Focus on Learning

Taking the right steps when the client decides to upgrade or acquire new skills through education and other learning opportunities.

After exploring their options, your client may decide that they want to upgrade their skills or reskill in a new area to increase their success in finding employment in the short or long-term.  In this section, we provide tools and resources to help them find the appropriate learning opportunities, whether these be a formal course or program or other methods of building their capability.

Building new capabilities

When a client has decided that they want to build new capabilities, you can help to point them in the right direction by providing them with information on formal educational options, including prior learning assessment and recognition, and how to acquire skills through apprenticeships.


ALIS: Adult Back to School Planner – A booklet with tips and guidelines for adults going back to school, prepared by Government of Alberta.

ALIS: Education and Training Planner – This easy-to-read, comprehensive guide written for youth and adults, prepared by Government of Alberta.

ALIS: Training for Work – A workbook highlighting alternatives to the traditional full-time classroom setting, including mentoring, volunteering, self-study, short-term courses and on-the-job training can boost employability, prepared by the Government of Alberta.

Distance Computer Comfort (Neil Squire Society) – One-on-one computer tutoring available online anywhere in Canada. Tailored to individuals with disabilities all across Canada, it allows for a flexible learning schedule without having to leave the home.

Employment Ontario: Education & Training – This section of the EO website provides general information and links to additional resources.


Algonquin College – Experienced Worker Centre – Helping adults who have been laid-off, are underemployed or are simply considering a new career identify programs and financial support that can assist them on their journey.

La Cité – Deuxième carrière – Assessment and referral centre for the Second Career program.

MTCU Second Career – Government of Ontario program that can help fund re-training programs for those who have been laid-off.


Adult High School – English high school for students 21 or over, or 18 or over if they have been out of school for a year.

Algonquin College – Upgrading – Information on Academic Upgrading Programs and Courses.

Independent Learning Centre – GED Testing – The GED Tests allow people who have not finished high school the opportunity to demonstrate high school academic knowledge and skills. Successful GED candidates earn the Ontario High School Equivalency Certificate.

La Cité – Formation de base de l’Ontario – Literacy and Basic Skills program which provides a French secondary level education and academic upgrading in mathematics, communications, sciences and computers to adults wishing to further their skills for employment, apprenticeship or postsecondary studies.

LEAP program – Learning, Earning and Parenting program for young parents on social assistance; provides help to finish high school, gain work experience and learn more about parenting; mandatory for 16 and 17-year-old parents; parents 18-25 who have not completed high school also eligible.

Le Carrefour – French high school for students 21 or over, or 18 or over if they have been out of school for a year.

OCCL Guide to Credit & Equivalency – Adult students in Ontario, who want to obtain an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalency, have many pathways to consider; chart provides an overview of several options in Ottawa.

OCDSB – Continuing Education – Information on Secondary School Credit Programs from Ottawa Carleton District School Board.

Rogers Achievement Centre (Operation Come Home) – A transitional education model designed to engage street involved youth in academic studies outside of the traditional classroom setting. R.A.C. provides full time course instruction with a licensed teacher.

Stepping Stones Learning Centre – Students complete their high school education or post-secondary programs through online trades training. They have great partnerships in the community with places like St. Nicholas Adult High School, George Brown College, ACE Online Learning and the Independent Learning Centre.

St. Nicholas Adult High School– Permits students to earn the necessary credits to receive their Ontario Secondary School Diploma, including earning online high school credits.

Urban Aboriginal Alternate High School Program – For the adolescent who identifies as being of Native ancestry who may be having difficulty coping in the present educational system, may have been out of school for awhile, and/or is in need of assistance in returning to the mainstream school system.


Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) is a process that helps adults to demonstrate and obtain recognition for learning that they acquire outside of formal education settings. PLAR focuses on what adults know and can do. Most public colleges and some universities recognize prior learning in at least some of their programs.

Manitoba Career Development: A Guide to Recognizing Your Prior Learning – A comprehensive guide to help job seekers to recognize prior learning.

In exploring the websites below, keep in mind, that in many cases, you will have to be registered in a program at the institution to qualify for the evaluation.

Algonquin College – To be eligible, need to be 19 years of age or older, or have an Ontario Secondary School Diploma.

Bethany Hope Centre Learning Coach Program – Offered through a long standing partnership between Bethany Hope Centre, Youville Centre and LEAP,this program helps young parents continue or complete their high school education.

Le Carrefour – Adult high school with French courses designed for adult learners who want to complete their high school diploma, refresh their skills, integrate into the workforce, or prepare for college or university.

OCDSB – Mature Student Evaluation (MSE) – Students who attended a secondary school in Ontario (prior to 1999).

OCDSB – Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) – Students who received their education outside Ontario or who entered an Ontario Secondary school after 1999.

OCDSB – Secondary School Credit Programs – Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) and Mature Student Evaluation (MSE) are formal evaluation and credit-granting processes for mature students who would like to earn an Ontario Secondary School Diploma. Age and where original education was received will determine which process will be used

Online Learning in Ontario – Resources and links on Ontario colleges and universities that have PLAR programs.

