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Employment & Training Programs and Services

Published Date: April 03, 2018
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General Programs and Services Eligibility

Albertans with EI Eligibility and Training


Income and Employment Supports Act
Income Support, Training and Health Benefits Regulation, Sections 39-46 and 97(1)(e)
Labour Market Development Agreement


The governments of Canada and Alberta work as partners to provide employment and training programs and services for Albertans. This partnership was established by the Canada-Alberta Labour Market Development Agreement (LMDA) and signed in 1996. Prior to the LMDA, both governments delivered employment programs. The LMDA reduced administration, overlap and duplication.

The adjudication authority for the entitlement to and payment of Employment Insurance (EI) benefits rests with the Employment Insurance Commission. The federal government, through the Employment Insurance Program, provides funding to the province under the LMDA to deliver programs and services for EI eligible clients.

Individuals who have worked enough hours of insurable employment to establish a claim for Employment Insurance benefits or who are considered to be an insured participant and are requesting assistance to attend training, will be an EI client for the purposes of Alberta Works income support and training benefits.


An EI client, also known as an insured participant, for the purpose of income support and training benefits, is an unemployed person whom, when requesting assistance:

  1. is an active regular EI claimant, or 
  2. had an EI benefit period that ended within the previous 60 months, or
  3. paid sufficient employee premiums to the EI Account in at least 5 of the previous 10 calendar years. 

Individuals who have worked in insurable employment in the 52 week period prior to seeking approval to attend or return to training are expected to apply for and access income available from the Employment Insurance benefit program. Insured participants requesting assistance to attend approved training will be classified as EI clients for the duration or remainder of their Service Plan. For the purposes of determining eligibility for additional income support and training benefits, all household income is considered in the financial needs calculation. Additional income support and training benefits may be available for eligible Albertans with low income.

EI clients who have been assessed as having a training need and subsequently authorized by designated internal staff are considered to have been referred under Section 25 of the Employment Insurance Act and may continue to receive their regular Employment Insurance benefits while attending an approved full-time training program, until their claim exhausts.


To determine an individual’s eligibility, follow the EI Verification process outlined in the Employment Insurance business process documents.