Programs for All Job Seekers

For an up-to-date resource on publicly-funded employment programs across the province, check out our new BC Employment Program Hub!


Employment Program of BC (EPBC)

The Employment Programs of BC offers job search assistance, training, workshops as well as specialized services to all job seekers in the province. Immigrants, Aboriginal people, Francophones, people with disabilities, youth, older workers, multi-barriered people, and those living in rural and northern communities have equal access to this employment program. More information on the types of services provided by WorkBC Employment Services Centres located across the province can be found using the interactive map on the EPBC website.


• Unemployed or underemployed (less than 20 hours per week)
• BC resident


Job Options BC

This employment and skills training program provides assessment, skills upgrading and training, work experience, and support services to unemployed British Columbians looking for work. Complete list of service providers delivering Job Options BC programs in the province is available on Job Options BC website.


• 18 years or older
• Resident in BC
• Unemployed, non-Employment Insurance client, not participating in another Labour Market Agreement (LMA) program
• Not a student


Employment Skills Access Initiative (ESA)

Funded through the Canada/British Columbia Labour Market Agreement, Employment Skills Access (ESA) program provides tuition-free skills training to job seekers in communities across the province. Post-secondary institutions offer various ESA skills training programs such as in software systems development, business skills, and underground mining, from which participants can develop and learn new skills. The programs vary in duration, from minimum of three weeks to a maximum of 12 months.


• Unemployed
• Non-Employment Insurance client for the past three years or have not had a maternity/parental claim in the past five years
• Not a student
• Legally entitled to work in Canada

Available in the following locations:

• Lower Mainland – Douglas CollegeKwantlen Polytechnic UniversityLangara CollegeSimon Fraser UniversityUniversity of the Fraser ValleyVancouver Community College
• North Vancouver – Capilano University
• Vancouver Island – Camosun CollegeVancouver Island University
• Northern BC – University of Northern British Columbia
• Merritt – Nicola Valley Institute of Technology
• Okanagan – Okanagan College
• Kamloops – Thompson Rivers University
• Kootenay region – College of the RockiesSelkirk College


Skilled Trades Employment Program (STEP)

STEP helps Canadians explore careers in trades find training programs and connect with employers. Through various trades training initiatives, STEP assists employers deliver training programs to job seekers interested in trades.


• Non-Employment Insurance clients
• Employed in low-skilled jobs and lacks high school diploma, recognized certification, or essential skills


Targeted Skills Shortage Program (TSSP)

The ASPECT Targeted Skills Shortage Program provides funded employee training courses to employers. Each eligible employee can receive up to $1,500 for training courses (up to a maximum of $7,500 per employer).


• Employed but lacks high school diploma or recognized certification

Unfortunately, the funding for this program has ended at this time. Please stay tuned for further information. 

NIEFS Online Employment Advisor

Unemployed job seekers in Northern Vancouver Island can receive assistance from the North Island Employment Foundations Society’s Online Employment Advisor on job search, personal employment matters, and information related to employment.


• Unemployed or expecting to be laid off
• Reside in Northern Vancouver Island (Campbell River and points North, West, and East)



My ESC website supports the work of WorkBC centres and further provides information and online resources for job seekers. Job seekers can find tips and advice on unemployment and job searching, utilize job search tools to write their resumes and cover letters, and learn more about essential skills. Job seekers can also find WorkBC employment centre locations across the province. The website has useful links to external sources that job seekers may find it helpful in their job search.


Working in Canada (Government of Canada)

Working in Canada offers users free occupational and career information such as job listings, educational requirements, main duties, wage rates and salaries, current employment trends, and outlooks. The site can help job seekers search for work, make career decisions, see what jobs will be in demand, and more. Job seekers can sign up for the new Job Alerts service, which will notify them of new job listings twice per day. Employers can also advertise jobs for free.

The site was launched in 2007 as a joint project of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC), Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), and Canada’s provinces and territories.



MentorCity is an online mentoring program for job seekers to connect with individuals who are already established in their fields. Through MentorCity, mentees are matched with mentors, and this gives opportunity for mentors to share their experiences and job seekers to learn from their mentors. Those who wish to take part in this program can register online to participate.