St. Nicholas Adult High School – PLAR program for those 18 years of age or older, enrolled in a secondary school credit program, has been out of school for at least one year.

University of Ottawa – A pdf file outlining the rules and procedure or a request for prior-learning recognition at the university.


Below we list some of the post-secondary options in Ottawa, with an emphasis on public institutions. There are also a number of private colleges that can be explored, as well as a wide range of online learning options from institutions that are not necessarily in the city. 

Algonquin College – English language applied arts and technical college offering a variety of post-secondary programs.

Carleton University – English language university offering post-secondary degree programs.

Discovery University – A partnership between The Ottawa Mission, University of Ottawa, Saint Paul University, and First Baptist Church; allows people living on a low income to participate in non-credit, university-level Humanities and Social Sciences courses at no cost.

La Cité – French language applied arts and technical college offering a variety of post-secondary programs.

National Association of Career Colleges – Explore Ottawa’s private institutions. Explore career colleges by location or name: Career Colleges Location Map.

Private Career Colleges – Registered private career colleges and approved programs in Ontario; for a list of Ottawa’s private career colleges, as listed by Service Ontario, is provided here.

Saint Paul University – A bilingual institution offering undergraduate and graduate study programs with a primary focus is on the multiple facets of the human experience.

University of Ottawa – Bilingual university offering post-secondary degree programs.


Note that some colleges and universities provide educational counseling, both pre-admission and for registered students, while others are only available to registered students.

Algonquin College – Career and Academic Access Centre – Academic Referral, Academic Upgrading, Academic Assistance for Adults with Developmental Disabilities (Pre-admissions & Registered).

Algonquin College – Counselling Services – Counselling Services offers one-on-one personal, career-related and academic support to current registered students (Pre-admissions & Registered).

Algonquin College – Mamidosewin Centre – Counsellors for Aboriginal students provide academic, career & personal support (Pre-admissions & Registered).

Carleton University – Centre for Aboriginal Culture and Education (CACE) – Aboriginal Cultural Liaison Officers work collaboratively with First Nations, Inuit, and Métis communities and various departments on campus to increase recruitment and retention at Carleton University (Pre-admissions & Registered).

Carleton University – Paul Menton Centre – Alternative admission routes for students with disabilities who did not meet standard admission requirements through the Enriched Support Program and the Mature studentsprogram.

Carleton University Career Services – Offers numerous resources and opportunities for student job-seekers and others entering the Job Market. The Career Services Office provides Employment Advising and Career Counselling to Carleton University students and alumni.

University of Ottawa Counselling and Coaching Service – Students registered in at least one course are eligible to receive an initial assessment session, personal counselling, attend a personal development workshop and coaching.

University of Ottawa Liaison Office – Members of the Liaison Staff are available to answer questions about University of Ottawa and its programs and services.

University of Ottawa Aboriginal Resource Centre – Services include new students’ information sessions, academic guidance and counseling, peer support, mentoring, Elder advisor, employment services and free usage of technology lab (Pre-admissions & Registered).


An apprentice is a worker who learns a skilled trade on the job, and also completes classroom training. If a client is interested in becoming an apprentice, they will need to find an employer who will hire them.

Aboriginal Apprenticeship Board of Ontario – Not-for-profit organization dedicated to increasing the number of Aboriginal people in the trades in Ontario; clients can speak with coordinators in the Eastern Region – contact information can be found here.

Algonquin College – Apprenticeships – Information on getting accepted into an apprenticeship. – Website is designed to help connect apprentices and employers across Ontario and is a free service operated by not-for-profit organizations and community agency partners in Ontario.

Careers in the Trades – A wide variety of information on resources about careers in the trades.

Co-Op Diploma Apprenticeship Programs – Co-Op Diploma Apprenticeship programs allow you to get apprenticeship training while earning a college diploma.

Employment Ontario Ottawa Network – EO service providers can provide information on apprenticeship programs and process.

Employment Ontario – Work in the trades – Employment Ontario has services right across Ontario that can help you become an apprentice.

La Cité – Les programmes d’apprentissage – Information on apprenticeships.

Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP) – OYAP allows high school students to learn about apprenticeship training and have an opportunity to begin apprenticeship training while they are still in high school.

Power of Trades – Pre-employment training and support for immigrants who want to work in the skilled trades. Includes: six weeks of in-class, non-technical training; access to in-demand certification (WHMIS, Service Excellence, etc.); three-week work placement in your trade following your training; and ongoing individualized job search support.

Pre-Apprenticeship Training Program – This program helps unemployed individuals upgrade and develop the job skills which can lead to an apprenticeship.

Red Seal – Tradespersons are able to obtain a Red Seal endorsement on their provincial/territorial certificates by successfully completing an interprovincial Red Seal examination.

Finding financial assistance

When returning to school, your client may want to explore the variety of financial assistance that may be available to them.  They can explore grants and loans available to Ottawa students.  There are also online tools for searching for scholarships and bursaries based on specific criteria.  While scholarships tend to be more based on academic standing, a bursary is money that is awarded to a qualified student based on financial need.  You can help your client explore what option works for them.


Algonquin College Second Career – Assessment and referral centre for the Second Career program.

La Cité – Deuxième carrière – Assessment and referral centre for the Second Career program.

MTCU Second Career – Government of Ontario program that can help fund re-training programs for those who have been laid-off.

Willis College – Second Career Funding – Information on second career funding at Willis College.


30% off Ontario Tuition Grant – Take a quiz to determine eligibility for this grant.

Apprenticeship Grants – Service Canada – Apprenticeship Incentive Grant and Apprenticeship Completion Grant.

Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada – Administers more than 130 scholarships, fellowships and internships; represents 97 universities as well as university degree-level colleges across Canada.

Ontario Student Assistance Program – OSAP is Ontario’s flagship student support program, offering a mix of grants and loans to thousands of students each year. – Create a profile and gain access to information on over 32,409 scholarships across Canada. – Free scholarship search tool and matching service for high school, college, and university students in Canada; allows you to search on a wide variety of criteria.

Student Loans, Grants and Scholarships – page with information on finding help paying for school – loans, grants, and scholarships.


Bursary for Students with Disabilities (BSWD) – Students with disability-related educational costs for services or equipment that are not covered by another agency or service and are required for postsecondary participation. – A search tool for awards and scholarships for students with disabilities studying at Canada’s colleges and universities.

Holly Bartlett Memorial Award – Applicants must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada, must have a permanent disability, and be currently registered in and returning to a full-time program of study at an accredited Canadian post-secondary college or university.

NEADS National Student Awards Program – Applicants must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada, must have a permanent disability, and be currently registered in and returning to a full-time program of study at an accredited Canadian post-secondary college or university.


Aboriginal Bursary Search Tool – Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada tool to search more than 680 bursaries, scholarships and incentives for Aboriginal students; by location, field of study and Aboriginal group.

Algonquin College – Aboriginal PSET Bursary Application – Available to Aboriginal students.

Dr. William Commanda Willis Scholarship – Awarded to 11 Aboriginal students across Canada annually.


Algonquin College Bursaries – Includes information on both Financial Aid-administered bursaries, and those associated with a particular area of study.

Algonquin College Scholarships & Awards – Information on college-wide awards, Student Association awards, and awards associated with a particular area of study.

Carleton University – Bursaries – Includes information and a Search for Bursaries Tool to search by title or area of interest.

Carleton University – Scholarships – Includes information and a scholarship search tool to search by title or area of interest.

La Cité – Information on bursaries and financial aid.

University of Ottawa – Scholarships and Bursaries – Includes Admission Scholarships, Bursaries, Mobility Scholarships with Bursaries and Other Scholarships.

Willis College –  The Rima Aristocrat High School Scholarship – Awarded annually to one current high school graduate student in Ottawa to take one program in Energy, Technology, Healthcare or Business Education.

Improving literacy and essential skills

After exploring their current capabilities and undertaking some self-assessments, your client may find that they would like to improve their literacy or essential skills in order to facilitate their job search and long-term employment prospects.

Ottawa Community Coalition for Literacy | OCCL – Literacy Service Providers – Supports, promotes and strengthens adult literacy services in Ottawa through communications, research and public education. Includes aGuide to Ottawa’s Literacy and Basic Skills Providers and OCCL Publications.


ACElinks Program – Academic Upgrading: Grade 12 equivalent courses delivered in a smaller, supported classroom environment in downtown Ottawa at the John Howard Society.

Algonquin College – Career and Academic Access Centre – Advice on options to become college eligible; Academic Upgrading courses to meet post-secondary admission requirements or to earn the Academic and Career Entrance (ACE) certificate (Grade 12 equivalent).

ALSO’s Adult & Deaf Adult Upgrading Programs – Free adult and family literacy services for all adult learners including Deaf and hard of hearing; services includes literacy skill upgrading towards work, training and education.

Centre Moi j’apprends – Literacy, numeracy and essential skills services, in French.

CNIB Deafblind Literacy Program – Provides quality individualized literacy instruction to adults in Ontario in their preferred method of communication.

John Howard Society of Ottawa – Employment & Training – Offers a variety of literacy, education and employment programs, including PET Skills, PET Links (in partnership with Algonquin College), and LEAFS (Literacy & Employment Access For Survival).

La Cité – Formation de base de l’Ontario – Literacy and Basic Skills program which provides a French secondary level education and academic upgrading in mathematics, communications, sciences and computers to adults wishing to further their skills for employment, apprenticeship or postsecondary studies.

Ottawa Community Coalition for Literacy | OCCL – Literacy Service Providers – Supports, promotes and strengthens adult literacy services in Ottawa through communications, research and public education. Includes aGuide to Ottawa’s Literacy and Basic Skills Providers and OCCL Publications.

OCDSB Workplace Training and Academic Upgrading Program – Academic Upgrading, Workplace Basic Skills Training, and Adaptive Learning Program for adults with developmental disabilities.

