Frequently Asked Questions

Application

How do I apply for the ETG?
Employer applicants complete an online application through the Skills Training Grants System. To access the system, applicants need a Business BCeID account. It can take up to two weeks to receive a BCeID.

Can I pay a grant writing company to complete the application process for me? 
No, only employers and their authorized employees may apply. Employers are not permitted to share their BCeID user login ID. Third parties (e.g. grant writers, training providers, fee-based service providers) cannot apply on an employer’s behalf.

Failure to abide by BCeID’s Terms of Use may result in the suspension or cancellation of the User Login ID. The Province may pursue additional action as necessary to support BCeID’s Terms of Use and to ensure ETG program integrity.

Can a participant apply to the ETG directly?
No, employers must apply to the ETG on behalf of participants. Self-employed individuals are eligible to apply for training under the Technical, Workforce and Employment Transition Training streams.

How much does it cost to apply?
There are no fees associated with applying to the ETG.

How do I apply if I do not have internet access?
Applicants without internet access should contact WorkBC General Inquiries by phone at 1-877-952-6914.

Can I apply for other government funding to cover the cost of training?
No, applicants may not receive funding from another government program that duplicates the costs requested through the ETG. For the streams where employers are required to contribute funds, employers may seek funding from other sources to cover their contribution.

What stream do I apply under?
The ETG accepts applications under four different “streams”. Please see the easy to follow diagram, Choosing the Right Stream. Once the appropriate stream has been determined, applicants must review the Eligibility Criteria to ensure that their business, participant(s), training and costs are eligible. Applicants with questions about their application may contact WorkBC General Inquiries  (by phone, fax, email or online chat) or the ETG by email at ETG@gov.bc.ca.

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.

What happens if I apply for training under the wrong stream?
Once submitted, applications cannot be moved from one stream to another. Applicants will need to cancel their application and submit a new application under the correct stream. 

How does a participant find their National Occupation Classification (NOC) code?
The NOC is a system used to classify jobs. Jobs are grouped based on the type of work a person does and the types of job duties. Participants must enter a four-digit NOC code on their Participant Information Form (PIF). To find the NOC that best matches a job, click here

How does an employer find their North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code?
Employers must provide a four-digit NAICS code that best matches their principal business activity. Four-digit NAICS codes can be found here.

How do I make changes after I have been approved?
Once an agreement has been accepted, applicants can only make changes to the start date, end date and training provider. The approved course must remain the same and the start date must still fall within the approved intake period. Changes to the training provider must be requested before the training start date. Employers make these changes in the Skills Training Grants System. For any other changes, applicants must reject or cancel their agreement and submit a new application. 

How long will the ETG intake periods remain open?
The length of time the intake periods stay open varies depending on the stream and the number of applications received. Opening and closing dates are posted on the ETG web pages.

Assessment

How are applications prioritized?
Applications submitted under the Foundational, Technical and Workforce Training streams are prioritized and no longer assessed solely on a first come, first served basis. Priority is given to first-time applicants, small businesses, applicants from disadvantaged regions and applicants from 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.

Applications for training under the Employment Transition Training Stream will be assessed in the order they are received.

How do I know if my application will be assessed?
Due to limited funding, some applications will not be assessed. The ETG will contact all applicants as soon as possible. Please note that priority applications must still meet the stream-specific Eligibility Criteria for approval.

How long will it take to receive a decision on my application?
Processing times vary depending on the number of applications received. Under the Foundational, Technical and Workforce Training streams, 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. Employers will be notified as soon as a decision has been made.

An employer may apply and proceed with training before the application is approved. However, if the application is not approved, the employer will be responsible for all training costs.

Applications for training under the Employment Transition Training Stream will be assessed in the order they are received.

What are some common reasons applications are denied?

  • ​​​Applications are submitted by a third party (not the employer)
  • Employers request training for a full diploma or degree program
  • Employers request out-of-province training under the Workforce or Foundational Training streams
  • Training demonstrates low value for money

​What is value for money? How is it determined?
To be eligible for funding, training rates must be competitive and deliver 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?
  • By choosing this training provider or course, did the employer attempt to minimize cost while maximizing quality?
  • What are the main drivers of cost? Is it possible to get the desired quality of training for less money?
  • What will the results be? Is it clear how training will lead to a job for an unemployed person or 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, applicants are encouraged to seek clarification by contacting the ETG at ETG@gov.bc.ca. For applicants who don’t understand why their application or claim was denied, program staff can provide clarification. Applicants who still believe that their application or claim should not have been denied and would like to submit a formal appeal may send a request to ETGappeals@gov.bc.ca.

