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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 with skills and work experience to better prepare for successful employment.

During the course of this program, participants will have the opportunity to receive classroom training (5 weeks)* and work experience (6 weeks)** opportunities in the Lower Mainland. CAN-STEP is currently being offered with a focus in 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?
Apply Now!

*Participants can take less than five-weeks of classroom training. Length of classroom training to be determined with Employment Facilitators

**Assuming a 20-hr work week (120 hrs total). If an employer has an opportunity that is less than 20 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, Jessica and Paul, CAN-STEP begins in the classroom:

Participants will be able to select a range of workshops to learn pre-employment skills, such as resume & cover letter building, interviewing, workplace communication, time management and more.

There will be several mandatory workshops that participants must attend. However, participants will have the opportunity to discuss with the employment facilitators the kind of training they would like to receive and select from a range of optional workshops to complement their career goals & employment needs.

Participants will also have the option to gain certifications in courses such as SuperHost customer service training, First Aid, Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS), FOODSAFE, and more!

  • Five-weeks of classroom training*
  • Up to five days per week of in-person classroom training at the CAN Office (1788 West 8th Ave, Vancouver)
  • Classroom format with up to eight participants
  • Workshops, discussions, group work & individual work
  • Participants will get a lunch stipend when receiving classroom training

Once participants complete their classroom component, they receive a 120-hour work experience placement to be completed over 6 weeks or more.

*Participants can take less than five-weeks of classroom training. Length of classroom training to be determined with Employment Facilitators

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*
  • May be held anywhere across the Lower Mainland
  • Transportation and work attire stipends available (eligibility-dependent)
  • Onsite support provided by CAN staff
  • Participants will be placed individually into their work experiences
  • Participants are paid for the hours worked during their work experience placement

*Assuming a 20-hr work week (120 hrs total). If an employer has an opportunity that is less than 20 hrs/week, the work experience may be longer than six weeks

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.

  • Ages 16+
  • 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 your chosen schedule
  • 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 an unique program designed specifically for youth and adults on the autism spectrum working towards independence in their career journey.

Our Employment Facilitators, Paul Baron & Jessica McDonald, 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 Employer Engagement Coordinator Joel Bennett works with employers to create work experiences and employment opportunities for job seekers.

Our Work Experience Support 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].


Paul Baron (Employment Facilitator), Shideh Manavipour (Work Experience Support Coordinator), Wanda Gibson (Employment Program Manager)

Apply for CAN-STEP

Apply Now!

Upcoming dates for classroom training*. The work experience placements will start after classroom training has been completed.

  • January 15th, 2024 – February 16th, 2024
  • March 11th, 2024 – April 16th, 2024
  • May 13th, 2024 – June 17th, 2024

*Assuming a full five-weeks classroom training schedule. Dates may vary if participants decide to take less than five-weeks of classroom training.


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

This program is funded by the Government of Canada’s Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities.