Programs for Youth

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


Get Youth Working!

Get Youth Working! Program offers employers a $2,800 hiring incentive to hire unemployed youth aged 15 to 29. Additional $1,000 Training Fund is available if the new employee requires training. Both employer and youth must be eligible under the established criteria in order to qualify for funding.


• Unemployed, non-Employment Insurance youths
• 15 to 29 years old
• Not a student
• BC resident and legally entitled to work in Canada
• Not participating in another Labour Market Agreement (LMA) program


Youth in Trades Programs

Accelerated Credit Enrolment in Industry Training (ACE-IT) and Secondary School Apprenticeship (SSA) provide high school students with an opportunity to explore careers in trades. High school students can take trades training courses, start apprenticeship, and receive course credits towards their high school diploma.


• High school students


Federal Student Work Experience Program (FSWEP)

FSWEP gives full-time secondary and post-secondary students with an opportunity to gain work experience within their field of study in various government departments and organizations.


• Full-time secondary and post-secondary student
• Returning to full-time studies for next academic term
• Meet the minimum age requirement to work in the province or territory where the job exists


Post-secondary Co-op/Internship Program

The Federal Public Service recruits full-time post-secondary students enrolled in Co-op/Internship programs and provides them with structured learning and practical experience.


• Full-time post-secondary student
• Be enrolled in a PSC-approved Co-op/Internship program


National Research Council Co-op Program

The NRC Co-op Program offers practical experience for post-secondary students who are interested in pursuing a career in science, engineering, and technology. Students in other fields such as business, public relations, communications, library sciences, marketing, and administration can also apply.


• Canadian citizen, permanent resident or foreign national
• Must be enrolled in a recognized co-op program in Canadian university or college
• Have obtained a minimum of B average


Youth Mean Business (YMB)

YMB provides support for youths who are interested in self-employment and starting own businesses. For maximum of 6 months, participants can receive services such as coaching on business development and business plan, workshops, mentorship, and networking opportunities with the business community. Participants are also eligible for financial support of $5,000 that is non-repayable. This pilot program has ended at most locations. Community Futures Central Okanagan published a summary and wrap-up report here.


• Unemployed, non-Employment Insurance client
• 18 to 29 years old
• Not a high school student or full-time post-secondary student
• BC resident and legally entitled to work in Canada
• Not participating in another Labour Market Agreement (LMA) program
• Wants to start a business

Aboriginal Youth Internship Program

This 12-month paid internship program in the BC Public Service provides Aboriginal youths in B.C. with an opportunity to develop their leadership skills.


• Aboriginal (First Nation (status or non-status), Metis, Inuit) residing in BC
• Age 29 or under
• Have attained minimum of Grade 12 education and some work/volunteer experience


First Nations and Inuit Summer Work Experience Program

The Summer Work Experience Program targets First Nations and Inuit full-time secondary and post-secondary students between the ages 15 to 30. First Nations and Inuit governments and organizations must submit eligible proposals in order to receive funding.


• First Nations and Inuit full-time secondary and post-secondary students
• 15 to 30 years old
• Resident on-reserve, recognized communities, and on community lands
• Returning to full-time studies in the next academic year


Housing Internship Initiative for First Nations and Inuit Youth (HIIFNIY)

This internship initiative provides training and work experience related to housing for unemployed First nations and Inuit youths between the ages 15 to 30.


• Unemployed youth between the ages of 15-30
• Resident of a First Nations Reserve or Inuit community
• Not a student



Through BladeRunners employment program, at-risk youth participants aged 15 to 30 receive life skills, job readiness, and workplace training that would help them gain skills and experience.


• Youth between 15 and 30 years old


Youth Program – Chance to Choose

This program gives youths in Lower Mainland an opportunity to gain employability skills that would help them explore careers and choose the right career path. Participants can earn certificates such as First Aid and Food Safe, work on community project, build an employment portfolio, and network with the business community. For 15 weeks, participants receive a training allowance of $10.25/hour for 30 hours per week.


• Unemployed youth between the ages of 15-30, non-Employment Insurance client
• Not a full-time student
• Legally entitled to work in Canada


Young Canada Works (YCW)

YCW offers summer jobs and internships to students and recent graduates in Canada. This gives young people an opportunity to test their skills, learn, and work in a museum or an Aboriginal friendship centre.


• High school, college or university students, or recent graduates who are Canadian citizen, permanent resident or refugee
• 16 to 30 years old
• Returning to full-time studies in the next academic year
• Legally entitled to work in Canada


Youth Enabled Program

This 16-week program helps youths with physical disabilities find and maintain employment through classroom training and on-the-job work experience. The classroom component (8 weeks) includes career research, interview training, resume and cover letter writing, and skills development in communication, anger management, conflict resolution, and teamwork. Participants can also gain valuable work experience (8 weeks) after successfully completing the first half of the program. For 16 weeks, participants receive an hourly wage of $10.25/hour for 20 hours per week.


• Physically disabled youth between the ages of 15-30
• Unemployed, non-Employment Insurance client
• Legally entitled to work in Canada



TeenWork program supports youth with special needs and helps them find gainful part-time job. This pilot program gives youth with special needs an opportunity to grow and gain valuable work experience that would help them learn new skills and become more independent. Job coaches work with the participants one-on-one to support them in finding and retaining employment.


• Youth with special needs between the ages of 15-19 years old
• Attending school
• Acts safely towards self and others in the community
• Independent in personal care
• Has access to transportation (e.g. handyDART, parents, bus)


Apprentice BC

This website provides job search assistance for apprentices who are out-of-trade and/or unemployed by connecting them with employers in the resource trades sector. By registering and submitting their profile, apprentices can post their resume on the website so employers in Northern BC can search for potential candidates. Once matched, apprentices can complete their apprenticeships and obtain their trade qualifications.


• Unemployed apprentice who does not have an Industry sponsor for their apprenticeship
• Registered in a trade within the Resource Sector
• Residing in Northern BC or willing to relocate to Northern BC


Career Focus (formerly known as Career Start)

As part of the federal government’s Youth Employment Strategy (YES initiatives), Career Focus program supports post-secondary graduates making the transition from school to work by matching graduates with employers in the private sector. Career Focus provides employers with a wage subsidy of up to 50% of the employee’s hourly wage for minimum of 3 months to encourage employers to hire more youth.


• Post-secondary graduates between 15 to 30 years of age, non-Employment Insurance client
• Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or refugee
• Legally entitled to work in Canada