Funding Amounts

What is the maximum reimbursement amount an employer may receive?
The total value of submitted applications (approved, denied or withdrawn) cannot exceed $300,000 per employer, per fiscal year (April 1 – March 31).

What is the maximum reimbursement amount an employer may receive per participant?
The maximum ETG amount per participant varies by stream:
 
Stream Government Contribution Funding Limit per Participant
Foundational 100% $10,000
Technical 80% $10,000
Workforce 60% $5,000
Employment Transition 100% $20,000
 
Here is an example under the Workforce Training Stream:
  • An application with one participant has a total training cost of $9,000, 60 percent of that would be $5,400. Since the maximum participant amount is $5,000, the total government contribution for that application would be $5,000.
  • If the application has 10 participants with a total training cost of $90,000, the total government contribution for that application would be $50,000.
Can I get an advance on the amount I’ve been approved for?
No, employers can only apply for reimbursement once training has started and only after they have paid the training provider in full for training.

What should I do if the cost of training is in U.S. dollars?
Employers must convert the cost to Canadian dollars and include this amount in their application. The ETG will use receipts to confirm the reimbursement amount based on the value of the Canadian dollar at time of payment of the training. If the converted amount is greater than the approved amount, the employer will be responsible for expenses above the approved amount.

Eligibility


Employer Eligibility


My business is not registered on the Corporate Registry with B.C. Registry Services. Can I still apply for the ETG?
Under the Foundational, Technical and Workforce Training streams, employers must demonstrate that they have been operational for at least one year at the time of application. There are various ways to demonstrate operationality, such as being registered with B.C. Registry Services and having a business license. Employers not registered with B.C. Registry Services or employers operating without a business licence are still eligible to apply but will be asked to provide additional information.
 
I do not have a business licence. Can I apply to the ETG?
Yes, employers that are not required to obtain a business licence to operate may still apply. These employers may be asked to provide other documentation to show that their business has been in operation for at least a year at the time of application.

My business has been registered for a while, but I am not currently operating. Am I eligible?
Under the Foundational, Technical and Workforce Training streams, no. Under these streams, a business must be well established and fully operational to qualify. Under the Employment Transition Training Stream, the ETG will consider businesses that are no longer operational as a result of mill closures or curtailments in impacted communities.

I am planning to start a new business. Can I access ETG funding?
Under the Foundational, Technical and Workforce Training streams, no, a business must be well established and fully operational to be eligible for funding. Under these streams, employers must demonstrate that they have been operational for at least one year at the time of application.

Applicants to the Employment Transition Training Stream are eligible for training to start a new business, if all other criteria for that stream are met. 


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Participant Eligibility


Are individuals who are not yet employees eligible for training?
At the time of application, participants must be unemployed OR current employees of the applicant. Individuals employed by a company other than the applicant are ineligible.

Are self-employed individuals eligible?
Yes, but only under the Employment Transition, Technical and Workforce Training streams. Owners are not eligible participants under the Foundational Training Stream.

Are high school students eligible?
Only training costs associated with the non-high school portion of training is eligible. Any program available free of charge will not be supported by the ETG. The employer must have a job available for the student at the end of training. Students under 15 years old are not eligible.

Are contracted workers eligible?
Yes, contracted employees are eligible when there is a job with the employer applicant once the training has been completed.

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, participants must be Canadian citizens, permanent residents, or protected persons (as designated under the Canada Immigration and Refugee Protection Act) entitled to work in Canada.

Are participants required to be B.C. residents?
The specific job for which the participant is being trained to perform must be with a B.C. employer. Participants must be Canadian citizens, permanent residents, or persons protected under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (Canada), who are legally allowed to work in Canada at the time of application.

Are family members of employers eligible?
As stewards of public funds, the program 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 the ETG may determine there is a real or perceived conflict of interest. 