OCSB Adult Literacy and Essential Skills – Program at St. Nicolas Adult High School; free for Ontario residents, 19 years of age and older; also has online courses.

People, Words & Change – A one-on-one, Literacy and Essential Skills program for adults.


Build Your Career with Essential Skills – Free Essential Skills Learning Plans available online.

CSC’s Essential Skills for Ontario’s Trades People – Click on Build Your Skills to get fully customized learning plans featuring online lessons, based on your assessments.

CPSC Essential Skills – Specific to plastics and manufacturing, personalized learning plans and targeted learning materials based on assessments, developed by the Canadian Plastics Sector Council.

ESDC Learning and Training Supports – Includes Learning and Training Supports to build essential skills and for the trades, from the Office of Literacy and Essential Skills.

ITA Essential Skills Building – Website developed to help people succeed during their apprenticeship, helps build essential skills based on individual assessments, developed by BC’s Industry Training Authority (ITA).

La Cité – Compétence essentielles – Information on essential skills from La Cité.

Ontario Skills Passport Activity Sets – Choose activity sets to practice and build your skills based on assessment results and occupations of interest.

Acquiring language skills

Job seekers may be looking to improve their skills in English or French if neither is their first language, or they may be unilingual and looking to improve their skills in the second language to apply for bilingual positions. There are many free services in Ottawa for immigrants to acquire language skills that should be considered when working with newcomers.


As well as the services and programs outlined below, many community centres offer tutors in ESL or FSL.

Canadian Language Benchmarks’ Essential Skills Website – Information and resources about the Canadian Language Benchmarks and the Essential Skills for the workplace.

Ontario Immigration | Learn English or French – Summary of different language services offered in Ontario for people of varying immigration statuses.

YMCA-YWCA Language Assessment and Referral Centre (LARC) – Provides immigrants with English or French language assessments for government-funded programs. Our services are offered at no cost to eligible clients. Eligibility Criteria: 18 years of age and older; born outside Canada.

Note that intake through LARC is required for the programs shown below.

CLIC – Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) – Program offered at Le Carrefour for immigrants and newcomers; need to register through LARC.

English Language Tutoring for the Ottawa Community (ELTOC) – A non-profit organization that provides home tutoring for LINC eligible adult immigrants who cannot attend regular English programs.

Ontario Immigration Learn English or French as a Second Language Online Search Tool – A tool for adult non-credit language training programs.

Ottawa-Carleton District School Board (OCDSB) – English as a Second Language (ESL) and Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC)

Ottawa Catholic School Board (OCSB) – Day and night adult classes are available for New Canadians, Landed Immigrants, Refugees, Refugee Claimants, Visa Holders, Visitora and Diplomats.

Ottawa ESL Schools – ESL and computer training at no charge for immigrants, offered through St. Patrick Adult High School.

The Language Training Centre of Ottawa – Free English as a Second Language Training to adult immigrants and convention refugees.


Algonquin College Language Institute (OSLT) Occupation-Specific Language Training – Free training courses teach Canadian terms and words used in specific professions and introduce cultural norms of the Canadian workplace – so you can communicate clearly in your job.

World Skills – Workplace Language Training – A high-level language training program that teaches professional communication and cultural norms of Canadian workplace. Courses are: Oral Communication for Professionals, Writing for Professional Purposes, Office Administration, and Entrepreneurs.


Algonquin College Language Institute – Provides second language training in ESL and FSL, full or part-time programs.

La Cité – Centre de formation continue et en ligne – Provides French as a Second language in a French environment, as well as English and French immersion to improve spoken language skills.

Finding a mentor or coach

A good coach or mentor can help a job seeker in ways that go beyond connecting them with people. They will listen to concerns and provide helpful feedback and advice, guiding decision-making. They can also help to contribute to career success once the job seeker has successfully found employment.


Below we provide an inventory of employment-related mentorship programs in Ottawa to help students and job seekers connect to mentorship opportunities.

Program Name/Nom du programmeOrganizer/ Organisateur, organisatriceOpen To/Ouvert auLanguage/LangueCost/PrixClick for More Info/ Cliquer ici pour de plus amples informations
A Real Thought (A.R.T.) In ActionArt In ActionYouth between 14-29EnglishFreeExplore Program
AcceleratorL-SPARKEnglishN/AExplore Program
Advancing Immigrant Women in the Banking/Finance sector through mentorshipOCISO Women/
Newcomers (Immigrants & Refugees)
English FreeExplore Program
Alumni mentorsCarleton University For current students with 7.0 GPA or higher & recent graduates
EnglishFreeExplore Program
Canada CPA Mentorship ProgramChartered Professional Accountants CPA membership holdersEnglish / French / OtherN/AExplore Program
Career Transitions for International Medical DoctorsCatholic Centre for Immigrants (LASI World Skills) Trained medical professionals EnglishFreeExplore Program
Carleton Engineering Mentorship Program (CEMP)Carleton University StudentsEnglishFreeExplore Program
Carrefour de l’entrepreneuriatuOttawaÉtudiants de l'Université d'OttawaFrançais / AnglaisExplorer ce programme
Causeway’s Entrepreneurial Opportunity (CEO)Causeway Work Centre EnglishFreeExplore Program
Centres de mentorat dans les facultésuOttawaÉtudiants de l'Université d'OttawaFrançais / AnglaisExplorer ce programme
Community Connections Mentorship ProgramCatholic Centre for Immigrants Youth
Newcomers (Immigrants & Refugees)
English / FrenchFreeExplore Program
Connexions communautairesCentre Catholique Pour ImmigrantsJeunes
Nouveaux arrivants (Réfugiés et immigrants)
Français / AnglaisGratuitExplorer ce programme
Core Career MentoringOCISO Newcomers (Immigrants & Refugees)EnglishFreeExplore Program
Démarrer une entrepriseGouvernement d'OntarioRésident de l’Ontario

