Looking for Something?

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!

Join the Waitlist

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?
Explore program details and application info below!

*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 Facilitator, Wanda, 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.

Program Schedule*

Upcoming cohorts:

  • Dec 1, 2022 – Jan 20, 2023*

*Winter break from Dec 26 – Jan 2. Please contact [email protected] if you have any questions about program details and/or the intake process.

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 will conduct one-on-one career planning and guidance to help discover your strengths, talents, skills, and employment needs.

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

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

Wanda comes from an employment services background and most recently four 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!

Paul comes from an educational background with over 8 years experience working with adult learners in and out of the classroom. He is very excited to be working with Canucks Autism Network and help young adults transition into the workplace. Paul enjoys those rainy, Vancouver days where he can stay home cooking a new recipe or curling up in bed to watch a movie.

Kelsey comes from a background in sales and has also worked in the hospitality industry for many years. She is very excited to help participants begin their career journey and find careers that empower them. When she’s not in the office, you can find her cycling, running the seawall or hitting birdies on the badminton court.

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


Join the waitlist

The next cohort takes place December 1 – January 20, 2023. Applications will be collected on an ongoing basis 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.

CAN-STEP Waitlist >>

You still 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.