Income Support / Employment Insurance (EI)
You may be eligible for employment insurance benefits and/or personal support payments (daily commuting costs, living away from home, etc.) while attending apprentice training.
Important - Classes starting April 1, 2013 onward: You must apply through the Apprentice Online Portal (AOP) no later than your first day of class. As an apprentice going to school the AOP application authorizes the approval for your Employment Insurance application. Any application submitted after your first day of class on the AOP will not be approved. As a result, you will not be approved for Employment Insurance while attending school.
Program Financial Supports and EI Benefit Information
- Apply to the Apprentice Online Portal (AOP) four to six weeks before your class starts.
- After your Portal application is completed please follow these instructions [PDF] to retrieve your EI Reference Code.
- Apprentices then must apply through Service Canada for Employment Insurance (EI).
- You can only apply a maximum of one week prior to your start of class, or your last day of work, whichever is closer to your start date.
- To collect EI Benefits you must meet the eligibility requirements set forth by Service Canada – i.e. insurable employment. Please contact Service Canada directly to determine what your specific requirements are.
Note: If you are on a regular EI claim prior to starting apprenticeship training you still must apply using the Apprentice Online Portal. Once you are provided with your reference code (from the AOP), contact Service Canada to advise you are an Apprentice going to school, provide your training dates and the 16 digit reference code.
Questions regarding Apprentice Financial Supports (from the AOP):
Elsewhere in BC: 1-800-663-7867
Questions regarding EI benefits:
Apprenticeship Incentive Grant
The Apprenticeship Incentive Grant is a taxable cash grant of $1,000 per year. It is available to registered apprentices once they have successfully completed their first or second year or level of an apprenticeship program in a Red Seal trade. For more information, please visit Service Canada - Apprenticeship Grants.
Apprenticeship Completion Grant
The Apprentice Completion Grant is a taxable cash grant of $2000 for registered apprentices who complete their apprenticeship training and obtain their journeyperson certification in a designated Red Seal trade. For more information, please visit Service Canada - Apprenticeship Grants.