Pas un étudiant à plein temps
Français/AnglaisContribution au placement: (Contribution de 25 % pour recevoir une subvention de 5 000 $)Explorer ce programme
Entrepreneurial Adventure ProgramThe Learning Partnership YouthEnglishFreeExplore Program
Entrepreneurship Advisory ServicesInvest Ottawa AllEnglish / FrenchN/AExplore Program - Explorer ce programme
Executive In ResidenceAlgonquin Students’ AssociationFor Algonquin Students, Alumni and FacultyEnglishFreeExplore Program
Faculty Mentorship CentresuOttawaStudents at the Univeristy of OttawaEnglish/FrenchExplore Program
Federal Internship for Newcomers (FIN) Mentoring ProgramOCISONewcomers (Immigrants & Refugees)EnglishFreeExplore Program
Hope VenturesBethany Hope CentreWomen 13-29, pregnant or parentingEnglishFreeExplore Progam
In-TAC Mentorship Program For IT & Accounting ProfessionalsIn-TAC Newcomers (Immigrants & Refugees)EnglishN/AExplore Program
Indigenous Voices Mentorship ProgramOttawa Arts Council Aboriginal Peoples EnglishFreeExplore Program
Program for BiotechnologistsOttawa World SkillsInternational Biotechnology Professionals

Newcomers (Immigrants & Refugees)
EnglishFreeExplore Program
iSisters Technology Mentoring for WomeniSistersWomen

Newcomers (Immigrants & Refugees)
EnglishFreeExplore Program
ITP-Mentorship ProgramPinecrest-Queensway Community Health Centre Newcomers (Immigrants & Refugees)EnglishFreeExplore Program
JA OttawaResèau d'Ottawa pour l'éducationJeunesFrançaisGratuitExplorer ce programme
Job Action ProjectOperation Come Home YouthEnglishFreeExplore Program
Junior Achievement OttawaOttawa Network for Education YouthEnglishFreeExplore Program
L-SPARK Mentor NetworkL-SPARKEnglishN/AExplore Program
Le mentorat d'un artiste à un autre artistMulticulturalisme et Art Scolaire et CommunautaireFrançais / AnglaisN/A
Explorer ce programme
Le programme de mentorat CPAComptables Professionnels Agréés CanadaAdhésion à la SCPFrançais / Anglais /AutresN/AExplorer ce programme
MASC Artist-to-Artist MentorshipMulticultural Arts for Schools and Communities English/FrenchN/AExplore Program
Mentor HubRise Asset DevelopmentPersons with DisabilitiesEnglishFreeExplore Program
Mentorat pour entrepreneursRéseau de développement économique et d'employabilité de l'ontarioEntrepreneursFrançais / Anglais GratuitExplorer ce programme
Mentorat étudiantuOttawaÉtudiantsFrançais / Anglais Explorer ce programme
Mentoring CentresuOttawa – Student Academic Success ServiceUniversity of Ottawa StudentsEnglish / FrenchExplore Program
Mentoring ProgramsBig Brothers Big Sisters of Ottawa EnglishFreeExplore Programs
Mentorship ProgramWomen’s Business Network WomenEnglish / FrenchN/AExplore Program
Mentorship ProgramCFA Society OttawaMembership Required

CFA program Level II, level III

Possess all 3 levels of CFA program

New CFA Charter Holders
EnglishN/AExplore Program
Mentorship ProgramTen Thousand CoffeesAll membersEnglishMembership requiredExplore Program
Mentorship ProgramPerformance Plus Rehabilitative Care Inc. Persons with Disabilities

Newcomers (Immigrants & Refugees)
EnglishFreeExplore Program
Networking4YouthSomali Centre for Family Services Youth

