Frequently Asked Questions
How do I apply for funding from the Employer Training Grant (ETG)?
If you are an employer looking to apply for a training grant, you can apply online using the Skills Training Grants System. To access the system, you will need a Business BCeID account. Please note it can take up to two weeks to receive a BCeID.
For further information on the Skills Training Grants System and how to obtain a Business BCeID account, consult our Application Support and Troubleshooting guide.
Can I pay a grant writing company to complete the application process for me?
No, third parties (e.g. grant writers, trainers, fee-based service providers) cannot apply on your behalf. Employers must apply on behalf of themselves and their employees.
Are self-employed individuals eligible?
Yes, if you are self-employed (for example, a business owner) you are eligible to apply.
Can a participant apply to the ETG directly?
Generally no, employers must apply on behalf of themselves and their employees; however, if you are self-employed (for example, a business owner) you can apply and include yourself as a participant.
How do I apply if I do not have internet access?
Please contact WorkBC General Inquiries by phone at 1-877-952-6914.
Can I apply for other government funding to cover the cost of training?
You cannot receive ETG funding when training costs are already covered by another funding source (e.g. government grant or bursary); however, you may apply to the ETG to cover any costs not covered by another funding source.
Can participants pay for any training costs?
No, employers must pay for all training and training-related expenses. We use receipts to verify this before reimbursements are made.
What if I don’t know who the participant(s) will be? Can I still apply?
No, to ensure participants are eligible, we need to know who participants will be when you apply. We also require Participant Information Forms, which must be completed by each employee before an application can be submitted.
What if I can’t answer all the questions on the application form?
Please contact WorkBC General Inquiries by phone, fax, email or online chat, or the ETG by email at ETG@gov.bc.ca.
How does an employer find their North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code?
When completing your organizational profile, you will be presented with a series of drop-down options that correspond to your NAICS code. At each level, please choose the option that best matches the main activity of your business. For more information about NAICS codes, please visit the Government of Canada’s website.
How do I change the training dates that I included in my application?
For an application that has not been approved, if training will still start within the fiscal year in which you applied (April 1–March 31), please e-mail ETG@gov.bc.ca with your application number and the new training dates. If you would like to change training dates outside of the fiscal year in which you applied, you must withdraw your application and re-apply.
For an application that has been approved, you can make changes to training dates if training will still start within the fiscal year in which you were approved (April 1–March 31). To update the training dates after your application has been approved, follow these step-by-step instructions.
I have been approved, but would like to change trainers. How do I update my Agreement?
You will need to log in to the Skills Training Grants System and submit a "Training Provider Change Request" before training begins. To submit a change request, follow these step-by-step instructions. Please note that the type of training and cost must be the same as the initial application. If there are changes to the type of training and/or costs, you will need to withdraw your application and re-apply.
Can I change participants on an application that has been submitted but not yet approved?
Yes, but only if training has not started. To do so, simply withdraw your application, and re-apply. If you are unable to withdraw your application, please contact ETG@gov.bc.ca.
Can I change a participant on an approved Agreement?
No, you will need to cancel your Agreement and re-apply; however, you cannot re-apply for training that has already started.
How do I submit a reimbursement claim when the cost of training will be different than the approved amounts?
You will be able to submit a reimbursement claim for an amount equal to, or lesser than, the amounts outlined in your agreement. We will not reimbursement you for more than the amount outlined in your agreement.
How do I increase the training cost on an application that I submitted?
You must withdraw your application and re-apply.
How do I update my BCeID profile so that another employee from my organization can manage my grant application?
Please refer to the Business BCeID Questions and Answers for how to manage your BCeID.
Do I need to do anything after training has been completed?
Yes, you must submit a completion report through the Skills Training Grants System once all participants have completed training. We also require employers and participants to engage in evaluation and review activities, which include follow up surveys via phone or email.
How are applications prioritized?
Priority is given to first-time applicants, small businesses, and applicants from regions and industries facing the greatest challenges acquiring skilled workers. By prioritizing applications, the ETG can allocate limited funds to support those applications that best align with the intent of the program and broader objectives of the Province. Learn more about B.C.’s labour market and industries. Please note that priority applications will still be assessed against the latest Eligibility Criteria.
How do I know if my application will be assessed?