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Training Eligibility


Training has already started. Can I still apply?
No, training cannot have started before an application is submitted. The purpose of the ETG is to assist employers to provide skills training to their current or future employees they otherwise might not have been able to provide. It is not intended to replace investments that employers are already making in training for their staff.

Can training begin before an application is approved?
Yes, but if training begins before the application is assessed, the employer is liable for all training costs that are not approved.

Is training that takes place at the workplace eligible?
Yes, if an eligible third party training provider delivers the training. Workplace training delivered by the employer or an employee is not eligible, except for training delivered through the Technical Training Stream as in-house training. Please refer to the ETG Eligibility Criteria for more details.

Can my employees participate in training outside of B.C.?
Training delivered outside of B.C. is eligible when similar training is not available in B.C. Out-of-province training will be considered, but only under exceptional circumstances. A business case may be required.

Are travel costs eligible for funding?
Travel costs are covered under certain conditions. Please refer to Appendix C of the ETG Eligibility Criteria for eligible travel costs and limits.

Is online training that is delivered by a training provider based outside of B.C. eligible?
Yes, however, the cost of online training should not exceed similar training available in B.C. at a lesser cost.

What if I can’t follow through on training under my agreement?
Employers must cancel their agreement through the Skills Training Grants System or inform the ETG as soon as possible at ETG@gov.bc.ca.


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Training Provider Eligibility


Is there a list of approved training providers eligible for ETG funding?
No, previous approval of a training provider does not guarantee approval in the future. All applications are assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Can I assume that if a training provider was approved under a previous ETG or Canada-Job Grant agreement, that they would still be an eligible training provider?
No, each application is assessed on a case-by-case basis. Decisions are made based on the information available at the time of assessment.

Reimbursement

When and how can I claim my reimbursement?
To receive funding, employers must submit a completed reimbursement claim through the Skills Training Grants System within 30 days of the start of training. The Ministry may cancel an approved agreement if reimbursement claims are not received by this time. For more details, please review How to Claim for Reimbursement.

What are some common reasons for claims being denied?
  • Training occurred outside of the fiscal year for which it was approved
  • Participants were deemed ineligible for training (e.g. were employed by an employer other than the applicant, were not Canadian citizens, or, under the Foundational Training Stream, were not unemployed or were not low-skilled/working in a low-skilled occupation)
  • Claims did not include necessary documents (e.g. itemized receipts)
  • Participants were not offered employment upon the completion of training
What if a participant does not complete their training?
Participants are expected to complete training. Reimbursement claims for participants who do not complete training are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. 

What if I can’t pay for the full cost of training immediately? Can I make arrangements with the training provider to pay later?
No, the employer is expected to pay for the full cost of training before they submit a claim for reimbursement. The employer must provide an itemized receipt with the reimbursement claim that confirms that they have paid the training provider in full. 

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. Employers should consult their accountant or the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) for tax advice.

Participant Information Forms

Why do I 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, the ETG is required to collect personal information and to share that information with the Government of Canada. The ETG also uses personal information to determine participant eligibility. 

Do all participants have to complete a Participant Information Form (PIF)?
Yes, employers must ensure that all participants complete and sign a PIF. Employers will not be reimbursed for any training costs for participants who do not complete and submit a PIF. 

Do I have to complete any surveys after I have completed my training?
Yes, all participants are required to complete two satisfaction surveys at approximately 3 months and 12 months following completion of their training. The surveys ask basic questions about an employer’s satisfaction with the outcomes of training, and whether the training met employment needs. Applicants may volunteer to provide a testimonial regarding their ETG training experience.

Applicants 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.

What personal information is shared with the Government of Canada?
The ETG is funded through an 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:
  • Name
  • Social Insurance Number (SIN)
  • Address
  • Date of birth
  • Telephone number
  • Email address
  • Gender
  • Indigenous identity
  • Immigrant status
  • Immigration year
  • Visible minority status
  • Disability status
  • Highest level of education
  • Employment status
  • Employment Insurance status if applicable
  • Income Assistance status if applicable
  • Program/training details
  • Name of training
  • Training start/end date
  • Training outcome
  • Credential/certificate earned
  • National Occupational Classification
  • Increase in literacy and essential skills 
How will the Government of Canada use my personal information?
Contact 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. For more details around how information may be used, please contact ETG@gov.bc.ca.