Grant Overview

B.C. is striving to build a strong, sustainable, innovative economy with a focus on reducing poverty and inequality. 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 of those requiring adult upgrading, English language skills, literacy training or basic essential skills. Please visit WorkBC - Essential Skills and Literacy and Skills Training for Employment for resource and program information.

For information on application evaluation please refer to “Eligibility Criteria and Application Evaluation” under Eligibility Criteria.

Stream 1: The Emerging Priorities Stream supports communities experiencing workforce challenges or emerging opportunities that require occupational skills training to address. Some reasons for the shift may be a new economic development opportunity or an ongoing transition in the local labour market that has resulted from an industry closure or expansion, a natural disaster such as a forest fire or a flood, or other conditions that have impacted employment in the community.

Eligible applicants under this stream are:
  • Non-profit service providers
  • Local governments
  • Unions certified to represent employees under the B.C. Labour Relations Code
  • Major employer in a community with a single resource economy
Stream 2: The Indigenous Communities Stream provides funding to Indigenous communities for the occupational skills training and supports needed to meet local labour market needs.
 
Eligible applicants under this stream are:
  • First Nations governments
  • Tribal Councils
  • Province-wide Indigenous organizations
  • Indigenous-owned or directed non-profit social agencies
  • Friendship centers whose aim is to serve First Nations, Métis or Inuit people.
Stream 3: The Workforce Shortages Stream supports sectors and industries in addressing immediate workforce shortages within the in-demand occupations. It provides funding for occupational skills training and employment supports for British Columbians who are currently unemployed, precariously employed, or employed on a part-time or seasonal basis.
 
Eligible applicants under this stream are:
  • Industry, sector and employer associations
  • Unions certified to represent employees under the B.C. Labour Relations Code

Funding for Streams 1-3:

  • The maximum funding per application is $300,000 to cover skills training, employment support services and participant financial supports.
  • 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.
  • Successful applicants are eligible for up to 10% of the total costs of project delivery to support project administration. This value may vary between streams.
Stream 4: The Skills Training for Economic Recovery Stream supports the StrongerBC Economic Plan. It is designed to provide short-term occupational skills training to people so they can access and develop the knowledge, skills and competencies to quickly secure sustainable employment.  The maximum duration of a project funded under this stream is 52 weeks.

Eligible applicants under this stream are: Funding for Stream 4:
  • The maximum funding per participant is $8,000. See “Eligible Costs” section of the stream criteria for further details regarding trades and regulated training. 
  • Eligible costs include skills training, employment support services, participant financial supports, and up to 10% of the total costs of project delivery to support project administration.
Stream 5: The Community Response Stream is intended to meet the immediate skills training needs of communities impacted by downturns in the forest sector as a result of—but not limited to—old-growth deferrals, mill closures and curtailments.

Eligible applicants under this stream are:
  • Non-profit service providers serving rural and remote communities
  • First Nations and local governments
  • Unions certified to represent employees under the B.C. Labour Relations Code
  • Major employer in a community with a single resource economy
  • Industry, sector, and employer associations 
  • Skills training providers (see Community Response Stream criteria for more details)
Funding for Stream 5:
  • The maximum funding per application is $300,000
  • The maximum funding per participant is $20,000 per fiscal year (April 1 to March 31). This amount is cumulative across CWRG-funded projects within the same fiscal year.
  • Eligible costs include skills training, employment support services, participant financial supports with a training allowance, and up to 10% of the total costs of project delivery to support project administration.