Due to the high number of applications we receive, your application may not be assessed if it does not fall into at least one of the above prioritization categories. All applicants will receive a decision in 60 days or less.
How long will it take to receive a decision on my application?
Most applicants receive a decision in two weeks. Applications that align with all four priority factors will be assessed first, while those that align with three of the four priority factors will be assessed second, and so forth. You will be notified as soon as a decision has been made. All applicants will receive a decision in 60 days or less.
You may apply and proceed with training before your application is approved; however, if the application is not approved or is returned unassessed, you will be responsible for costs incurred.
What are some common reasons applications are denied?
What is value for money? How is it determined?
- Applications are submitted by a third party (not the employer)
- Employers request training for a diploma or degree program, in full or in part
- Employers request out-of-province training when similar training is available from a B.C.-based trainer
- Employers choose training that demonstrates low value for money
To be eligible for funding, you must choose training that is competitively priced and delivers the best possible value for money. Value for money isn’t just about cutting costs or choosing the cheapest training. Some training may be costly but still deliver high value for money, while some training may be inexpensive and provide low value for money. Value for money is determined by asking questions about cost, efficiency, effectiveness and equity. For example:
- Is training of this quality being offered at the best price?
- What are the main drivers of cost? Is it possible to get the desired quality of training for less money?
- By choosing this trainer or course, did the employer attempt to minimize cost while maximizing quality?
- What will the results be? Is it clear how training will lead to a job for an unemployed person, or increased job security / a better job for someone who is already employed?
- Is grant funding being distributed equitably?
What if I believe my application was denied in error? Can I appeal the decision?
Yes, but before submitting an appeal, please seek clarification if you don’t understand why it was denied. If you still do not agree with the decision, you will receive the Appeal Guidelines. Appeals must be received within 15 days of the denial decision date.
What is the maximum amount our business can receive?
Employers may receive up to $300,000 per fiscal year (April 1 – March 31).
What is the maximum amount our business may receive per participant?
Employers may receive up to $10,000 per participant, per fiscal year (April 1 – March 31).
Can I receive some or all of the grant before training starts?
No, you must apply for reimbursement after training has started and after you have paid the trainer in full.
What should I do if the cost of training is in U.S. dollars?
You must convert the cost to Canadian dollars and include this amount in your application. We will use receipts to confirm the reimbursement amount based on the currency exchange rate at the time you paid for training. If the converted amount is greater than the approved amount, you will be responsible for expenses above the approved amount.
My business is not registered on the Corporate Registry with B.C. Registry Services. Can I still apply?
We check that your business is registered to verify that your business has been fully operational for at least one year at the time of application. You can still apply if you are not registered with B.C. Registry Services, but we may ask for additional documents to ensure you are fully operational, such as Notices of Assessment issued by the Canada Revenue Agency, or corporate financial statements.
My business is operational, but I don’t have a business licence. Can I still apply?
We ask for a business license to verify that your business has been fully operational for at least one year at the time of application. You can still apply if you do not require a business license to operate, but we may ask for additional documents to ensure you are fully operational, such as Notices of Assessment issued by the Canada Revenue Agency, or corporate financial statements.
My business has been registered for a while, but I am not currently operating. Am I eligible?
No, your business must be fully operational for at least one year at the time of application.
I am planning to start a new business. Am I eligible?
No, your business must be fully operational for at least a year at the time of application.
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Are individuals who are not yet employees eligible for training?
Yes, but only when the individual is unemployed at the time of application, and you will hire them as a result of training. Individuals employed by a company other than yours at the time of application are ineligible.
Are high school students eligible?
Yes, but only training costs associated with the non-high school portion of training is eligible. We don’t support programs that are available for free.
Are contracted workers eligible?
Yes, contracted workers are eligible if you will hire them as a result of training.
Are refugees eligible?
Yes, refugees are eligible; however, refugee claimants are ineligible. (A refugee claimant is someone who has arrived in Canada and has claimed refugee status but has not yet been deemed a refugee.)
Are temporary foreign workers eligible?
No, temporary foreign workers, including international students and those with working holiday visas, are ineligible. Participants must be Canadian citizens, permanent residents, or protected persons (as designated under the Canada Immigration and Refugee Protection Act) who are legally allowed to work in Canada at the time of application. You may be requested to provide verification of residency.
Are employees who live outside of B.C. eligible?
