Employment Insurance

Apprentices registered with the SkilledTradesBC may be eligible for temporary Financial Supports while they attend SkilledTradesBC approved training for their apprenticeship. The Employment Program of British Columbia (EPBC) provides employment services and supports to apprentices and delivers it through a network of WorkBC Apprentice Services.

Part I Financial Supports also known as Employment Insurance (EI) benefits are typically income replacement and are provided through Service Canada. Any questions and/or concerns regarding EI benefits should be directed to Service Canada.

Part II Financial Supports also known as Employment Program of BC (EPBC) Apprentice Program Financial Supports; are managed by BC’s Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation. These supports could include Living Supports for basic living expenses, dependent care, daily commuting etc. More information can be found at WorkBC Apprentice Services. Any question and/or concerns regarding the EPBC Apprentice Program Financial Supports should be directed to WorkBC Apprentice Services at 1-844-428-4730.

It is important to note that the information provided here only applies to an EI Client who is an SkilledTradesBC Registered Apprentice and is applying for EPBC Apprentice Program Financial Supports online through WorkBC Apprentice Services in order to attend the classroom portion of their apprentice training and has:

  • an Employer Sponsor, or
  • a Union Hiring Hall Sponsor, or,
  • an Indigenous Skills and Employment Training Strategy (ISETS) SkilledTradesBC Approved Sponsor, or is
  • a pre-existing SkilledTradesBC Registered Apprentice who:
    • is unemployed and is attached to their Employer Sponsor but does not have a specific return to work date at the time of requesting Financial Supports to attend Classroom Technical Training, or
    • is unemployed and without an Employer Sponsor, but has an active SkilledTradesBC Apprentice Registration at the time of requesting Financial Supports to attend Classroom Technical Training. (Note: The SkilledTradesBC keeps the Apprentice Registration active for 18 months from the date the apprentice loses his/her Employer Sponsor). 

If you do not meet the above-mentioned criteria, please contact WorkBC Apprentice Services at 1-844-428-4730. You must make an appointment with representative a minimum of four weeks prior to the start of your course in order to determine if you qualify for EPBC Apprentice Program Financial Supports. You will not be able to apply once you begin your course.

You must apply separately for Employment Insurance (EI) Benefits as soon as you stop working or in the last week of work or you will not be eligible for EPBC Apprentice Program Financial Supports.

Steps involved in applying for temporary Financial Supports

  1. You must apply for WorkBC Apprentice Services to be eligible for EI during your Apprentice Classroom Training. To avoid delays, apply early. You can apply for Apprentice Services up to 4 weeks before your training starts. The application must be submitted before the course start date, on the date the apprentice starts the course, or within four (4) weeks of the apprentice starting the course.

  2. If you have registered for a BCeID in the past, visit the BCeID website and click Login. Then, click Forgot your user ID or password. If you have not registered for a BCeID, visit the BCeID website and click on Register for a Basic BCeID.

  3. You will be sent an email within 2-3 days of your application. Once you have completed and submitted your WorkBC Apprentice Application, log on to Online Employment Services to get your code. It should take 1-2 business days. Note: You will need to log in with your BCeID.
  4. You can now apply for EI through Service Canada. You must apply as soon as you stop working or in your last week of work (even if you don’t have your ROE). Application can be submitted online or in person at your local Service Canada office. Provide your 16 digit EI reference code as directed.

Other important information to bear in mind

  1. Delay in filing an EI claim beyond 4 weeks after the last day of work may cause denial of benefits.
  2. Even if you don’t plan to claim Part II Financial Supports, you must still complete the online application since this is the only way you will be able to generate the EI Reference Code that you will absolutely need in order to apply for EI.
  3. If you lose your 16 digit EI reference code then log back in to the online portal with your BCeID login information and retrieve your reference code.
  4. You must only use the EI Reference Code generated by your application. These codes are time limited and location specific; so you must only use the one that was generated for you otherwise your EI claim may not be successful.
  5. SkilledTradesBC keeps your registration active for 18 months from the date you lose your employer/sponsor. If you do not meet the criteria for applying through the online portal; then you must call WorkBC Apprentice Services at 1-844-428-4730.
  6. If you already have an Active EI Claim then do not reapply for EI benefits. If you currently have an active EI claim and will be submitting EI claimant reports to Service Canada in the 2 weeks prior to attending school, you have a Continuing Claim. On your claimant report, you must indicate that you are attending Apprenticeship Training. To ensure there is no interruption in your EI benefits, you must immediately contact Service Canada and provide your 16 digit Apprentice EI Reference code and apprentice training start and end dates.

Contact Information and Resources

Any questions and/or concerns regarding EI benefits (i.e. Part I Financial Supports) should be directed to Service Canada

For any questions and/or concerns regarding EPBC Apprentice Program Financial Supports (i.e. Part II Financial Supports), contact WorkBC Apprentice Services:

Website: https://workbcapprenticeservices.ca/
Phone: 1-844-428-4730
Email: info-apprenticeservices@workbc.ca

Apply for WorkBC Apprentice Services: https://workbcapprenticeservices.ca/complete-an-application/

Apprentice Services Eligibility Details: https://www.workbc.ca/getmedia/7ee9e4eb-7298-4442-95b2-832e4e76ca4c/WorkBC-NoticeToApprentices.pdf.aspx