Continuing education, sometimes even funded by the province, may provide Ontarians with the career reboot they need.

Looking for work when you're older has unique challenges. And while being jobless is daunting at any age, it can be overwhelming if you've spent the majority of your life gainfully employed and able to make ends meet. It's easy to feel marginalized by ageism and think, "This is it. I'll never get another job." So what can you do? For many, the next step includes returning to the classroom.

One program available is through Employment Ontario, the Ministry of Training, Colleges and University's integrated employment and training network. Second Career (www.ontario.ca) aims to help unemployed and laid-off workers acquire skills training to find employment in high-demand occupations in Ontario.

Second Career helps with tuition expenses, books, transportation and basic living costs. There is not a specific list of Second Career schools – you can attend any educational institution of your choice as long as the school is a registered private career college or public college and universities are excluded. You work with an employment counsellor to determine what's right for you. Since the program began in June 2008, more than 85,000 applications have been approved. In 2014-15 alone, more than 20 per cent were people over 50.

Up next: Second career successes

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