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Employment & Training Programs and Services

Published Date: January 06, 2021
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Training for Work

Workplace Training


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


The intent of Workplace Training (WT) is to provide individual-focused training or work experience to enable individuals to find and maintain employment.

Workplace Training is an individual-centred program and decisions are made which best support the needs of the individual. The intent is also to provide incremental training and work experience that would not otherwise occur.

Participating employers agree to train or provide work experience for a predetermined period of time, with the expectation of the individual being able to engage and maintain employment in most cases with the same employer.

Workplace Training is a program element under the Training for Work program. The purpose of Workplace Training is to:

  • Provide employer-delivered, work-site training opportunities to individuals with barriers to employment.
  • Provide work experience opportunities at a worksite for individuals with limited or no work experience.
  • Provide a Paid Work Experience opportunity as an option for individuals to keep a job.

The objectives of Workplace Training are:

  • To enable unemployed individuals with barriers to employment to acquire essential skills and occupation-related skills required in the local labour market which will allow for meaningful participation within the labour market.
  • To assist unemployed and marginally employed individuals to obtain viable employment that provides increased income and work related benefits.

The Workplace Training is not intended to replace regular orientation, or basic training that would be provided by the employer to new employees hired outside the program.


Eligible Employers

Employers are selected based on their ability to provide On-the-Job training or to facilitate the Paid Work Experience component and their ability to provide ongoing employment after the Workplace Training contract is over.

Contracts must be in place prior to employers hiring an individual in this program.

Alberta Labour staff and/or contracted Service Providers must use discretion when considering employers for seasonal work.

Government and Crown corporations are ineligible to participate in Workplace Training.

Eligible Individuals

Workplace Training is targeted for individuals 18 years of age or older, experiencing barriers to obtaining and maintaining employment, including, but not limited to:

  • being unemployed,
  • having limited or no experience in competitive employment,
  • lacking the minimum qualifications that employers require.

The Government of Alberta supports training programs designed to facilitate participation in the labour market. To be eligible to participate, an individual is required to undergo an Employability Assessment to ensure that the following eligibility requirements have been satisfied:

  • appropriate service(s) have been selected based on need, 
  • a realistic employment goal has been defined, 
  • eligible to work in Canada,
    • Where the Trainee is not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, the Employer must review and keep written acceptable documentation of this fact. Acceptable documentation shall be defined as those documents evidencing a right to work as has been granted by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.  
    • A Trainee whose documentation indicates that he or she is in Alberta on a temporary basis cannot be accepted for job training or employment services.
  • meet the age requirement of the selected training program,
  • the educational or pre-requisite skills needed have been identified, 
  • a plan has been established, 
  • limitations or obstacles have been identified and strategies determined to support success.

Individuals approved to participate must commit to:

  • attend regularly, 
  • actively participate and make progress, 
  • seek and accept employment after completion, 
  • participate in the evaluation process (may include surveys, focus groups, etc.).

Decisions with respect to an individual’s eligibility to participate in an approved training program are to be fair and equitable. Individuals denied access, can make a written request for a review of the decision.

Through the Disability Related Employment Supports assessment, the Government of Alberta may assist employers with worksite modification, vehicle modification, On-the-Job coaching, and supportive services for people with disabilities.

Apprenticeship training opportunities can be utilized through Workplace Training when the skills and abilities of the individual are insufficient to meet the entry-level requirements of the trades.

  • When this occurs, Labour or contracted service providers will provide information about the Workplace Training position to their local Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training office. Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training can then follow up with the employer to ensure that the employee is registered as an apprentice when appropriate.

Program Options

Workplace Training has two separate options (On-the-Job Training and Paid Work Experience) that are differentiated by length of time and the method in which employers are supported. Supplemental training is available to all participants, as required, regardless of which option is selected.

Individuals participating in Workplace Training should not transition back and forth from one option to another. Accurate Employability Assessments and Service Plans will determine the best option for the individual before the options are selected.

On-the-Job Training

On-the-Job training occurs at the worksite of an employer and is based on the Employability Assessment and the Service Plan. An employer agrees to hire and train an individual for a period of time. The individual becomes an employee from the beginning of the Workplace Training placement.

