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

CAN Skills Training Employment Program

Job seekers: Take a meaningful STEP towards employment!
Employers: Access a pool of job seekers. Host a 6-wk work experience!

The Canucks Autism Network Skills Training Employment Program (CAN-STEP) empowers Autistic youth and adults (ages 15-30) with skills and work experience to better prepare  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. CAN-STEP is currently being offered with a focus on the hospitality industry.

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

Are you a job seeker?
 Join our waitlist for future cohorts.

*Assuming a 30-hr work week (180 hrs total). If an employer has an opportunity that is less than 30 hrs/week, the work experience may be longer than six weeks.

Learn more about CAN-STEP!

We’ve recorded an info session that provides an overview of the CAN-STEP program and covers our most frequently asked questions. Email [email protected] for a recording.

Program Format

Classroom Training (Pre-Employment Skills)

Led by our Employment Facilitators, Wanda and Paul, CAN-STEP begins in the 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 SuperHost customer service training, First Aid, Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS), FOODSAFE, and more!

  • Two virtual sessions through Zoom and three days in-person at the CAN Office*
  • Five days per week (Monday-Friday; 9:30am-3:30pm) for six weeks
  • Classroom format with up to eight participants
  • Workshops, discussions, group work & individual work
  • Participants are paid for receiving training

*In-person classroom at the CAN Office (1788 West 8th Ave, Vancouver) is subject to change based on provincial health orders

Once participants complete the 6-week classroom component, they receive a 180-hour work experience placement to be completed over 6 weeks or more.


Work Experience (Hospitality)

With a focus on the hospitality industry, possible placements include restaurants, cafes, hotels, theatres, community attractions.

  • Six weeks or more; hours may vary*
    *Assuming a 30-hr work week (180 hrs total). If an employer has an opportunity that is less than 30 hrs/week, the work experience may be longer than six weeks.
  • May be held anywhere across the Lower Mainland
  • Transportation and work attire stipends available (eligibility-dependent)
  • Onsite support provided by CAN staff
  • Work experience may take place individually or with two to three participants at a time
  • Participants are paid for their time in work experience

Request an Info Package >>

Program Details

Participant Eligibility

CAN membership is NOT required. In order to join CAN-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 hospitality industry

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

Meet the CAN-STEP team

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

Our Employment Facilitators, Wanda Gibson & Paul Baron, are ready to tailor the program experience to meet your needs. They conduct one-on-one career planning and guidance to help discover your strengths, talents, skills, and employment needs.

Our Job Developer Kelsey Comfort works with employers to create work experiences and employment opportunities for job seekers.

Our Work Experience Coordinator Shideh Manavipour works with participants to ensure they are successful in their placements.

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

Kelsey Comfort (Job Developer), Nadine Wilk (Wellness Specialist), Robbie Hsieh (Director of Employment Programs & Services) & Wanda Gibson (Employment Facilitator)

Apply for CAN-STEP

Join the waitlist!

Applicants will be contacted for future cohorts starting in 2024.

You can also request an Info Package or communicate directly with our Employment Facilitators Wanda & Paul by emailing [email protected].

This project is funded by the Government of Canada’s Youth Employment and Skills Strategy program.