Newcomers (Immigrants & Refugees)
EnglishFreeExplore Options
Ontario Summer CompanyGovernment of Ontario Canadian Citizen or resident/
Live in Ontario/
Work less than 12 hrs per week
English / FrenchN/AExplore Program
Ottawa Connector ProgramOCISO Newcomers (Immigrants & Refugees)EnglishFreeExplore Program
Ottawa Valley Mentorship ProgramHuman Resources Professionals Association HRPA membersEnglishMembership feeExplore Program
Ottawa Young EntrepreneursStartup Ottawa YouthEnglishFreeExplore Program
Programme de mentorat en carrière internationaleuOttawaÉtudiants internationaux en 3e et 4e annéesFrançais / Anglais Explorer ce programme
Programme de mentorat intergénérationnel et interculturelAssociation canadienne des professeurs d'immersionProfesseurs d'immersionFrançais / AnglaisN/AExplorer ce programme
Rivers to Success: Mentoring Indigenous Youth Indspire Indigenous YouthEnglishN/AExplore Program
Starter CompanyGovernment of Ontario Ontario Resident

Not a full time student
English / FrenchInvestment contribution: (Contribute 25% to receive $5,000 grant)
Explore Program
Student Mentorship ProgramuOttawa – Health Sciences Health Science StudentsEnglish / FrenchExplore Program
SUMMITAlgonquin Students’ AssociationAlgonquin students, Alumni and non-students between the ages of 18-29EnglishFreeExplore Program
TechMentorCOMPUCORPS Non-profit organizationsEnglishFreeExplore Program
Telfer School of Business - International Career Mentorship ProgramuOttawaInternational Students from the University of OttawaEnglish / FrenchExplore Program
TiE Mentoring ProgramThe Indus Entrepreneurs AllEnglishN/AExplore Program
Une entreprise d’étéGouvernement d'OntarioRésident de l’Ontario et
n'est pas un étudiant à plein temps
Français / AnglaisGratuit
Explorer ce programme
uOttawa Entrepreneurship HubuOttawaUniversity of Ottawa StudentsEnglish / FrenchExplore Program
Visual Arts MentorsCSARN Ontario ResidentsEnglishN/AExplore Program
Vocational Mentorship ProgramPinecrest-Queensway Community Health Centre Persons with DisabilitiesEnglishFreeExplore Program
WCT Mentorship ProgramWomen in Communications and Technology Women

English Membership requiredExplore Program
WIL Mentorship ProgramWomen in Leadership WomenEnglish $275Explore Program
Women’s Legal Mentorship ProgramWomen’s Legal Mentorship ProgramWomenEnglishN/AExplore Program
Youth Job ConnectionCity of Ottawa - Employment OntarioYouth (15-29)English / FrenchFreeExplore Program
Youth Job ConnectionYouth Services Bureau - Employment OntarioYouth (15-29)English / FrenchFreeExplore Program
Programme d’accès à l’emploi pour les jeunesServices aux jeunesJeunes (15-29)Français / AnglaisGratuitExplorer ce programme


Career Transitions Program for International Medical Doctors – Provides international medical doctors with a comprehensive employment preparation program designed to support their entry into unregulated or alternative health sector employment, including employment exposure opportunities in the workplace and mentoring; a joint initiative of the Catholic Immigration Centre, World Skills and Skills for Change.

From Volunteerism to Employment – An on-the-job mentorship program that pairs Internationally Trained Professionals (ITPs) with Pinecrest-Queensway Community Health Centre (PQCHC) staff for an unpaid three-month placement.

MAPLE 2.0 – Mentorship in Action – A national project that brings togetheremployers with internationally educated professionals (IEP’s) through internship placements to create employment opportunities for new immigrants and help employers enhance their intercultural understanding; managed by theInternational Talent Acquisition Centre (In-TAC) at the Ottawa Chinese Community Services Centre (OCCSC).

OCISO Career Mentoring Program – Matches job-ready internationally educated professionals with a volunteer career mentor working in the same or a related field, run by Ottawa Community Immigrant Services Organization (OCISO).

The Federal Internship for Newcomers (FIN) Program – FIN provides newcomers with temporary Canadian work experience and training opportunities with federal government departments; participants are provided with a mentor for the duration of the internship; managed by the Foreign Credentials Referral Office, Citizenship and Immigration Canada.


Canada Youth Business Foundation Peer Mentoring Program – Provides qualified business mentors for young entrepreneurs. Training is provided for both the mentor and partner to support the relationship.

Networking for Youth (N4Y) – An innovative community-based resource to support young job seekers in their search for employment. Serves all post secondary students in their 20s to mid 30s in transition from education to the labour market. N4Y is an expanded project that will build on the prior success of the Jewish-Somali Mentorship Program (JSMP) established in 2010.

Youth Futures Program – A seven-month program designed for youth 16 to 21 years of age who are interested in obtaining more information about attending college or university, and who want to develop leadership skills and gain important work experience; includes a one-week intensive mentorship (a City of Ottawa, Ottawa Community Housing and University of Ottawa partnership).


Mentorship Aftercare Presence (MAP) Program – Helps people leaving the criminal justice system to reintegrate into the community, to learn various lifeskills through mentorship, to find housing, to reconnect with family and to achieve gainful employment.


ALIS Tip Sheet: Mentoring: Finding and Working With a Mentor – A quick quiz to test knowledge and information on what mentoring is and how to form an effective relationship.

Assess your Mentoring Preferences – An online instrument to assess mentoring preferences for both partners and mentors.