The skills and abilities that employers would normally expect from new employees are then compared to the skills and abilities of the individual. The difference becomes the basis of the individual’s Training Plan. The specific training requirements are collaboratively developed by the employer, the individual and Alberta Labour staff or the contracted service providers.

Employers are expected to pay the prevailing wage rates to individuals in the program based on the skill demands of the position and the skill level of the individual. The individual’s Training Plan outlines the formal training goals. Training can include basic employability and essential skills training as well as more complex occupation-related skills training.

As part of service management responsibilities, Alberta Labour staff and/or contracted service providers will provide support to participants in the program and employers based on their needs.

On-the-Job Training Duration

  • The contract length is determined on a case-by-case basis and should be directly related to the needs of the individual and the complexity of the On-the-Job training and/or work exposure requirement.
  • The contact length normally will be up to 26 weeks, not including breaks. (A 26-week period means 26 weeks of training but not necessarily 26 consecutive weeks).
  • The employment must be full-time (a minimum of 30 hours per week).
  • Under exceptional circumstances, Alberta Labour officials may approve a training program for more than 26 weeks but up to a maximum of 30 weeks.
  • An exception to the full-time requirement may be made for individuals who would benefit from On-the-Job training for a reduced number of hours to accommodate special needs (e.g. individuals with disabilities).

On-the-Job Training Contribution

The contribution for On-the-Job Training is up to a maximum of $390.00 per week based on the individual’s training plan.

In cases where the barriers to employment are so significant that an employer cannot be found who would be willing to participate in the program based on a shared contribution, non-profit employers can be considered for 100% reimbursement at minimum wage plus mandatory payroll deductions to a maximum of 26 weeks.

Paid work Experience

Paid Work Experience is short-term paid work experience that helps Albertans gain employment quickly and maintain it.

Paid Work Experience is intended to support individuals to perform specific work tasks, to become familiar with employer worksite standards, safe work practices and to demonstrate their competencies and skills. Accessing this component is based on the information gathered from the individuals’ Employability Assessment and Service Plan.

No training plan is required for Paid Work Experience and it is expected that the individual will be hired after the Paid Work Experience has expired.

Regular, meaningful contact (in person, phone, email, text, etc.) should be made with the participant and employer, normally at least twice per week. This will help ensure the participant receives the support necessary to transition to long-term employment.

Paid Work Experience Duration

The maximum length of a PWE is 3 weeks.

Paid Work Experience Contribution

Alberta Labour will reimburse the employer to a maximum contribution based on the total of 40 work hours at minimum wage for 3 weeks. This may vary based on regular operational guidelines such as rate of pay, hours worked, etc.

The goal of Paid Work Experience is to provide the opportunity for an employer to confirm that an individual demonstrates essential workplace characteristics such as aptitude for the work, positive attitude, work ethic and willingness to learn, for the employer to retain the employee.

Supplemental Training

Supplemental training is additional training that augments the training that occurs at the workplace. Supplemental training must be provided by an independent school or training organization and may be delivered:

  • in classroom,
  • through distance delivery,
  • accessed and completed at the worksite, or
  • at an off-site location.

Some examples of supplemental training include courses in computer software training, office administration, accounting, English language training, and workplace safety training.

Supplemental Training:

  • Must be included as part of the individual’s Training Plan based upon assessed need and is not intended to replace training that the employer has agreed to undertake as part of the On-the-Job training.
  • May be supported up to a maximum of $7,000.00 per individual.
  • Supplemental training is training other than that required for apprentices which is a component of their apprenticeship contract and is required by trade regulation.


The needs of an individual are assessed through an Employability Assessment (EA) and then a Service Plan (SP) is developed. Once it is determined that the individual needs training or work experience an employer is found who is willing to take on that role and a contract is negotiated which will provide a contribution towards the employer’s training and work experience costs.

Each contract is negotiated based on the needs of the individual, the nature of the job, and complexity of training provided.

Workplace Training is provided on-the-job by employers as outlined in their contract.