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12-week virtual classroom training & work experience in the Lower Mainland

Skills Training Employment Program

Job seekers: Develop skills. Gain experience. Take a meaningful STEP towards employment!
Employers: Access a pool of job seekers. Champion workplace inclusion. Host a 6-wk work experience!

The Skills Training Employment Program (STEP) empowers autistic youth and adults (ages 15-30) with skills and work experience to better prepare you for successful employment.

Over the course of 12 weeks, participants receive paid classroom training (6 weeks) and work experience (6 weeks) opportunities in the Lower Mainland. This Summer, STEP will be offered with a focus on the cleaning industry.

Are you an employer in the cleaning & maintenance industry? Interested in hosting a 6-week work experience?
Contact [email protected] today!

Are you a job seeker?
Explore program details and application info below!

Program Format

Virtual Classroom (Pre-Employment Skills)

Led by Employment Facilitators Nadine and Wanda, STEP begins in our virtual classroom.

Participants will learn pre-employment skills, such as resume & cover letter building, interviewing, workplace communication, time management and more.

Participants will also gain certifications in courses, such as Foundations of Workplace Safety, First Aid, Food Safe, and more!

  • Full-day sessions through Zoom*
  • Five days per week (Monday-Friday; 9am-3pm) for six weeks
  • Classroom format with up to 8 participants
  • Workshops, discussions, group work & individual work
  • Participants are paid for their time receiving training in the virtual program

*If provincial health orders allow, in-person classes at the CAN office (1788 West 8th Ave, Vancouver) will be considered.

Once participants complete the 6-week virtual classroom component, they receive a 6-week work experience placement.

Work Experience (Cleaning & Maintenance)

Cleaning and maintenance is one of the few industries that has grown during COVID-19 with many positions available in the Lower Mainland region.

Following the virtual classroom component, STEP participants will receive a six-week work experience placement with on-site support from our staff.

  • Six weeks; hours may vary (be prepared for full-time hours)
  • May be held anywhere across the Lower Mainland
  • Transportation and work attire stipends available (eligibility-dependent)
  • Work experience may take place individually or with 2-3 participants at a time
  • Participants are paid for their time in work experience

Request an Info Package >>

Register for an Info Session! >>

Program Details

Participant Eligibility

CAN membership is NOT required. In order to join STEP, participants must meet the following requirements at the time of the program start.

  • Between 15-30 years old
  • Self-identify as being on the autism spectrum
  • Not registered in secondary or post-secondary school
  • Unemployed or precariously employed
  • Not receiving Employment Insurance (EI) benefits
  • Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or granted refugee status
  • Legally entitled to work in Canada
  • Committed to the entirety of the 12-week program
  • Interested in working in the cleaning industry

Questions? Contact us at [email protected]. Other eligibility requirements may apply.

Meet Nadine & Wanda, CAN Employment Facilitators

STEP is a unique program designed specifically for youth and adults on the autism spectrum.

Our Employment Facilitators Nadine Wilk and Wanda Gibson are ready to tailor the program experience to meet your needs. We will conduct one-on-one career planning and guidance to help discover your strengths, talents, skills, and employment needs.

If you believe you may require specific adaptations or accommodations to comfortably participate, please do not hesitate to contact us at [email protected].

Nadine has been involved with the Canucks Autism Network since 2015, working as a support worker in a variety of programs across the Lower Mainland. She is also a registered Occupational Therapist and worked for several years supporting individuals with brain injuries achieve their goals. Nadine is excited to come alongside youth and young adults and empower them to develop new skills and find meaningful employment through STEP. When she is not working, you can find Nadine hiking in the mountains, swimming in a lake, baking some cookies, or reading a good book.

Wanda comes from and employment services background and most recently 4 years in a similar skill training program. She is very excited to be with Canucks Autism Network and looks forward to helping participants to reach their career goals through STEP. Ask Wanda about camping or riding dirt bikes in the mountains!

CAN’s Employment Facilitators: Wanda Gibson (left) and Nadine Wilk (right)

Join STEP!


The next session will take place from August 16 to September 24, 2021.

Applications will be collected on an ongoing basis for the summer and will be reviewed in the order that they are received.

Participants must fill out an application form and meet our Employment Facilitators before being accepted to the program.

Please make sure you meet the program eligibility requirements before applying.

STEP Application >>

Questions? Or still need more info?

You can still Request an Info Package or communicate directly with our Employment Facilitators Wanda and Nadine by emailing [email protected].