Important Terms for Apprentices

Client Portal

Application for your secondary (provincial) apprenticeship benefits including commuting, dependent care, etc. (see also commuting benefits, dependent care benefits, disability benefits, living away from home benefits, and travel benefits).


An online account with the BC provincial government that you will create as part of your application where they will send you important information.  REMEMBER YOUR PASSWORD—YOU WILL NEED IT TO GET YOUR EI REFERENCE CODE!

Commuting Benefits

This is your daily commuting to and from school; enter the weekly total of kilometres travelled or your cost for transit here as directed. Please note that parking and other expenses are not covered.

Dependent Care Benefits

If you require additional child care/dependent care due to attending school, enter the appropriate information regarding your dependents here as directed.

Disability Benefits

If you are entitled to disability benefits, enter the applicable information here as directed.

EI Reference Code

16-digit code you will provide to Service Canada as part of your EI application to allow you to receive EI as an apprentice while attending school; the code is generated by your application in the Apprentice Online Portal and will be accessible through your BCeID account 2-3 business days after submitting your application (see also Apprentice Online Portal, BCeID).

Employment Insurance (EI)

Provides temporary financial assistance for unemployed Canadians while they look for work or upgrade their skills.


Apprenticeship grants and tax incentives are available through the BC provincial government ( and the federal government (; please apply separately at the above websites.

ICM Status

This status appears once your attendance has been confirmed by your school; it means that your application has been received in the “Integrated Case Management” system of the province.

Living Away From Home Benefits

This is for apprentices who are maintaining two residences while attending school; for example, you live in Kitimat and will continue to pay your mortgage for your primary residence while you sublet an apartment in Burnaby for the duration of your course. Enter your information here as directed.

Preapproved Status

This status appears from when you apply until your first week of school when your attendance is confirmed and your status changes to ICM; if you apply well in advance, this status appears four weeks before your start date (see also ICM Status).

Travel Benefits

This is your one-time/one-way travel from where you live to where you attend school; enter the appropriate kilometres travelled/ferry costs, etc. For example, you live in Port Hardy and you will be travelling to Burnaby to live there for the duration of your course while you attend BCIT, then travelling home to Port Hardy at the end of your course.

4 Replies to “Important Terms for Apprentices”

  1. I’d like to express my thoughts on apprenticeships. Specifically 1st year apprentices.
    My 25 year old son had completed the foundation course for electrical apprentice at BCIT in 2012. He got a job in Ft. McMurray in Aug. 2013 up in camp that only lasted until Dec. 2012. He has been out of work ever since then.
    He has over the last year applied at dozens and dozens of camps, businesses, all over the province of BC and Alberta. He’s been to job fairs, Work BC and nothing! He has also joined the IBEW Union.
    He has not had ONE reply from anyone in all this time!!. No one wants 1st year apprentices or can give the courtesy of a reply.
    Everything has to be done online, so you you send your resume off into cyberspace and wonder and wait if anyone ever reads it. No place accepts phone calls, emails nothing!! So there’s no follow-up for the applicant.
    The BC Gov’t loves to promote the trades, but there is no referral programs in place for after they’ve finished the course. I know many, many people that are in the same position as my son.
    He is registered for his 2nd year which doesn’t start until Sept 2014.
    What if any suggestions do you have for these poor guys who can’t get hired??
    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
    Thank you

    • Hi Valerie,

      Based on the information in your comment, it seems to me that your son is experiencing the same issues that job seekers in many other industries are: namely, a very competitive job market where the majority of positions are posted online. There’s no doubt that it’s frustrating, but your son is not alone by any means. Therefore, the suggestions I have are the same I would have for most other job seekers in this market:

      If your son is applying ‘cold’ for positions online (without a personal connection to the company), his application needs to be EXCELLENT. This means he needs to apply for positions he’s 80% or more qualified for. His resume needs to highlight his skills/experience/education/accomplishments prominently and with clear, powerful language. His cover letter needs to communicate why he’s a better candidate than the 100+ other 1st Year apprentices applying for the same job. And he needs to have strong references that will back up his claims if and when he’s asked for them.

      But at the same time, your son should be networking and building connections both local and elsewhere, whether that be through his Union, Trade Associations, on LinkedIn, working other construction gigs for the time being, etc. While applying online is one way of job searching, the best way to find a job is still through knowing people. Information interviews with local electrical companies (offer to take the owner/hiring manager/site leader/etc out for lunch and grill him about the market, his company, what projects they work on etc.) will often go a long way to building and growing a network within the local market. These companies all talk to each other, and if they meet a go-getter 1st year apprentice who they can’t hire right now, they may know someone who can.

      These are just a few suggestions, Valerie, and as far as I know your son may be doing all of what I suggested. But based on my experience, many folks in the trades have less-than-excellent resumes and don’t network at all. Hope this helps a little.

      • Thank you very much for your response Nathan. We both feel that his resume and cover letter is quite good. He had help with it from a professional who is in a managerial position at the Federal Govt.
        Is GT Solutions a place where a person could bring their resume in and have it reviewed by someone like yourself to see if something might be missing?

        • Hi Valerie,

          GT Hiring Solutions offers WorkBC services to residents of Victoria, Saanich, Nanaimo, Burnaby and Chilliwack. If your son resides in one of these areas he’s more than welcome to visit our ESCs. Due to our agreement with the Province we’re only able to work with residents of these areas.

          If you have further questions, please feel free to email us at

          Thanks again for your comments!

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