Apprenticeship Grants and Incentives

There are a number of funding options available for apprentices. This page provides access to some of those options.


Employment insurance benefits and apprentice financial supports has changed.

Tradespeople's Tool Expenses

Line 229 - Other employment expenses

The federal government will now provide tax recognition for the costs that many employed tradespeople incur to provide their own tools in their employment duties. A deduction (up to a maximum of $500 per year) will be allowed for the total cost of new tools acquired by an employed tradesperson in a tax year in excess of $1,000. Employers will need to certify that the employee is required to obtain those tools for use in employment activities. New tools acquired on or after May 2, 2006, will qualify. Electronic communication devices and electronic data processing equipment will not qualify as eligible tools. (Apprentice vehicle mechanics will be able to claim this new tradespeople’s tool expenses deduction in addition to the existing apprentice vehicle mechanic’s tools deduction – however, parameters surrounding the existing deduction will be modified.)

Apprentice program changes came into effect April 2, 2012 – Employment insurance benefits and apprentice financial supports has changed.


Scholarships and Bursary Income

The first $3,000 of scholarship, fellowship, or bursary income received by a taxpayer in a taxation year with respect to post-secondary education or occupational training is exempt from tax.

Apprenticeship Incentive Grant for Women

This new grant for women pursuing a designated Red Seal trade, can help with expenses while you are going to school.

Apprenticeship Incentive Grant

The federal government established this grant January 1, 2007. The Apprenticeship Incentive Grant (AIG) provides direct support to apprentices in the first two years of an apprenticeship program in one of the Red Seal trades. The taxable grant is $1000 for level 1 and $1000 for level 2.

The Apprenticeship Incentive Grant is meant to:

  • help cover some of your tuition, travel, and tool costs;
  • encourage you to complete your apprenticeship program and get your Red Seal.

You can apply for the grant if you have completed your in-school technical and on-the-job training for the first or second year/level (or equivalent) of your apprenticeship program on or after January 1, 2007. You will have until June 30 of the subsequent calendar year to submit your application. More information is available at

British Columbia Apprenticeship Incentive Grant

Effective January 1, 2007, the provincial government announced an added incentive for apprentices who complete their 3rd and 4th year of any apprenticeship program beginning in 2007. The apprentice will receive a tax credit when they file their income taxes for the 2007 year (in 2008). Apprentices will be eligible for a tax credit of $2,000 for completing Level 3 and a credit of $2,500 for completing Level 4 of any apprenticeship.

BC Training Tax Credit

British Columbia's basic credits has complemented the Government of Canada's incentives for training. The federal incentives (above) are limited to the first two years' enrolment in Red Seal Apprenticeship program. British Columbia's basic training tax credits will provide similar incentives to the 79 British Columbia non-Red Seal Apprenticeship programs for Apprentices who complete higher training levels.

The basic credit for employers will be 10 per cent of wages paid up to $2,000 per Apprentice in the first 24 months of a non-Red Seal Apprenticeship program.

If an Apprentice completes Level 3 of any Apprenticeship program the employer will receive 15 per cent of wages paid to an apprentice or lesser of $2,500. If an apprentice completes Level 4 of any Apprenticeship program the employer will receive 15 per cent of an Apprentice’s wages paid or lesser of $3,000.

For further details about the BC Training Tax Credit program visit the Ministry of Small Business and Revenue website at:

Apprenticeship Job Creation Tax Credit

The Federal Government has introduced an Apprenticeship Job Creation Tax Credit program for employers hiring new apprentices in eligible trades. Eligible employers will receive a non-refundable tax credit equal to 10% of the salaries and wages paid to qualifying apprentices, to a maximum credit of $2,000 per year per apprentice. Special rules will ensure that where an apprentice works for two or more related employers in a year, the combined credit does not exceed $2,000.

A qualifying apprentice will be someone working for an eligible employer in a qualifying trade in the first two years of his or her provincially registered apprenticeship contract. Qualifying trades will be prescribed and will include the 45 trades currently included in the Red Seal trades.

Employers can carry unused credits back three years and forward twenty years to reduce federal income taxes otherwise payable in those years. The Apprenticeship Job Creation Tax Credit will be available to eligible employers in respect of salaries and wages paid to qualifying apprentices on or after May 2, 2006.

For more information and details on the above initiatives visit:

Financial Support for Retraining and Skills Development – Columbia Institute Awards Program

The Columbia Institute Awards program is one of the few scholarship programs designed to support the financial needs of adult learners interested in re-training and skills development. You may be eligible to receive one of 14 scholarships valued at $1,000 each. Qualifying applicants may renew their award up to four years! For more information, application forms and details on the above awards program visit

Passport to Education Awards for Approved Apprenticeship Programs and Trades Training Courses

Passport to Education stamps, Provincial and District scholarship awards may be used to pay for tuition fees for Apprenticeship and Foundation Trades Training programs offered by public post-secondary institutions, and a limited number of other training providers who have been designated (approved) by the Industry Training Authority (ITA) to deliver specific programs. For more information visit

Employment Insurance (EI) Benefits

Employment Insurance (EI) Benefits are available for apprentices while attending technical training if they have been referred under section 25 of the Employment Insurance Act to attend the course and have worked sufficient hours to establish an EI claim. The amount of insurable hours of work needed, to establish a claim, varies from region to region.

