Second Career at Northern College

Thinking of returning to school, but not sure how to pay for it? Second Career may be an option for you. Second Career is a Government of Ontario initiative to help people who are unemployed, or laid off, update their skills and training to get a better job. If you qualify, you could be eligible for up to $28,000. These Second Career funds would go towards your tuition, book fees and other costs related to your chosen program such as First Aid Training. The funds can also go toward your transportation and living expenses. Have a family to support? Additional funds are also available for child care, disability accommodations, living away from home, and in some cases, academic upgrading.

Where do I start?
To find out more information about the Second Career program, you can visit the Ministry of Training, Colleges, and Univerisites (MTCU) website at Before you can begin the application procedure, you must speak to an Employment Consultant at the Employment Options Emploi centre nearest you. All you have to do is call and set up an appointment and they will point you in the right direction. To be eligible for Second Career funding you must have been laid off since January 1, 2005, currently unemployed or underemployed, or working less than 20 hours a week. You do not need to be receiving Employment Insurance (EI) to be eligible. Second Career eligibility will be determined by your Employment Consultant, based on a points system.

See: Programs Available through Second Career

How do I apply for Second Career funding?
In order to apply for Second Career funding, you must first speak with an Employment Consultant to determine your eligibility. If you are eligible for funding, your Employment Consultant will then give you more information regarding the application procedure. Research must be done on the field of study you wish to pursue, as well as the labour market trends for that industry. You may also be required to find employment advertisements for the particular field of study you wish to pursue. You will also be required to obtain a Second Career letter of support for your application from Northern College’s Second Career Specialist to be included in your application to the MTCU. This letter will identify if you meet admission requirements for your chosen program, or if you require upgrading.

How do I apply to Northern College?

To apply to Northern College, please visit There you will find information regarding the status of your chosen program, as well as how to apply. If you are in need of academic upgrading, please contact 1-705-235-6841.

What if I am having a hard time managing my finances?
Second Career funding is released to you on a schedule that is outlined in your Second Career contract with your MTCU case representative. The tuition component of your funding will come directly to the College; however funds that also need to be paid to the College such as Ancillary, College and Book fees will be released to you. You need to ensure that this money gets paid to the College immediately, as if it is not, you will owe the MTCU the remaining balance. If you think you need help with your finances, speak to Student Services or the Second Career Specialist for more information and clarification.

Who do I speak to if I have questions about my Second Career contract?
Any questions you have about your Second Career contract will need to be discussed with your MTCU case representative. If you are having problems getting in contact with your representative, see the Second Career Specialist for help.

What if the cost of books for my program is more than what I receive from Second Career?
If you pay more for your books that what is issued to you by Second Career, contact the Second Career Specialist at Northern College as they will need to issue you a letter of amendment. This letter will be sent to your MTCU case representative and the balance paid will be refunded to you.

Regional Employment Centres | Download this Contact Sheet (PDF, 134 KB)

Second Career Checklist | Download the Second Career Checklist (PDF, 112 KB)

Programs available through Second Career | Download the program listing (PDF, 116 KB)

Contact Information