BC Jobs – Should You Consider Mentoring? – Provides tips and guidelines for seeking out a mentor to enrich your career.

Career Development: Mentoring – Comprehensive guide from the University of Washington with benefits and tips for developing a mentoring relationship as part of your career development.

Coach and Mentor Definitions – Detailed information from the Coaching and Mentoring Network (a UK website).

The Value of a Mentor: Students and Job-Seekers… How to Find Yourself a Mentor – An article with tips and guidelines for finding a mentor, from Quintessential Careers.

Tools for Partners – Tools that will help partners (mentees or protégés) make their mentoring relationships productive and satisfying, including a quiz to test readiness to be mentored, expectations, responsibilities and a mentoring journal, from the Center for Coaching and Mentoring – a US website.

Getting practical experience

A job seeker may want to focus on getting practical experience while undertaking their job search. You can help them explore unpaid work experiences, volunteering in a field of interest, or undertaking a formal apprenticeship to combine learning with practical experience. This section provides information on all of these options.

Keep in mind that volunteering and unpaid work placements also provide networking opportunities which can help in the job search.

CICO Community Bulletin – Check the Community Information Centre Ottawa for postings related to volunteering, employment, and workshops.


Aboriginal Cultural Ambassador Program – Click on ACA training to find out about a free 6-month program that includes National Tourism Certification, Aboriginal Arts and Culture certifications, Aboriginal arts and culture training and work placement.

Causeway Work Centre Programs – Includes job trials (as part of the Employment Supports Program), Needle Hunters (paid employment to persons who are homeless, or at risk of homelessness) and Supported Employment in Rural Ottawa (assists persons with a severe mental illness living in Homes for Special Care obtain and maintain paid employment).

CHEO – Includes information on the Summer Student Recruitment program, High School Co-Operative Education Program, and Post-secondary Placements/Internships/Job Shadowing.

Custodial Skills Training Program (The Ottawa Mission) – Developed in partnership with the City of Ottawa and the Ottawa Catholic School Board, this 8-week program includes classroom and on-the-job training.

EcoEquitable – Sowing for Jobs Program – An innovative training program that is designed to be a bridge to financial autonomy for unemployed and underemployed women who are isolated, and marginalized. The 5-month program provides sewing training, financial literacy, hands-on experience, and individual mentoring to bridge to long-term employment.

Federal Student Work Experience Program (FSWEP) – Paid hands-on work experience related to field of study for full-time students.

Food Services Training Program (The Ottawa Mission) – Offered in partnership with Ontario Works, a 5-month program that teaches men and women how to cook in a commercial kitchen. They spend the last few weeks of the program in job placement.

Gourmet X-press – Training Enterprise – An employment program run by the Vanier Community Centre that offers 12 weeks of practical work experience in a kitchen setting – meal preparation and customer service.

Indigenous Culture and Media Innovations – ICMI provides arts training, youth workshops and educational programming; using hands-on experiential learning in up-to-date, cutting edge digital technologies partnership between Odawa and Carleton University.

Navigating the Canadian Workplace Program for Accounting Professionals (NaviCanAccounting) – A 12-week training and a professional practicum equips Internationally-Educated Professionals (IEPs) with Canadian accounting software skills and taxations basics, exposes them to Canadian workplace culture, business practices and ethics, and improves communication skills and understanding of the local labour market.

Ontario Works Job Placements – Paid or unpaid job placements are available based on your recent work experience and job readiness.

Operation Come Home – BottleWorks – Employs at-risk youth age 16 and up for a twelve week period to assist with the bottle collection and administrative work.

Operation Come Home – Buy Your Beau’s Online (B.Y.B.O.) – A social enterprise that hires at-risk and street-involved youth age 19 and up to assist with the product delivery and administrative work.

Operation Come Home – FarmWorks – Offers youth between the ages of 16-30 a safe space to develop skills while learning about food, farming, and agriculture; paid learning opportunities to youth through workshops and experiential learning on Just Food’s farm.

Working Together (Neil Squire) – Our wage subsidy program helps persons with disabilities find and maintain employment. Job seekers are connected to employers for a minimum of six months, and are employed with the intention of long-term employment.


Articling with Ministry of Attorney General – Summer Law Student Program, Aboriginal Law Summer Program and Articling Student Program for graduates and registered law students.

Career Edge – Offers access to paid internships in a wide range of non-regulated fields for recent grads from college or university (last 3 years), a graduate with a disability or an internationally qualified professional.

Carleton University Co-op Program – Provides students with the opportunity to gain real work experience and make contacts with industry professionals while completing their studies.

Federal Government Post-Secondary Co-op / Internship Program – For those in an academic program that requires work experience as part of the curriculum, Co-op/Internship provides students hands-on experience in their field of study.

Housing Internship Initiative for First Nations & Inuit Youth (HIIFNIY) – Work experience and on the job training for First Nations and Inuit youth to assist in pursuing long-term employment in the housing industry.

Ontario Internship Program – Hires up to 100 interns each year and offers two one-year paid contracts in a wide range of ministries and agencies across the Ontario Public Service (OPS).

