Employment Programs

Strengthening our region's workforce

Employment programs support labour market demands in our region.

Whether you are a student, job seeker or employer, our government and employment service provider programs can help you find work, start a new career, boost in-demand job skills, and advance skills in the workplace.

For Job Seekers: Employment programs set unemployed, laid-off, or underemployed (20 hours or less) individuals on a pathway to meaningful, long-lasting work. Job seekers may qualify for financial support for education and training, work incentives, and free employability skills training.

For Employers: Employment programs help to advance employee skillsets within the workplaces, provide opportunities to receive hiring incentives, and open doors to untapped pools of skilled workers for hire.

All of our employment programs include free 1:1 employment support from service provider staff.

Secondary Student Programs

Picture of a girl sitting at a laptop. Text says Virtual Workshops, employability skills for high school students.
Our Employment Facilitators deliver a series of virtual and in-person workshops to high school students to help them explore careers and find meaningful work or volunteer experiences. Students can register themselves for virtual workshops and teachers can schedule a time and workshop for in-class sessions.

View our workshops and details below!

High school students and graduates can register for virtual workshops to help them find meaningful work experiences.

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Resume Writing
This workshop features an interactive session using artificial intelligence (AI) tools and Google Docs to create personalized resumes. You will learn to showcase your skills, achievements, and educational background in an organized format. By leveraging AI and critical thinking in document editing, you will gain valuable insights into resume writing best practices that tailor your resume to effectively highlight your unique strengths and experiences.


Job Search Basics
Explore the benefits of gaining work experience and learn strategies to effectively search for work, both online and in person. This interactive workshop will demonstrate job search techniques and outline ways to organize your job search for success in finding meaningful work experience.


Our Employment Facilitators work with secondary school teachers to deliver a series of free employability skills workshops to high school students to help them explore careers and find meaningful work or volunteer experiences. Workshops are presented to students online or in-person during class time and can be customized to focus on specific job sectors or interests.

Talk to an Employment Facilitator today to find out how teachers can help their students with short-term or long-term employment goals.

Contact us at mkestraining@flemingcollege.ca OR on the Live Chat

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Workshop Topics

Preparing for Meaningful Employment
This workshop focuses on the importance of self-awareness in preparing for life after high school. Through interactive AI activities and discussions, students will explore how self-awareness contributes to building confidence — a crucial aspect of transitioning into meaningful employment. Students will think about their values, interests, and skills, empowering them to make informed decisions about their future.

World of Work
This workshop provides students with an understanding of the labour market and empowers them to make informed decisions about their future careers. Through interactive group activities, students will explore various career paths by researching market demands, education requirements, job duties, and skill sets needed for different professions. Students will learn how to use labour market information to gain valuable insights into current and emerging trends, enabling them to strategically plan their education goals and career pathways with confidence.

Job Search
Students will explore the benefits of gaining work experience and learn strategies to effectively search for work, both online and in person. This interactive session will demonstrate job search techniques and outline strategies to organize a job search that leads to meaningful work.

Resume Writing
This workshop offers an interactive session using artificial intelligence (AI) tools to create personalized resumes that showcase skills, achievements, and education. By leveraging AI and critical thinking, students will gain valuable insight into resume writing best practices that tailor their resumes to highlight their unique strengths and experiences.

Cover Letters
Students will explore the importance of adding a cover letter to their resume to showcase their unique skills, experiences, and passions in a way that resonates with employers and leaves a lasting impression. Students will learn how artificial intelligence tools can assist with creativity and efficiency as they prepare a cover letter during this workshop.

This interactive workshop will equip students with interview tools and strategies to prepare them for interviews. They will explore how to identify strengths and skills, project confidence through body language, leverage artificial intelligence tools, learn the Situation-Task-Action-Result (STAR) method; and navigate the post-interview process.

Government Funded Employment Programs

In partnership with the Government of Canada, the Government of Ontario offers funding to help job seekers get the training they need to achieve their employment goals and help employers continuously train their workforce to maintain a competitive advantage.

Image of a young adult female wearing a pink hardhat and holding a skill saw. Text says Better Jobs Ontario funds to train for a new career.

Receive education and financial support when you train for a new career. This funded program is great for people who would like to rejoin the workforce or those who face challenges finding stable or full-time jobs.

LEARN MORE about Better Jobs Ontario

Employers can access funds to train their employees (individuals or groups). Employee training can be part of onboarding new staff, preparing an employee for job advancement, or maintaining skills in the workplace.

LEARN MORE about the Canada-Ontario Job Grant (COJG)

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

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.