Yes, if you are an eligible B.C.-based employer and are paying for training, and you intend to hire or continue to employ participants from within B.C.
How does an employee find their National Occupation Classification (NOC) code?
For help finding the NOC that best matches a job title, click here.
What if a participant is collecting Employment Insurance (EI) or Income Assistance (IA) at the time of training?
EI or IA clients may be eligible for training funded by the ETG if approval is obtained by the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction (SDPR) before training starts. Please refer to Appendix A of the ETG Eligibility Criteria for more details. Additional questions regarding Income Assistance can be directed to SDPR at 1-866-866-0800 or here.
Are family members eligible?
Family members may be eligible. We must ensure there are no real or perceived conflicts of interest between an employer and the choice of participant. Please refer to Appendix D of the ETG Eligibility Criteria for examples of situations where we may determine there is a real or perceived conflict of interest. If you plan on choosing a family member to receive ETG-funded training, please contact us at ETG@gov.bc.ca before you apply.
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Training has already started. Can I still apply?
No, training cannot have started before you apply. Our goal is to assist employers to provide skills training to current or future employees that they otherwise might not have been able to provide. Grants are not intended to replace investments that employers are already making in training their staff.
Can training begin before I receive a decision on my application?
Yes, but even though the application may be approved, some costs may be determined to be ineligible. Also, if you begin training and the application is denied or returned unassessed, you will be responsible for incurred costs.
Is training that takes place at the workplace eligible?
Yes, if an eligible third-party trainer delivers the training. Workplace training delivered by one of your employees is ineligible.
Can my employees participate in training outside of B.C.?
Training must be provided by a B.C.-based trainer. We may consider training delivered by trainers not based in B.C. under exceptional circumstances only (e.g. training is not available from a B.C.-based trainer).
Does the program help with travel costs?
Yes, travel costs are eligible under certain conditions. Please refer to Appendix C
of the ETG Eligibility Criteria for details.
What if I can’t follow through on training under my Agreement?
Please cancel your Agreement through the Skills Training Grants System
. If a reimbursement was made, please contact the ETG as soon as possible at ETG@gov.bc.ca
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Is there a list of approved programs, courses or trainers eligible for ETG funding?
No, all applications are assessed on a case-by-case basis. Previous approval of a program, course or trainer does not guarantee approval in the future.
When and how can I claim my reimbursement?
To receive reimbursement, you must submit a completed reimbursement claim through the Skills Training Grants System within 30 days after the start of training. For more details, please review the latest Reimbursement Guidelines.
What are some common reasons claims are denied?
- Claims do not include valid receipts or necessary supporting documentation
- Training occurred outside of the fiscal year for which it was approved
- Participants were found to be ineligible (e.g. did not meet citizenship requirements)
What if a participant does not complete training?
Please contact us at ETG@gov.bc.ca if you expect a participant will not complete training. Reimbursement claims for participants who do not complete training are reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
If I receive funding from the ETG, do I need to report these amounts for tax purposes?
Yes, the amount received by the ETG is taxable. You should consult your accountant or the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) for tax advice.
Participant Information Forms
Why do employees need to complete a Participant Information Form (PIF)?
The Government of Canada provides funding for the ETG under the Workforce Development Agreement (WDA). Under the WDA, we are required to collect personal information and to share that information with the Government of Canada. We also use this information to determine participant eligibility.
Do all employees have to complete a Participant Information Form (PIF)?
Yes, all employees must submit their own Participant Information Forms before an application can be submitted.
What personal information is shared with the Government of Canada?
We are funded through the Workforce Development Agreement between the Province of B.C. and the Government of Canada. As part of this Agreement, the ETG is required to collect the following information:
Social Insurance Number (SIN)
Date of birth
Visible minority status
Highest level of education
Employment Insurance status (if applicable)
Income Assistance status (if applicable)
Name of training
Training start/end date
National Occupational Classification
Increase in literacy and essential skills
How will the Government of Canada use my personal information?
Participant information is used to administer two mandatory satisfaction surveys at approximately 3 and 12 months after training is completed. The Government of Canada will use this information to monitor, assess and evaluate the effectiveness of the ETG. Participants with any other questions about the use of this information may contact WorkBC General Inquiries (by phone, fax, email or online chat) or the ETG by email at ETG@gov.bc.ca.