Skills Development Program

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This program provides support for eligible individuals to participate in short-term training opportunities for up to 52 weeks, which upgrade or develop essential employability skills.

Eligible skills development activities must be full-time and may include:

  • literacy and numeracy
  • academic upgrading
  • workplace essential skills
  • life skills
  • employment readiness programs
  • pre-employment training courses
  • skill-specific training programs
  • post-secondary programs leading to a formal credential

Academic upgrading may be supported for up to six months or two semesters and must be followed by further short-term training.

Available Funding

Maximum allowable funding is $26,000, for up to 52 weeks.

The Skills Development Program may pay for:

  • program tuition (up to $7,200)
  • living allowance and living away allowance
  • books
  • course materials
  • software and fees (up to $550)
  • tools, equipment and clothing (up to $750)
  • child care
  • travel expenses


There is no deadline. This program can be accessed at any time.


An individual is eligible for this program if they:

  • reside in the NWT;
  • are of school leaving age (16 years old or older); and
  • are a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or protected person as defined by the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, who is entitled to work in Canada.

Training program eligibility:

  • Education and training providers must be approved by the Department of Education, Culture and Employment.

Additional criteria may apply to those wishing to pursue skills development and self-employment.

How to apply

Contact your ECE Regional Service Centre.

To access funding, individuals must first complete and submit an Application for Service form to the Career Development Officer (CDO) at your ECE Regional Service Centre. This counselling service will help with the career and educational planning processes, to explore the implications of returning to school and assist with the developing an action plan that includes an analysis of financial need.

All clients will receive this assessment and/or career counselling to ensure the Skills Development Program is the appropriate intervention.

Additionally, current and relevant northern labour market, career development and educational information will be available to help clients make informed decisions. At the completion of training, Regional ECE Service Centres are available to assist individuals with work search skills.

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