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Employment Insurance

Information for Apprentices and Occupational Trainees

Through the Employment Insurance (EI) system, the Government of Canada provides income support to eligible apprentices during periods of classroom instruction.  

Apprentices are required to provide complete and accurate information, as requested by Service Canada. For more information, apprentices can call 1-800-206-7218 (in Alberta) or visit Employment Insurance for Apprentices.

To be considered for EI benefits while attending classroom instruction, apprentices apply at the website above as soon as they stop working. If they have applied for, or are receiving EI benefits prior to training, they must complete another application indicating their technical training information.

During the EI application process, apprentices need a Reference Code. The Reference Code for Alberta apprentices can be found in the class registration letter they receive in their MyTradesecrets account following classroom instruction registration.

  • To view the letter, they click on the Envelope icon in the top right corner of the screen, then click Classes in the Notification column.
  • The class registration letter opens up as a PDF.
  • The Reference Code for Alberta Apprentices that is required for your EI application is 2/3 of the way down the body of the letter.


Information for Employers

The application for Employment Insurance will be accepted without the Record of Employment (ROE) however, your employee cannot be paid until the ROE is received and benefits are assessed. It is very important that your apprentice receive the ROE as soon as possible following the last day of work.

If the apprentice wishes to stop work prior to the Friday before the start date of apprenticeship classroom instruction, the employer must indicate the correct reason for leaving as indicated on the Service Canada website.

Apprentices are only eligible to collect EI benefits for periods where they have not caused their own unemployment.

Apprentices who wish to have time off for personal reasons prior to training are viewed as having opted not to work and, therefore, have removed themselves from the labour force. These apprentices may not be eligible for benefits or may serve a waiting period prior to the course as they could have worked but chose not to.

Employer EI information is available through Service Canada.

Employment Insurance may be available to apprentices through the Government of Canada.


Contact us with any questions