On July 21, 2002, the Employment Insurance (EI) Regulations were amended so that Apprentices in approved training programs, who are applying for EI benefits, may only need to serve one waiting period per apprenticeship program. Effective immediately, applying for EI is as easy as filing online from the convenience of wherever you access the Internet. Visit the following website:

Apprentices are advised to apply for benefits after they have finished working or up to 10 days prior to the start date of their apprenticeship training. In addition to EI you may also be eligible for a supplementary allowance (ie. Commuting, living away from home allowance, travel and Day Care expenses).

When to Start Your EI Claim

The following is general information for apprentices who will be applying for EI while attending technical training. If the employer has work available, you are expected to remain employed up to the Friday before the start of technical training. If you leave work early, you are choosing to be unemployed and may not be entitled to Employment Insurance benefits prior to the start date of your training. If you wish to have a holiday prior to the start of your technical training, your entitlement to benefits may be effected. If your last day of work is prior to the Friday before the start of technical training, you should apply for EI benefits online with Service Canada immediately after you stop working. You do not have to wait for your Record of Employment (ROE). If you delay filing the application, you could lose benefits.

You will require a reference code to access the Apprenticeship application online at the link below. A personal reference code will be issued to you by Service Canada by mail. With reference code in hand, visit the link below. Be prepared to submit your record of employment (ROE).

For more information contact Service Canada online at: or by phoning their general enquiries line at 1-800-206-7218.

Dawson Creek Service Canada Centre
103 - 1508 102nd Ave

Dawson Creek, BC V1G 2E2


Apprentice – Financial Assistance

NEW – Apprenticeship Completion Grant (ACG)

What is the Apprenticeship Completion Grant

The Apprenticeship Completion Grant is a $2,000 taxable cash grant designed to encourage apprentices registered in a designated Red Seal trade to complete their apprenticeship program and receive their journeyperson certification.

The ACG is meant to:

Provide a taxable grant of $2,000 to those apprentices who successfully complete their apprenticeship program and become certified in a Red Seal trade, which is designated as such in the jurisdiction in which they become certified. Increase the number of apprentices who complete their apprenticeship program and receive their journeyperson certification in a designated Red Seal trade.

Am I eligible for the ACG?

To be eligible for the ACG, you must be:

  • A Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or protected person;
  • Out of high school;
  • Able to show that you have completed an apprenticeship program as a registered apprentice in a designated Red Seal trade; and
  • Able to provide proof that you have received your journeyperson’s certification in a designated Red Seal trade on or after January 1, 2009.

When can I apply for the ACG?

You can apply for the ACG after completing your apprenticeship program and receiving your journeyperson certification in a designated Red Seal trade (on or after January 1, 2009). Service Canada must receive your application by June 30 of the year after you complete your apprenticeship and receive your journeyperson certification.

For more information:


Enhanced Apprentice Policy and Financial Supports

The Ministry of Housing and Social Development has implemented the Enhanced Apprentice Policy and Financial Supports, effective August 31, 2009. The Response to the Economic Downturn (RED) Project has identified areas within the Skills Development (SD) – Apprentice program that could be enhanced to better support the apprentices as they complete their programs and become more employable. The two (2) key enhancements include:

  1. Extending Part II benefits to all registered apprentices who meet the definition of an insured participant under the EI Act. Section 58 of the EI Act defines an ‘insured participant’ as:
    1. a person who requests assistance under an employment benefit and, when requesting the assistance, is an unemployed person;
    2. for whom a benefit period is established or whose benefit period has ended within the previous 36 months; or 
    3. for whom a benefit period has been established in the previous 60 months; and who: 
    4. was paid special benefits under section 22 or 23 [maternity or parental claim] during the benefit period;
    5. subsequently withdrew from active participation in the labour force to care for one or more of their new-born children or one or more children placed with them for the purpose of adoption; and 
    6. is seeking to re-enter the labour force.
  2. Reimbursing the cost of tuition paid solely by the student.* (This enhancement has been included solely as a response to the economic downturn to ensure that the apprentices are able to participate in the required training to obtain their journeyperson status. In the future, this support may be withdrawn based upon availability of funding and current economic conditions.)

Additional enhanced supports include:

  • Increased Commuting/Travel mileage rate;
  • Increased Dependent Care/Childcare allowance; 
  • Increased Living Away From Home (LAFH) allowance for apprentices attending training outside their normal place of residence; and 
  • Providing Basic Living Expenses (BLE) as required.

In order to take advantage of these enhanced supports apprentices must complete and return their "Apprentice Financial Assistance and Referral Request" form within four weeks of the start date of their training.

For more information: contact Enquiry BC at 1‐800‐663‐7867.

NLC Financial Aid

The Financial Aid office provides information and assistance on:

  • sources of student aid and awards for upgrading and certificate, diploma and degree programs;
  • applying for government and institutional funds;
  • appealing government student aid decisions;
  • financial aid planning and budgeting; and
  • educational costs.

The cost attending college should be considered by all prospective students. Students who are uncertain of their financial situation are urged to contact the Financial Aid office at any Northern Lights College campus for information in advance of registration.

There are numerous sources of government-sponsored financial assistance for students in post secondary education. These programs are frequently revised and students should check with Student Services at the College for the most current information. Further, students are advised to seek the assistance of the Financial Aid staff in determining which financial assistance program would best fit their financial need.