Ontario MNR Internship Program – Full-time post-secondary students and recent graduates (within five years) participate in two 40-week placements and receive career development training and coaching.

Ontario Transportation Technician Initiative – Provides three years of structured experience through rotational assignments in a variety of disciplines for engineering technicians and those who have worked in a related field.

Research Affiliate Program (RAP) – Federal Government – Opportunities for post-secondary students to conduct innovative laboratory, field, and social science research.

Saint Paul Univeristy – Centre for Contextual Learning – Promotes the practical application of study programs by helping students who are enrolled at Saint Paul University to participate in supervised internships related to their academic studies.

University of Ottawa – Co-operative Education – Students apply their classroom knowledge to a series of four-month work experiences. In general, students begin their first work term after completing two years of study.


Federal Internship for Newcomers Program (FINP) – Designed to provide eligible newcomers with an opportunity to gain valuable Canadian work experience in Federal Government sector. Participants are provided with a mentor for the duration of their internship; managed by the Foreign Credentials Referral Office, Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

Navigating the Canadian IT Workplace Program (NaviCanIT) – A 12-week bridge-to-work program with co-op for internationally educated ICT professionals that prepares them for the Canadian workplace and provides them with professional exposure opportunities. Managed by In-TAC.

OPS Internship Program for Internationally-Trained Individuals – Canadian work experience within the Ontario Public Service for professional newcomers to Canada.

OPS Internship Program for Internationally-Trained Engineers – 12 to 15 month internship to provide Internationally Trained Engineers with the Canadian work experience they require to meet license requirements in Ontario.


Individuals may want to take on a part-time job to help finance their education or to help make ends meet during their job search.  These jobs can also provide valuable experience and puts the job seeker into the workplace where they can make connections to help them find long-term employment.  Work in areas of interest can also provide additional insight into long-term career decisions.  Explore the Job Search section to find more information that also applies to finding part-time work.  Job seekers can also look at part-time self-employment to develop skills in an area of interest.

Ontario Works – Self Employment – Self-employment program is an Ontario Works employment activity that supports participants, who have a realistic business idea, to successfully develop their business (generally full-time but part-time may be approved).


Volunteering opportunities can put job seekers right into the workplace where they can gain experience, build skills, and demonstrate their employability.  It can also provide great networking opportunities and a chance to “test drive” a career or occupation.

City of Ottawa Volunteer Opportunities – City of Ottawa offers a wide range of volunteer opportunities within the community.

City of Ottawa: Volunteering Youth – Volunteering opportunities for youth to get involved in your community, gain experience, meet new people and make a difference.

Volunteer Ottawa – Links people who are interested in volunteering with community organizations.

Volunteer Ottawa Youth – Links youth in the city to volunteering opportunities within the community.

Job seekers can also explore volunteering opportunities for specific organizations.

Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa – Volunteering – Volunteer opportunities for active club members, 18 years of age or older.

Canadian Red Cross – Volunteering – Volunteer opportunities include responding to disasters, educating youth on violence and abuse prevention, fundraising and governing.

CHEO – Volunteering – Includes information on the Summer Student Recruitment program, High School Co-Operative Education Program, Post-secondary Placements/Internships/Job Shadowing and general volunteering opportunities.

Children’s Aid Society of Ottawa – Volunteering – Volunteer opportunities such as tutoring services, mentoring for children and youth, and providing clerical assistance.

Elizabeth Fry Society of Ottawa – Volunteering – The Courthouse Program, the Jail Visiting Program and the JF Norwood House Program; also outreach, assistance with special events/ fundraising, and office administration.

Job1 – Provides students in west end with a volunteer experience in the retail industry.

NCC Volunteer Centre – Volunteer opportunities in the Ottawa-Gatineau area.

Ottawa Children’s Treatment Centre – Volunteering – Volunteer applicants are matched with volunteer opportunities based on their experience, interest, and availability.

Ottawa Food Bank – Volunteering – Details on volunteering opportunities such as sorting food, truck assistants, community harvests, and special events.

Ottawa Humane Society – Volunteering – As a registered charity, the Ottawa Humane Society relies heavily on their dedicated volunteer team.

Ottawa Volunteer Lounge – A volunteer management tool that enables the public to learn about volunteer opportunities in the Capital Region festival industry.

The Ottawa Hospital – Volunteering – Details on volunteer opportunities within the Ottawa Hospital for future healthcare professionals, students, and individuals looking to volunteer in the community.

The Ottawa Mission – Volunteering – Volunteering opportunities such as preparing and serving meals, organizing clothing donations and tutoring people in the Mission’s Stepping Stones Learning Centre.

Ottawa Police Volunteer Opportunities – Volunteer opportunities for women and men who are at least 18 years of age, have no police records and are available for task training.

Ottawa Volunteers in Education – Provides a matching service to link community volunteers with the needs of individual students and teachers in participating school boards.

Volunteer at the Y – Numerous volunteer opportunities; lead an exercise class, welcome new immigrants, coach swimming or basketball, mentor youth, produce a special event, advise on local issues.