Education and Training

Education is very important in Canada. All children usually go to elementary school from ages 5 to 12, and to secondary school (high school) from ages 13 to 17 or 18. After secondary school, students can go on to post-secondary study at colleges, technical schools and universities.

For general information on the

  • Education system
  • Elementary and secondary schools
  • Distance education
  • Post-secondary education
  • Costs and financial help
  • English classes for adults
  • Continuing education for adults

check these online resources:

  • WelcomeBC Newcomers’ Guide  – Chapter 5: Education (viewable online or download PDF file)
  • Welcome to Canada Guidebook – Chapter 9: Education (download eBook or PDF to your own computer)
  • BC Ministry of Education – website with lots of information
  • CanLearn.ca – a useful government website with information on education savings for your child, planning for post-secondary education, student loans, grants and scholarships, and continuing education.

Adult Basic Education

(Graduating high school diploma):  Going back to school to get your high school diploma or to take extra courses to get ahead is a great idea!  The BC Ministry of Advanced Education can help:  See BC Adult Basic Education

Post-secondary Education

Learning continues life-long .  Here in B.C., there are thousands of world-class education options after high school – whether you’re upgrading skills, learning English, training for a career or enrolling in an academic program. Explore your options and never stop learning.  See: BC Post-Secondary Education

Learn Live BC has a searchable database with links to many post-secondary colleges etc.  Click here: LearnLiveBC – post secondary

CanLearn.ca – a useful government website with information on education savings for your child, planning for post-secondary education, student loans, grants and scholarships, and continuing education.

Online training and education

You may also choose to earn a B.C. qualification without leaving home through online distance and supported open learning (this is also called distributed learning). This is a great option if you can’t afford to take time out of work for full-time study.

  • Search CoursesBC to explore online courses offered by B.C.’s post-secondary schools.
  • Athabasca University, Canada’s Open University, is dedicated to the removal of barriers that restrict access to and success in university-level study and to increasing equality of educational opportunity for adult learners worldwide. See: AthabascaUniversity
  • TRU: see details of online and distance education at Thompson Rivers University

Vocational and Workplace Training

WorkBC is a government website with lots of information on starting your career, upgrading skills, financing your education, employment programs, post-secondary education: WorkBC Education and Training.  For a list of government-sponsored training programs, please see: WorkBC Employment programs.

Learn Live BC has a searchable database with links to many post-secondary colleges etc.  Click here:LearnLiveBC – post secondary

Looking for training in a trade?  To explore this career, see: BCJobsplan – Trades for a list of public institutions offering Trades training.

Another option for you may be a private institution.  In BC, private career training is regulated. Any institution offering a career training program with tuition of $1,000 or more and 40 hours or more in duration is required to register and adhere to basic education standards. For a searchable database of schools and programs, check out PCTIA BC

The FoodSafe Program is a comprehensive food safety training program designed for the food service industry. It is often a pre-requisite for working in restaurants in Whistler. The course can be taken in person or online.  See:  Foodsafe – course search

First Aid Training:  many jobs in Whistler require you to have First Aid training.  Courses are offered by a number of agencies such as St. John’s Ambulance.  There are also courses offered in the Whistler Recreation Guide.

Other private companies also offer First Aid training. See these websites for more information:

Training Innovations is a local business dedicated to helping employers and job seekers. They are located in Function Junction. Their website has detailed information on programs such as Skills Connect for Immigrants, Targeted Skills Shortage Program, and Encore Employment Project for workers age 50+.  See their website for information:  Training Innovations – employment services or call 604-932-1600.