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8.1. Job Search Requirements


Ontario Works Effective Date: March 1, 2022
Topic: Managing Participation Replaces: July 1, 2009
Subject: Job Search Requirements Policy No. H.8.1.



Authority OW Act: Sec. 2, 4, 6, 7(4), 16(2) and 44 & OW Directives: Dir. 8.1 


It is the policy of the Manitoulin-Sudbury DSB that all participants (unless deferred from participation) are required to actively job search and look for gainful employment.   


Job search requirements can range from an independent job search with some support options, to participation in a highly structured job search program. Based on the participant’s level of education, past work history, local job market conditions, participant goals and other factors, the Case Manager and the participant will decide upon the program most suited to him/her. The overriding factor for the Case Manager will be that the option chosen will be the shortest route to sustainable employment.

Where the person is job ready and likely to find employment on their own without intensive intervention on the part of OW staff, Manitoulin-Sudbury DSB policy is to encourage unstructured job searches for the first three months after a participant commences the OW program. Such individuals may, however, voluntarily participate in any number of different structured programs, depending on his/her needs.  

Case Managers need to ensure that they are knowledgeable and conversant about the various support programs offered by the Employment Support Section, as well as community based programs.  


After a participant has been in receipt of assistance for more than three months and is still unsuccessful in obtaining employment, the Case Manager will request that the person participate in a more structured job search. The Case Manager will update the Participation Agreement to include the activity and monitor the activity on an ongoing basis.


In negotiating the Participation Agreement and activities, it may be in the participant’s best interest to undertake basic education, upgrading, literacy or job specific skills training. If the participant is in agreement with this assessment, this information should be clearly noted on the newly completed Participation Agreement as well as in Social Assistance Computer System. 

Basic education includes any programs designed to offer people opportunities to: 

  • complete secondary school education (Grade 12 or equivalent);
  • improve language skills; and
  • upgrade literacy and/or numerical skills 

Job-specific skills training includes:   

Basic workplace skills and training placements which contribute to the development of occupational skills in demand in the local labour market:

  • First Aid/CPR, Automated External Defibrillation
  • Safe Food Handling
  • WHMIS (Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System)
  • Smart Serve
  • Service Excellence 

These programs are designed to provide participants with the skills to enhance their ability to find gainful employment and to enhance their everyday lives.