Career Ready Fund

Learn how to get funding to offer hands-on learning opportunities for college and university students and recent grads.

About the program

The Career Ready Fund helps publicly-assisted colleges and universities, employers and other organizations create experiential learning opportunities for postsecondary students and recent grads.

Experiential learning is “hands-on learning” in a real or simulated workplace that helps prepare students for the transition to work. It also helps employers connect students and new graduates with the skills they need to hit the ground running.

There are two streams of time-limited funding available to publicly-assisted colleges and universities, employers and other partners as part of the Career Ready Fund:

See below for information about the Fund and these current projects.

Note: The expression of interest and application processes for 2017-18 and 2018-19 projects are now complete. The Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities thanks all organizations that submitted to the Fund.

Employer and Regional Partnerships


This stream provides funding to develop and expand innovative and sustainable partnerships that create experiential learning opportunities. Partners can include employers, publicly-assisted colleges and universities, and others that create experiential learning opportunities. Partnerships can be local and province-wide.


Employers, intermediaries (like industry associations and NGOs), publicly-assisted colleges and universities, or consortia of any of these groups are eligible for funding. Applications must include a relationship between an employer and a postsecondary institution.

To be eligible for funding, all proposed experiential learning opportunities must meet the six criteria in the experiential learning checklist below.


Congratulations to the following lead applicants on their successful proposals:

  • Accessible Community Counselling and Employment Services (A.C.C.E.S.)
  • Algoma University
  • Canadian Business SenseAbility
  • Canadian Skills Training and Employment Coalition and Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters
  • Canadian Urban Institute
  • Canadore College
  • Carleton University
  • Collège Boréal
  • Conestoga College
  • Council of Ontario Universities
  • Durham College
  • Elucid Labs Inc
  • George Brown College
  • Greater Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber of Commerce
  • Halton Industry Education Council
  • KidsAbility
  • La Cité Collégiale
  • Lambton College
  • MaRS Discovery District
  • McMaster University
  • Mohawk College
  • Niagara College
  • Nipissing University
  • OCAD University
  • Queen's University
  • Riipen
  • Seneca College
  • Sheridan College
  • St. Lawrence College
  • Trent University
  • Université de Hearst
  • University of Toronto
  • University of Guelph
  • University of Ottawa
  • University of Waterloo
  • University of Windsor
  • University of Ontario Institute of Technology
  • Western University
  • Wilfrid Laurier University
  • York University
  • Youth Fusion


New Grad Career Bridge


This stream provides funding to:

  • place recent grads in internships or similar hands-on experiences
  • develop open license curriculum to help graduates develop job-ready skills
  • support programs that promote and facilitate internships and opportunities for new graduates


Employers, intermediaries (like industry associations, NGOs), and/or publicly-assisted colleges and universities.


Congratulations to the following lead applicants on their successful proposals:

  • Algoma University
  • Audacious Futures
  • Cambrian College
  • Canadian Skills Training and Employment Coalition (CSTEC)
  • Career Edge
  • Centennial College
  • Information and Communications Technology Council
  • Lambton College
  • Nature Conservancy of Canada
  • Niagara College
  • OCAD University
  • Ontario Bioscience Innovation Organization (OBIO)
  • Ontario Tourism Education Council (OTEC)
  • Ottawa Employment Hub
  • Residential Construction Council of Ontario (RESCON)
  • St. Lawrence College
  • Sunnybrook Research Institute
  • Université de Hearst
  • University of Toronto
  • Wilfrid Laurier University


Experiential learning checklist

The Career Ready Fund supports the goal of providing every student with at least one meaningful experiential learning experience before graduating high school or postsecondary education.

Use the checklist below to clarify which learning opportunities for postsecondary students count towards achieving this goal.


To count and to be eligible for funding under the Career Ready Fund's Employer and Regional Partnerships stream, the criteria below must apply:

  • The student is in a workplace or simulated workplace.
  • The student is exposed to authentic demands that improve their job-ready skills, interpersonal skills, and transition to the workforce.
  • The experience is structured with purposeful and meaningful activities.
  • The student applies university or college program knowledge and/or essential employability skills.
  • The experience includes student self-assessment and evaluation of the student's performance and learning outcomes by the employer and/or university/college.
  • The experience counts towards course credit or credential completion OR is formally recognized by the college or university as meeting the five criteria above.

Also, it is important that opportunities comply with employment laws and regulations, and that experiences are accessible and are offered in inclusive environments.

Examples of experiential learning

There are many types of experiential learning, including what is sometimes known as work-integrated learning. Here are some common examples:

  • apprenticeships
  • performance and artistic productions
  • bootcamps/hackathons
  • clinical placements
  • co-ops
  • field placements
  • incubators and accelerators
  • industry-sponsored research projects
  • job shadowing
  • mandatory professional practice
  • practicums
  • service learning
  • workplace simulations
  • work-study programs


Collection of personal information

Notice of indirect collection of personal information under the Career Ready Fund

The Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (the Ministry) may indirectly collect personal information from an employer or from industry associations about participants who complete work placements funded in whole or in part through the Ministry’s Career Ready Fund. The personal information the Ministry collects includes:

  • participant’s name
  • contact information
  • program of study
  • year of study
  • information on the participant’s postsecondary institution

The Ministry may also collect information on the number of work placements for individuals with a disability, where the participant voluntarily provides the information to the employer or industry association.

The legal authority for this collection of personal information of participants is paragraph 4 of subsection 15(1) of the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. M.19.


The Ministry may use the personal information collected to determine the allocation of funding to those receiving transfer payments under the Career Ready Fund and to evaluate this program.

The Ministry may also conduct a survey of participants who completed work placements to evaluate this program. Therefore, the Ministry may contact participants using the information collected and may work with a third party to conduct this survey on its behalf.

If you have questions about the Ministry’s collection or use of personal information, please contact:

Emmanuel Faboyede
Implementation Advisor, Partnerships and Implementation Branch
Workforce Policy and Innovation Division
Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities
315 Front Street West, 17th floor
Toronto, Ontario M7A 0B8


For more information on protecting your personal information, visit our privacy statement
and the Collection and use of postsecondary education enrolment information.

Contact us

For more information on the Career Ready Fund and experiential learning, email us at