Services and Supports
Through the Employment Program of BC (EPBC), a wide range of services and supports are available to help BC job seekers find and maintain employment and improve employment readiness.
EPBC services are delivered through WorkBC Centres (ESC) and fall into two categories: general services and supplemental services. Clients may also be eligible for financial supports. Some program services have specific eligibility requirements.
These are services delivered at the storefront WorkBC ESC (self-serve services, apprentice services, case management, and case managed services).
These services may be delivered at the storefront ESC, through other qualified service providers at other locations or training institutes, depending on the type of service being delivered (Training services, Self-Employment services, and specialized assessment services).
These supports assist eligible clients in financial need with the costs of basic expenses required for Program participation, job search or starting jobs. In some cases, employed individuals at significant risk of losing employment due to a disability, may be eligible for financial supports to enable employment retention.
Self-serve services provide all BC job seekers with readily available job search tools, information, equipment, services and supports that can be accessed independently or with minimal support.
There are three distinct components of self-serve services available through the program. Every WorkBC ESC storefront location in British Columbia will provide the following self-serve services:
- A staffed self-serve resource area
- Self-serve job search and employment-focused Workshops
- Job search and job start financial supports when determined by the EPBC service provider as essential and when a client has no other means available to access needed supports.
An apprentice is an individual who is registered in an Industry Training Authority (ITA) approved training program. Apprentices who meet Employment Insurance (EI) client eligibility requirements are eligible for financial supports through the program while participating in the classroom technical training components of their apprenticeship training. Most apprentices will have an employer sponsor with whom they are completing the on-the-job components of their apprentice training.
Eligible clients who do not have a sponsor and who are seeking to access apprenticeship training, and apprentices who have lost their employer sponsorship due to lay-off, may be considered for case management services to assess their need and eligibility for apprentice services and to help them establish an employer relationship.
Apprentices are either case managed and will have their employment needs assessed as other eligible program clients or non-case managed and are served through the Apprentice On-Line Portal (AOP). Historically, approximately 80% of apprentices applying for financial supports have not required case management services. In the EPBC, this is expected to continue and these apprentices will be served through the AOP.
For more information, please visit our Apprenticeship page.
Case management is provided to EPBC clients who are assessed by the EPBC service provider to require more intensive services and support than self-serve services alone to achieve labour market attachment.
Clients potentially needing case management services may be identified at reception during their initial visit to the WorkBC ESC, or while accessing the self-serve resource area, and are offered formal needs assessments to determine their employment needs and readiness and confirm the need for case management.
BC Employment and Assistance (BCEA) clients with employment obligations who have been formally referred to the program by the ministry’s regional services division are also provided with a formal needs assessment for case management.
Case management is a collaborative process between a case manager and a client to support the client in achieving the highest level of labour market participation possible.
The case management process involves:
- Assessing a client’s employment readiness and employment-related needs
- Assisting the client to identify a realistic and achievable employment objective(s)
- Developing a mutually agreed to action plan to support the client to achieve employment objectives
- Providing employment counselling, services, and, financial supports (where identified as needed through a financial needs assessment) to assist the client to achieve labour market attachment
- Supporting and monitoring client progress through regular follow up to Action Plan completion and until the client has successfully achieved and maintained a labour market or community attachment outcome.
Case Managed Services
Case managed services are those services provided to or for case managed clients. These include employment support services (which includes placement services) and self-employment orientation and assessment.
Employment Support Services
Employment Support Services (ESS) include:
- Group based workshops and/or individual employment counselling sessions on topics related to preparing for, finding, obtaining and maintaining employment.
- Group workshops and individual sessions are generally focused on job search and employment, but may also include topics that support clients to improve employment readiness. In some cases, group workshops may also include short term orientation and certificate training courses that are required for entry level jobs in an occupation or industry.
Customized job placement services and work experience placement services are designed to assist eligible case managed clients who:
- Require intensive, individualized support to obtain jobs
- Need work experience to improve their ability to find and maintain employment.
These services include:
- Job development services
- Customized employment development services
- Work experience placements
- Unpaid work experience placements
- Wage subsidy work experience placements with employers
- Job creation partnerships work experience placements on community benefit projects.
Self-Employment Orientation and Assessment Services
Self-Employment (SE) orientation and assessment services are provided to clients who are unable to obtain sustainable employment in the local labour market and who have been assessed as eligible for, needing and potentially suitable for SE services through a formal needs assessment.
This service is designed to provide information on SE Services, create awareness about entrepreneurship, and confirm client suitability and self-employment readiness as well as business concept eligibility for Program support.
SE orientation and assessment services must be completed before a client is approved to participate in the program’s SE services.
Training services are available to assist eligible case managed clients access a range of different types of training needed to help them prepare for the labour market. There are three types of training in the EPBC: essential skills training, Short-Term Orientation and Certificate training and skills training.
Essential skills training
Essential skills training includes a variety of topics that are intended to improve basic employment readiness and can be taught as stand-alone courses or combined with other forms of skills training (e.g. literacy and/or numeracy could be combined with other skills training topics). Training duration may vary from a few days to sometimes several weeks or months, depending on the topic and whether or not topics are combined.
Short-Term Orientation and Certificate training
Short-Term Orientation and Certificate (STOC) training is to support clients meet minimum entry requirements for a job or an industry. STOC training is never more than a few days in length and must normally be part of a group based job search workshop.
Skills training enables clients to develop skills for the labour market, including occupational skills training, academic pre-requisites for skills training or employment, and language skills training. Language courses normally do not exceed a few months, and academic upgrading as a perquisite for occupational skills training can be as brief as a month or two, or take up to a few years to complete. Occupational skills training normally does not exceed one year in length, but can sometimes be longer.
The objective of Self-Employment (SE) Services is to help eligible case managed clients, who have successfully completed Self-Employment orientation and assessment services and had their business concept accepted, to create jobs for themselves by starting a business. Clients who participate in SE services are expected to become self-sufficient and independent through self-employment upon completion.
There are three distinct components of Self-Employment services available through the program:
- Business plan development
- Entrepreneurial workshops
- Business launch and implementation
Coaching and mentoring by service providers with specialized expertise in self-employment business knowledge is provided throughout Self-Employment services.
Specialized Assessment Services
Specialized assessments are employment-related assessments conducted by professionally qualified assessors. The purpose of this service is to effectively assist case managed clients who have significant and complex employment-related assessment needs to achieve the highest, level of labour market participation possible.
A range of different types of specialized assessments are available for use with clients to determine a client’s employment-related abilities, strengths, and employment service needs when they are not evident through the multi-dimensional needs assessment, client interviews, employment counseling, other assessment resources or through existing information that may be available from the client.
Financial supports are available to eligible clients of the program under specific conditions. The supports are intended to assist clients in financial need with the costs of basic expenses required for Job Search, Job Start, program participation, and in some cases, employment retention for employed clients with disabilities who are at significant risk of job loss due to their disability.
The following types of costs are eligible for financial support in the EPBC:
- Living supports to assist with basic living expenses (Employment Insurance (EI) Clients only)
- Transportation supports
- Dependent care supports
- Essential work clothing
- Essential work supplies, tools and equipment
- Other Incidental training related costs and fees
- Personal grooming and hygiene (BC Employment Assistance (BCEA) Clients only)
- Food (when required for participation in full-day workshops or other full-day services)
- Employment related disability support costs
Other essential Financial Supports for costs that are not listed as an eligible expense in an existing cost category, and which have been assessed by an EPBC Service Provider as essential for Job Start, or when a Client requires an employment related disability support, may be provided under some circumstances.