Workplace Training

Workplace Training

This program provides individual-focused training or work experience for those experiencing barriers to getting and keeping a job.

How it works

Workplace Training partners with employers who can provide individual-centered programs, on-the-job training, and paid work experience.

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.

Who is eligible?

Eligible individuals

Eligible individuals must be 18 years of age or older, and experiencing barriers to getting and keeping a job, including, but not limited to:

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

Eligible employers

To qualify for this program, employers must demonstrate an ability to provide:

  • on-the-job training or to facilitate the paid work experience component
  • ongoing employment after the Workplace Training contract ends
  • contracts must be in place prior to employers hiring an individual in this program
  • Government and Crown corporations are ineligible to participate in Workplace Training

Program Options

Workplace Training has 2 separate options:

  1. On-the-Job Training
  2. Paid Work Experience

These 2 options differ in 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.

Show Answer Option 1: 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.


  • 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 contract 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).


The contribution for On-the-Job Training is up to a maximum of $390 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.

Show Answer Option 2: 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 task, 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.


The maximum length of a Paid Work Experience is 3 weeks.


Paid Work Experience 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
  • 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 $1500 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.

For more information, please refer to the Alberta Works Program Policy Manual.

For more information, please refer to the Alberta Works Program Policy Manual.

Modified: 2016-12-01
PID: 15531

Contact this service

Call the Alberta Supports Contact Centre:

1-877-644-9992 (toll-free)
780-644-9992 (Edmonton)