Government of Canada marks 500,000 apprenticeship grants issued to help young Canadians get jobs

TORONTO, Sept. 3, 2014 /CNW/ - The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development, today announced that the Government of Canada has provided a total of 500,000 apprenticeship grants to Canadians since 2007 to help them pursue careers in the skilled trades.

Minister Kenney spoke with apprentices at an event hosted by George Brown College to celebrate this important milestone and handed out apprenticeship grants to those who have recently completed their training.

The Apprenticeship Incentive Grant and Apprenticeship Completion Grant are cash grants that encourage Canadians to pursue and complete apprenticeship training in Red Seal trades. Through these grants, apprentices receive up to $4,000, which can be used to pay for tuition, tools or other expenses. To date, the Government has provided nearly $700 million in apprenticeship grants.

He also highlighted other Government of Canada measures to create opportunities for apprentices such as the introduction of the Canada Apprentice Loan, support for training programs and tax credits such as the Tool Tax Deduction for apprentices and tradesmen and the Apprenticeship Job Creation Tax Credit for employers.

Minister Kenney also addressed the need for a parity of esteem that will put the skilled trades on an equal footing with a university education. He expressed concern about negative stereotypes that exist towards the skilled trades and the false perception that a university education is more valuable than an apprenticeship.

Quick Facts

  • According to Buildforce Canada, in the construction sector alone, it is expected that Canadian companies will need approximately 300,000 new workers over the next 10 years.
  • According to Colleges and Institutes Canada, in less than 10 years, employers will not be able to find qualified candidates for 1.5 million job openings.
  • In Economic Action Plan 2014, the Government announced the introduction of the Canada Apprentice Loan, which will be available in January 2015 to provide apprentices in Red Seal trades with access to interest-free loans of up to $4,000 per period of technical training. It is estimated that at least 26,000 apprentices a year will apply for these loans.

Quotes

"Our government's top priorities are creating jobs, economic growth,and long-term prosperity. As of today, we have given out 500,000 Apprenticeship Grants. This important milestone demonstrates our government's commitment to supporting apprentices and addressing skills shortages in trades that are so vital to our economy. Jobs in the skilled trades are in-demand, well-paying and rewarding. Choosing a career in the skilled trades is a choice for opportunity."
– The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development

"The Progressive Contractors Association of Canada is encouraged by the Government's long-term support for apprentices in the skilled trades. Our industry recognizes that there are some significant skills shortages that are affecting major construction projects across Canada. We need more Canadians to consider a career in the skilled trades and we recognize that apprenticeship grants are the sorts of investments that will benefit apprentices right now and also help the longer-term landscape."
Sean Reid, Vice-President, Progressive Contractors Association of Canada

"The Apprenticeship Incentive Grant and Apprenticeship Completion Grant are actual help from the Government for apprentices and their families. The grants are something tangible, something to show apprentices of all trades the work they do is valuable and necessary in Canada's economy. The Canadian Building Trades supports the efforts of the Government to assist apprentices in the construction sector and encourages additional measures in the near future."
Chris Smillie, Senior Advisor, Government Relations and Public Affairs at Building and Construction Trades Department, AFL-CIO

"The federal government's ability to roll out this program effectively has allowed a large number of Canadians to benefit from this grant. This is exciting as it means that individuals who otherwise may have had financial barriers to training and meaningful employment were given the support that they need. The apprenticeship grant given to students of career colleges enabled them to fulfil their dreams: that is a positive impact of government intervention."
– Serge Buy, Executive Director, National Association of Career Colleges

"The apprenticeship grants are an important way of recognizing the hard work apprentices dedicate to learning their trade. ‎By rewarding both progress and completion, the grants motivate and encourage apprentices on the path to certification. I congratulate the 500,000th recipient, and everyone before them!"
Sarah Watts-Rynard, Executive Director, Canadian Apprenticeship Forum

"Providing apprenticeship grants is a critical step in helping thousands of Canadians pursue their career goals and enabling businesses to find the skilled workers they need. Our role at George Brown College is to provide a wealth of opportunities for students in order to ensure they have the skills that match what the economy needs. That's why, along with Minister Kenney, we encourage and support Canadians in choosing employment-oriented educational paths, such as apprenticeship training."
Anne Sado, President, George Brown College

"We are pleased with the federal government's commitment to the skilled trades and addressing the skills shortage. The Christian Labour Association of Canada (CLAC) places a high premium on training programs that promote lifelong learning and skills development in the skilled trades. The Apprenticeship Incentive Grant and Apprenticeship Completion Grant are important steps towards ensuring young Canadians, plus those seeking a 2nd career and the underemployed, have the tools to succeed in the workplace of today and tomorrow."
Hank Beekhuis, Ontario Director, CLAC

"Apprenticeship Grants are another example of how the Government of Canada is enabling individual apprentices to finish their training, and to gain certification as masters of their craft. Initiatives like this give students strong signals that apprenticeship is a valuable and equitable form of learning in the post-secondary education ecosystem, and that acquiring their certification will serve them well for the rest of their careers."
– Nobina Robinson, Chief Executive Officer, Polytechnics Canada

Associated Links

Economic Action Plan 2014
Apprenticeship Grants
Canada Job Grant

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Backgrounder

The Government of Canada creates opportunities for apprentices and supports the skilled trades

Get up to $4,000 in Apprenticeship Grants

  • Apprenticeship Incentive Grant: a cash grant of $1,000 for apprentices who complete the first and/or second level of their apprenticeship program in a Red Seal trade, up to a maximum of $2,000.
  • Apprenticeship Completion Grant: a cash grant of $2,000 for registered apprentices who have successfully completed their apprenticeship training and obtained their journeyperson certification in a Red Seal trade.

Interest-free Canada Apprentice Loans available January 2015

  • Apprentices in a Red Seal trade will soon be able to apply for interest-free loans of up to $4,000 per period of technical training.
  • Interest charges and repayment of the Canada Apprentice Loan will not begin until after the recipient completes or leaves their apprenticeship training program.

Tax deductions and tax credits for apprentices, tradespeople and apprentice employers

The Government offers a tax deduction for apprentices and tradespeople to help cover the cost of new tools. Tuition and occupational, trade and professional exam fees are also eligible for a tax credit. This is in addition to a tax credit for employers to encourage them to hire apprentices.

For more information, visit www.cra.gc.ca.

Employment Insurance (EI) benefits for apprentices

When apprentices go on training, they can get access to EI faster.

Apprentices have:

  • shorter processing times with unique input codes provided by provinces and territories;
  • the opportunity to apply for EI benefits seven days before training begins;
  • only one two-week waiting period per apprenticeship, so claimants are not generally required to wait prior to subsequent training periods;
  • access to the Supplemental Unemployment Benefit Program. Employers can top-up a training apprentice's EI benefits up to 95% of the normal wage without reducing their EI benefits.

SOURCE Employment and Social Development Canada

For further information: Alexandra Fortier, Office of Minister Kenney, 819-994-2482; Media Relations Office, Employment and Social Development Canada, 819-994-5559, media@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca