First Job Initiative
Ontario Centres of Excellence
What is it?
OCE's First Job Initiative helps Ontario companies hire knowledgeable,
highly-skilled graduates from Ontario colleges and universities.
Employment opportunities are in research and development with the
goal of developing new products, services and processes, giving
host companies the chance to expand their capabilities.
Across Ontario, leaders of the innovation economy are hiring science,
technology, and entrepreneurship graduates through the First Job
Initiative making Ontario a more attractive place to start a career.
What is the benefit to your company?
Established companies could receive support for up to 50 percent
of the recruit's salary, to a maximum of $25,000. Start-up companies
are eligible for support for up to 80 percent of the recruit's salary,
to a maximum of $50,000. Host companies provide the remaining salary
Companies improve their global competitiveness by hiring highly-qualified
researchers who bring cutting-edge knowledge in their field of expertise.
Companies also benefit from new ideas, fresh perspectives and enthusiasm
- at a comparatively low cost.
Who is eligible?
While all types of companies are eligible, primary consideration
will be given to innovative, technology-based small/medium-sized
companies, including start-ups.
Companies must have an eligible intern identified. It is expected
that the First Job intern will become a permanent employee of the
company. The First Job Initiative program does not support contract
Full eligibility criteria for companies and interns is found on
How do I apply?
The first step is to complete the Expression of Interest form available
on the website.
Expression of Interest forms are accepted on a continuous intake
First Job staff will use the information in your Expression of
Interest to determine your eligibility and will notify you within
seven days. If you company is eligible, you will receive full application
Full applications submitted to the program are reviewed monthly.
The dates are posted on the website.
All submissions will be processed and approved as expeditiously
as possible with an expected 6 - 8 week turnaround from submission
to notice of award or rejection.
Where Can I find More Information?
Program Development Manager
Funders and Programs
Ontario Centre of Excellence
Tel: (613) 726-3420 x4223 or (866) 759-6014 x4223