Frequently Asked Questions
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. Please consult our Application Support and Troubleshooting guide for further information on the Skills Training Grants System and how to obtain a Business BCeID account.
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.
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 and Workforce 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.
Can participants pay for any training costs?
No, participants are not to pay for training or any training-related expenses.
What stream do I apply under?
The ETG accepts applications under five different “streams”. Please visit the ETG overview page or the Choosing the Right Stream document. 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 don’t know who the participant(s) will be yet?
To ensure participants are eligible, the ETG requires all Participant Information Forms to be included with the application. Employers cannot submit an application if they don’t know who the participant(s) will be.
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 withdraw their application and submit a new application under the correct stream.
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.
My training dates have changed. How do I update my application or approved Agreement?
For an application which has not yet been approved, you can make changes to the start and end date if training still starts within the intake period in which you applied. Please e-mail ETG@gov.bc.ca with your application number and the revised training dates. For any other changes, including training that starts outside of the intake in which you applied, you must withdraw your application and re-apply.
For an approved Agreement, you can make changes to the start and end date of your Agreement if training still starts within the intake period in which you were approved. To update your training dates, follow these step-by-step instructions.
I have been approved, but have decided to choose a different training provider. How do I update my Agreement?
If you want to change a training provider after approval, you will need to log in to the Skills Training Grants System and submit a Training Provider Change Request before training begins. Please note that the training course and cost must be the same as the initial approval. If there are changes to the program and/or cost, you will need to withdraw your application and re-apply. To update your training provider, follow these step-by-step instructions.
Can I change a participant on an approved Agreement?
No, participants cannot be changed once an application has been approved. To change participants you will need to cancel your Agreement and resubmit a new application if training has not already started. If fewer participants took training than were approved, you may continue with training but submit a reimbursement claim for those participants only.
How do I change the number of participants on my approved Agreement?
You cannot increase the number of participants on an approved Agreement. If fewer participants took training than were approved, you may submit a reimbursement claim for those participants only. For more details, please review How to Claim for Reimbursement.
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. You cannot increase the cost of training after your Application has been approved.
How do I increase the training cost on my application if I inputted the incorrect amount?
You must withdraw your application and reapply.
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.
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.
Do I need to do anything after training has been completed?
Yes, employers are required to submit a completion report through the Skills Training Grants system once all participants have completed (or ceased) training. Employers and participants must also actively participate in regular, ongoing evaluation and review activities required by the Province, which include periodic follow up surveys.
How are applications prioritized?
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.
How do I know if my application will be assessed?
Due to the high number of applications received, 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. 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.
What are some common reasons applications are denied?
- 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 training provider
- 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?
- What are the main drivers of cost? Is it possible to get the desired quality of training for less money?
- By choosing this training provider or course, did you 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 a better job for someone who is already employed?
- Is grant funding being distributed equitably?
What if I believe my application or claim 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 employers who don’t understand why their application or claim was denied, program staff can provide clarification.
What is the maximum reimbursement amount an employer may receive?
Employers are eligible to receive up to $300,000 per fiscal year (April 1 – March 31).
What is the maximum reimbursement amount an employer may receive per participant, per fiscal year (April 1 – March 31)?
The maximum reimbursement amount per participant varies by stream:
Funding Limit per Participant
C19 Impacted Worker
Persons with Disabilities
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 of approved grant funding?
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.
My business is not registered on the Corporate Registry with B.C. Registry Services. Can I still apply for the ETG?
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?
Businesses must be well established and fully operational to qualify.
I am planning to start a new business. Can I access ETG funding?
No, businesses must be well established and fully operational to qualify.
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Are individuals who are not yet employees eligible for training?
At the time of application, participants must be unemployed and as a result of training will be hired by the applicant, OR current employees of the applicant and training will result in a better job. Individuals employed by a company other than the applicant at the time of application are only eligible under the C19 Impacted Worker Stream if all other eligibility criteria for this stream are met.
Are self-employed individuals eligible?
Yes, but only under the Technical and Workforce Training streams. Owners are not eligible participants under the C19 Impacted Worker, Persons with Disabilities and Foundational Training streams.
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 must be at least 16 years old at the time of application.
Are contracted workers eligible?
Yes, contracted employees are eligible when there is a job with the employer 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) who are legally allowed to work in Canada at the time of application
Are participants required to be B.C. residents?
Employers must intend to hire or continue to employ participants in B.C.
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.
What if a participant is collecting Employment Insurance (EI) or Income Assistance (IA) at the time of training?
Where an employer has identified a participant as an EI or IA client, the participant must obtain prior approval before starting training. Please refer to Appendix A of the ETG Eligibility Criteria for details.
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. If you believe a conflict may exist, please contact ETG@gov.bc.ca before you submit an application.
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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, and the application is approved, the employer may be liable for training costs that are determined to be ineligible. If training begins before an application is assessed, and the application is denied, the employer will be responsible for all incurred costs.
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 must be provided by a B.C.-based training provider. The ETG may consider training delivered by training providers not based in B.C. under exceptional circumstances only. This applies to in-person training and training delivered online.
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.
What if I can’t follow through on training under my Agreement?
Employers must cancel their 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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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.
When and how can I claim my reimbursement?
To receive reimbursement funds under an approved Agreement, 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 or intake period for which it was approved
- Participants were deemed ineligible for training (e.g. were employed by an employer other than the applicant at the time of application, 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. Please contact us at ETG@gov.bc.ca as soon as possible.
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.
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:
- Social Insurance Number (SIN)
- Date of birth
- Telephone number
- Email address
- 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?
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.