Fleming College offers career training programs that include paid work placements.

Train in-class full-time at Fleming College for 18 weeks in either the Pre-Apprentice Carpenter or Pre-Apprentice Plumber program. The program includes job-readiness training, safety training, and plumbing and electrical trade training.

An 8-12 week paid work placement follows the in-class training. Successful completion of this Pre-Apprenticeship program includes Level 1 of the 403A apprenticeship in-class training.

There is no cost for students: tuition, course materials, tools and safety equipment are all covered.

CONTACT: PreApprenticeship@flemingcollege.ca
1-866-353-6464 ext. 1510


Access to Programs

Government funded programs are delivered by Ontario employment service providers. Click on a region below to find your nearest employment service provider.

Are you looking for work
or a new career?

Talk to one of our employment coaches today who can help you find the right fit for you!
Click here to complete a form that will put you in touch with your nearest employment coach.

These Employment Service programs are funded in part by the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario.