Province raises the tuition cap for EI-funded training to $7,500

Province raises the tuition cap for EI-funded training to $7,500

 In the world of labour market information, very little constitutes "Breaking News"; but this certainly does! Unemployed British Columbians receiving services through the Employment Program of BC (EPBC) may now be eligible for up to a maximum of $7,500 in tuition funding available to help them access skills training. Previously, tuition support was capped at $4,000. The increased tuition support will be effective as of Nov. 19, 2012. This is fantastic news, as the old cap was a major impediment to anyone who wanted to participate in a longer or more expensive training program but lacked the ability to contribute more.

Questions and Answers for Clients on Tuition Cap Increase

1. Why are you raising the cap on tuition supports to $7,500?

Historically, employment programming funded under the Canada-BC Labour Market Development Agreement did not have any restrictions on tuition support levels. Provision of tuition support to clients was based entirely on eligibility and assessed financial need.

Income assistance employment programs either offered very limited training in some programs and tuition support without limitations in others.

In 2009, following the sudden economic downturn that severely impacted the labour market, there were unprecedented volumes of clients needing employment programming. Demand for skills training support exceeded budget availability. The ministry was forced to make some difficult decisions to ensure that employment programming services and supports were available to all unemployed BC Job seekers who needed them, and implemented a tuition assistance limit of $4,000 per client.

Labour market conditions have improved sufficiently that the ministry is not experiencing the level of demand for skills training as was the case in recent years. The new Employment Program of BC, implemented in April 2012, has stabilized sufficiently for the ministry to be able to increase tuition support to levels more consistent with other LMDA jurisdictions.

2. What is the date the change goes into effect?

November 19th, 2012. Eligible Employment Program of British Columbia (EPBC) Clients who sign Training agreements on or after November 19, 2012 can be considered for up to a maximum of $7,500 in tuition support, based on actual tuition costs and assessed client financial need.

3. How long will the increased tuition cap be in effect?

There is no planned end date to the increased tuition cap.