Are you an unemployed or low-skilled individual looking to re-enter the labour force? If so, we have the program for you! The Employment Skills Access Program (ESA) is a Canada-British Columbia Labour Market Agreement (LMA) funded program that aims to provide tuition-free skills training to unemployed individuals in need of assistance transitioning into a new job. This government-sponsored program waives tuition and student fees for specific intensive training programs offered through 19 post-secondary institutions (all of which we’ve listed below).
The training programs that are offered through the ESA program are primarily focused on preparing individuals for entry-level employment in industries or occupations that are currently expecting or are projected to experience labour or skills shortages. The programs’ length will vary, ranging anywhere from three weeks up to a maximum of 12 months, and will work to provide participants with the recognized credentials for their occupational choice. Current training or certification standards will be met in each of the offered training programs. The program may also cover costs for books, course materials, transportation, and childcare, provided certain eligibility requirements are met.
As an ESA program participant you may receive the following:
You must be legally entitled to work in Canada.
You cannot be a student at the time of enrolment.
If you're currently employed you must answer "No" to either one of the questions below to meet the required definition of Low-Skilled:
If you're currently unemployed you must answer "No" to all four of the questions below in order to meet the required definition of a Non-EI Client:
If you met the definition requirements above for either a Low-Skilled or Non-EI Client, and you're legally entitled to work in Canada and not currently a student, then you are eligible to apply.
Listed below are all of the post-secondary institutions that accept ESA program participants. Each link will take you to the specific ESA pages for each institution, except for Thompson Rivers and Kwantlen Polytechnic.
Vancouver Island University
Northwest Community College
Royal Roads University
North Island College
Northern Lights College
British Columbia Institute of Technology
College of New Caledonia
College of the Rockies
Kwantlen Polytechnic University
Thompson Rivers University
University of Northern British Columbia
Vancouver Community College
Did you obtain employment through the Employment Skills Access program? If so, please comment below and share your experience!
You must be logged in to comment. Click here to log in.
Live Chat Support
is typically available
8:30am - 4:30pm PST
Monday to Friday.
Alternatively, contact us by
phone at 1-877-952-6914
Please visit our site help page to seek further assistance.