WorkBC Support for Enterprising Farmers

Posted by Hailey Troock on April 06, 2020

young agrarians, wage, subsidy, grants

Are you an enterprising farmer looking for support for your business? WorkBC Employment Services has several programs that offer businesses in BC access to grants and subsidies for wage subsidies, infrastructure projects and job creation, to name a few. Read on to find out more about these programs that you may be able to access to help grow your farm dream!

Community Employer Partnership

The goal of the CEP is to increase employment and work experience opportunities through partnerships, shared information, technology and innovation. The program seeks to fulfill this goal through five streams, which include Job Creation Partnerships, Labour Market Partnerships, Project Based Labour Market Training, Research and Innovation, as well as Social Innovation.

CEP applications can be submitted on a continuous basis. Projects relevant for enterprising farmers may include research projects, food reclaiming and repurposing, developing community sustainable gardens, occupational training and work experience, human resource planning and person with disabilities mentorship.

Eligible expenses may include staff wages and other related staff costs, participant costs, professional fees and other project costs, as well as administrative and capital costs and assets. Contact the CEP through the information in the online pamphlet here.

Employer Training Grant Program

WorkBC’s ETG seeks to “help British Columbians access the skills training needed to adapt to the changing requirements of jobs and the labour market while encouraging employer involvement in the training of their employees.”

Through this program, employers are eligible to receive up to $300,000 per fiscal year and participants do not pay for their training or any related expenses. For farm start-ups, something important to note is that one of the requirements for employers to access this grant is that they must have a job for the participant once training is completed.

Under the Workforce Training Stream, employers may receive 60 percent of eligible training costs, up to a maximum of $5,000 per participant. The skills training leading to employment or a better job may include supervising and leadership, marketing, social media marketing and communication, as well as soft skills, which are considered “personal skills and characteristics required by employers across different sectors and at different stages of an employee’s career.”

The Opportunities Fund Program

The OFP is a financial assistance program “designed to help persons with disabilities to gain employment through funding for training, wage subsidies, funding for adaptive equipment, and self-employment training.” Employers may also be eligible to receive disability support services like the provision of funding for technology or equipment, workshops and on-site job coaching.

The support can be short-term and part-time and individual applicants may receive a combination of tuition for short-term training, wage subsidies for employers, income support and consulting to start a small business and employment assistance services.

Job Creation Partnerships

The JCP provides “funding to organizations and provides community benefit while creating jobs to assist unemployed EI eligible clients with opportunities to gain meaningful work experience. Projects benefit the job seeker, community and the local economy. However, the primary focus must be on helping the job seeker.”

In Nelson, one example of a successful project that received support through the JCP is the Railtown Chamber of Commerce. The funding received for this infrastructure project enabled labour intensive and innovative pieces critical to its success.

If you’d like to find out more about these programs in the Kootenay region (Nelson, Trail, Castlegar), contact Savina Kelly, Employer Outreach & Communications Manager for WorkBC, with your questions: Savina.Kelly@kcds.ca. Inquiries for the rest of the province can be directed to the WorkBC website. You can follow this link to help you find the office closest to you!

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Looking for land for your farm business? Find out how you can share or access land through the B.C. Land Matching Program here!