Training programs for unemployed workers
Learn more about the options available for workers who want to get job training while receiving Unemployment Insurance benefits.
Our Workforce Development division maintains its own comprehensive list of training and education opportunities, which you can find here.
You may be able to collect Unemployment Insurance benefits while attending a training program. The Department of Labor and Workforce Development must approve the training. If you self-enroll in a training program that will increase your job skills to make you more employable, you must answer “yes” on your initial application or during the weekly certification when asked about school attendance. A claims examiner will then contact you by phone or email to determine if the training is approved so you can continue to collect benefits without meeting some of the eligibility requirements.
Occupational or skills-enhancement training may include technical and college training programs.
Training may be approved if:
- The training is for a labor demand occupation and will likely enhance your marketable skills and earning power. Training can include vocational or remedial education, or a combination of both. Labor demand occupations are professions for which there are, or likely will be, more job openings than there are adequately trained workers.
- The training is full-time. If training is part-time, you must be available for and actively seeking full-time employment in order to collect unemployment benefits.
- The training provider or school has met all state and local requirements to be approved to give training.
- You can reasonably be expected to complete the program.
Approved training does not include on-the-job training, or any other training where an employer pays you for your time.
Not sure if training is for you? Sign up for an orientation on training opportunities at your local One-Stop Career Center. Our trained career counselors can guide you in your plan to become reemployed.
Through New Jersey's Workforce Development Partnership (WDP), qualified unemployed workers can get an additional 26 weeks of benefits to complete approved training programs that extend beyond the regular unemployment period. This program is called Additional Benefits During Training (ABT) and you must get approval from a WDP counselor before you enroll.
You must tell us you're interested in training within 60 days of your last day worked, 30 days from the time we inform you of the ABT program, or 30 days from the time you and your counselor make an employability plan, whichever date is last.
You must also meet other requirements. You cannot be considered for ABT or a training grant if you enroll in training without working with a WDP counselor. Contact your local One-Stop Career Center for an appointment with a WDP counselor.
If you live in another state and are getting unemployment benefits through New Jersey, and are interested in ABT, contact the New Jersey claims office at 888-795-6672. You can enroll in training in another state with the help of a local career counselor, and then apply for ABT with us.
The Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program is a federal entitlement program that assists United States workers who have lost, or may lose, their jobs as a result of foreign trade. This program seeks to provide adversely affected workers with opportunities to obtain the skills, credentials, resources, and support necessary to become reemployed. Click here for additional information.
If your job skills need updating, you can apply for counseling and a grant to pay for tuition. There are two training grant programs available for laid-off workers. The Workforce Investment Act (WIA) and the New Jersey Workforce Development Partnership (WDP) programs offer grants to help pay part or all of the cost of the training program. The training must be in New Jersey. Counselors can help you find job-related training in labor demand occupations. (Labor demand occupations are professions for which there are, or likely will be, more job openings than there are adequately trained workers.) Contact your local One-Stop Career Center for more information.