Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is the Alberni Valley Employment Centre the same thing as Service Canada (the EI office)?

A: No. We are a separate agency contracted by the provincial government to deliver employment services. We cannot help with inquiries about EI claims, Social Insurance Number applications, passports, citizenship applications, GST credits, and so forth. These inquiries must be directed to a Service Canada office (located right next door to us at 4805-A Mar Street in Port Alberni; please go to the Service Canada Links on our Links page for more information.

Q: Who funds your services?

A: Our services are funded by the Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia.

Q: Who is eligible for your services?

A: Anyone who is legally entitled to work in Canada can access the self-services in our Resource Centre. To be eligible to meet with an Employment Counsellor, or attend our workshops, you generally must be over 16 years of age, unemployed (which means working less than 20 hours per week, on average), and not currently attending or registered to attend school full time. However, eligibility is variable, depending on individual circumstances, so the best way to find out which services you can access is to drop by, call or send us an email.

Q: Can you keep my resumé on file and call me if a job comes up that I'm qualified for?

A: We cannot keep resumés on file or send them on to employers, but we encourage all clients to check our Job Postings pages regularly and use our computer lab, fax machine and other resources to look for jobs.

Q: Is there a charge for your services?

A: No

Q: Do you have a phone I can use?

A: Our client phone is available for local or long-distance calls related to job search, career research, and educational planning. If you need to use a phone for any other reason, we can direct you to other public-access phones in the community.

Q: Can I copy or fax something that's not job-related and just pay you for it?

A: Under our government contract, our equipment and resources can only be used for activities related to job-searching or career planning. For other uses, we will need to direct you elsewhere in the community.

Q: Is there an age limit to access your services?

A: We offer services to anyone of working age who is legally entitled to work in British Columbia.

Q: Can you help me pay for schooling?

A: Employment Centre staff can advise you on training programs that are available, as well as funding from other sources that you may be eligible for.  If you meet basic eligibility (working less than 20 hours per week, not attending school or other training full time, and legally entitled to work in BC) you can ask to meet with an Employment Counsellor to discuss your eligibility for services that can help pay for school or training courses. Please contact one of our offices for more information.

Q: Is there a list of training programs the government will pay for?

A: Not exactly. Eligibility for all of our services, including training, is determined on a case-by-case basis, dependent on individual circumstances.  For more information, please call or drop by, and ask to make an appointment to speak with one of our Employment Counsellors, who are very well equipped to help you with all your employment options.

Q: Can you do up a resumé and cover letter for me?

A: We have a number of services that can help you develop your own resumés and cover letters. Our Resource Centre and career resource library contain books, samples, and MS Word templates you can follow. We also offer hands-on workshops on resumé writing, which cover content and different styles of resumés along with informed feedback from our staff. We recommend you start by meeting with one of our Resource Centre Advisors to determine which services would be most helpful to you.

Q: Do you provide on-the-job training?

A: If you meet eligibility requirements, we may be able to refer you to wage subsidy work experience placements with an employer, or other job placement services.  These services can help you gain new skills -- and the potential for longer-term employment -- while working with a local employer.  Please ask to speak to an Employment Counsellor to determine your eligibility for these services.

Q: I want to start up a business. Can you help?

A: You may be eligible for a referral to the Self-Employment Program, please contact us to discuss eligibility requirements. If you are looking to start up a new business, we recommend you contact the local Community Futures office, which offers a broad range of programs and services to assist you.