Grant Overview

B.C. is striving to build a strong, sustainable, innovative economy with a focus on poverty and inequality reduction. We are working to create good-paying jobs for British Columbians, while ensuring people from every background have the opportunity to reach their full potential. 

The Community Workforce Response Grant program (CWRG) provides on average up to $10 million a year in funding for communities and sectors to support in-demand skills training leading to secure and sustainable employment for British Columbians who are training-ready and seeking to re-enter the labour force or to change their employment status. Priority is given to training projects offering occupational certifications, especially for in-demand skills. Visit WorkBC to explore high opportunity and in-demand skills that are vital to build B.C.’s economy.

A key goal of the grant is to provide flexible and timely responses to emerging and urgent labour and skills needs in B.C.’s communities and sectors.

Note: The CWRG program is not intended to meet the same needs as the B.C. Employer Training Grant (ETG). Please carefully review the objective and criteria of the CWRG program before applying. If you are an employer looking to train new or current employees, the ETG program may be the right program for you. Please visit the ETG website to learn more about this program.

The CWRG is also not intended to meet the needs for those requiring adult upgrading, English language skills, literacy training and basic essential skills. The B.C. ITA Essential Skills website can help those interested in the trades who want to improve their essential skills. For people experiencing barriers to employment, please visit the Skills Training for Employment website.

Stream 1: The Emerging Priorities Stream supports communities experiencing a shift in their labour market that requires skills training to address. Some reasons for the shift may be a new economic development opportunity or an industry closure or expansion, a natural disaster such as a forest fire or flood, or other conditions that have impacted employment in the community.

Eligible applicants under this stream are:
  • Non-profit service providers
  • Local governments
  • Unions
  • Major employer in a community with a single resource economy; or
  • Other relevant representatives supported by the community
Stream 2: The Indigenous Communities Stream provides funding to Indigenous communities for the skills training and supports needed to meet local labour market needs.
Eligible applicants under this stream are:
  • Indigenous governments, such as First Nations
  • Indigenous organizations that serve First Nations, Métis or Inuit people
Stream 3: The COVID Response: Workforce Shortages Stream supports sectors and industries to address the skills training needs of workers impacted by COVID-19. It provides funding for training, employment services and financial supports for unemployed and employed participants who require upskilling or training to prepare for changing job requirements related to COVID-19 or economic recovery opportunities.
Eligible applicants under this stream are:
  • Industry, sector and employer associations
  • Union halls and training boards

Funding for Streams 1-3:

  • The maximum funding per application is $300,000
  • The maximum funding per participant is $15,000 per fiscal year (April 1 to March 31)
  • ​This amount is cumulative across CWRG-funded projects within the same fiscal year

Stream 4: The Skills Training for Economic Recovery Stream is designed to provide short-term skills training to people impacted by COVID-19 so they can access and develop the knowledge, skills and competencies for good job opportunities while the economy recovers. Funded projects are intended to help people gain job-related skills, reattach to the labour market, and prepare for current and emerging job opportunities.

Please refer to the STER User Guide for this stream. The maximum duration of a project funded under this stream is 52 weeks.

Eligible applicants under this stream are:
  • B.C. public and private post-secondary institutions
  • B.C. private training institutions certified under the Private Training Act by the Private Training Institutions Branch (PTIB) of the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training
  • Aboriginal-controlled institutes
  • ITA-designated trade schools
  • Union halls and training boards
  • Industry, sector and employer associations
Funding for Stream 4:
  • The maximum funding per participant is $8,000.
  • Recommended minimum number of participants per cohort is 8.
  • Multiple applications from one applicant will be accepted.
  • Eligible costs include skills training, employment assistance services, participant financial supports, and up to 10% of the total costs of project delivery to support project administration.