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Employment & Training Programs and Services

Published Date: October 01, 2015
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Training for Work

Occupational Training


Income and Employment Supports Act, Part 3 Section 20
Training Provider Regulation, Section 1(2)
Training Provider Regulation Section 2


Occupational Training is a program element under the Training for Work program. It is occupation-specific training that provides unemployed or marginally employed Albertans the skills they require to secure employment. It is designed for Albertans who need occupational skills to obtain employment and become self-sufficient. Occupational Training can also help the need for skilled workers by local and regional employers.


The intent of Occupational Training is to:

  • enable unemployed and marginally employed Albertans to acquire the skills and abilities needed for direct attachment to employment in an occupation that is in demand, and
  • provide training and occupation-related skills recognized by industry/employers.


Program Components

Occupational Training is intended to:

  • provide instruction or synchronous e-learning in occupations that are in demand or experiencing shortages of skilled workers,
  • result in a credential reflecting industry recognized skills and abilities,
  • result in a credential required by industry  to become employed in a specific occupation,
  • train for skills that improve an individual’s access to higher skilled employment and increased income, 

Procurement Method

Occupational Training is provided through:

  • tuition-based training, and
  • contract-based training.

Occupational demand and labour market supply is to be taken into account to determine the focus for Occupational Training programs. The desired outcome of completing an Occupational Training program is employment in a related field.

Full-Time Occupational Training

Tuition and contract-based training must be a minimum of 25 hours of training per week to be considered a full-time program.

An individual, who has a documented disability that prevents full-time participation, may qualify for consideration as a full-time learner when recommended to participate at a reduced course load (not less than 40% of a full course load).

Part-Time Occupational Training

A Skills Investment Bursary may be available for eligible participants to assist with the incremental costs to participate in approved Occupational Training on a part-time basis. For Part-time tuition-based Occupational training courses or modules, refer to the Part-Time Training policy.

Tuition-Based and Contract-Based Occupational Training must:

  • be approved  by the Government of Alberta,
  • focus on training in occupations that are in demand
  • lead directly to employment, not further training, 
  • result in an industry-recognized credential that is required for entry into a specific occupation,
  • include a minimum of 80% occupation-specific training at the teaching site (classroom/lab/worksite), or by synchronous e-learning and a maximum of 20% on employability skills training, 
  • not include more than 20% of work experience,  
  • not be a journeyperson certificate upgrading program, and
  • not duplicate a program already approved by Advanced Education for Student Aid funding. 

Methods of Delivery

A delivery method refers to the format used to present program materials/curriculum. Occupational Training programs that are delivered in an instructor lead classroom setting or through synchronous e-learning can be considered for full and/or part-time assistance. Tuition-based courses delivered via asynchronous e-learning, distance learning, correspondence, self-paced instruction or through a combination of the aforementioned delivery methods may be considered for part-time training benefits.

Program Length

The Government of Alberta may support approved Occupational Training programs that are a minimum of 3 weeks, but less than 12 weeks in length. 

Grandfathering- Exception to Program Length

Exception to the maximum Occupational Training program length of less than 12 weeks may be made for individuals authorized to participate at a reduced course load that require additional periods of training to complete occupational training program that they started prior to April 1, 2014.

Submission of an RNAPP form, to, for training periods commencing on or after April 1st, 2014, will be required to facilitate its inclusion in the Programs and Services Catalogue. In Section G of the form, include a comment to indicate that the reason for the request is to support a learner attending the program at a reduced course load.
Individuals must be participating at their full capacity and attending regularly.

Our commitment to provide funding ends when:

  • a learner fails to complete their program
  • a learner is terminated from the program
  • a learner fails to make acceptable progress
  • a learner withdraws from the program or
  • the program is cancelled.

Maximum Tuition and Mandatory Fees

The Government of Alberta may provide tuition and prescribed fees (mandatory & student fees) for an approved tuition-based Occupational Training program up to a maximum of $15,000 per individual/per program. The cost for books and supplies is not included in this maximum and may be provided above and beyond the $15,000 maximum for tuition and prescribed fees.


The following resources may be used to acquire or verify labour market information: Employment Forecasts, Employment Insurance (EI) statistics by occupation and by region, employer surveys, Alberta Wage and Salary Survey, graduate surveys from post-secondary institutions and community consultations. Some useful links are:

  • Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS)
  • Wage and Salary Information
  • Labour Market Information