OTTAWA, June 3, 2014 /CNW/ - The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of
Employment and Social Development, highlighted government initiatives
to address the labour market demand for skilled trade workers today at
the Skilled Trades Summit, hosted by the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum.
Minister Kenney highlighted how Government of Canada programs—such as
apprenticeship grants and the Canada Apprentice Loan—will help to
connect Canadians with jobs in the skilled trades. He emphasized that
the federal government is seeking more employer involvement in all of
its training programs. The federal government recently reached
agreements in principle with the provinces and territories on the
Canada Job Grant, has recently secured more employer involvement in the
Labour Market Agreements for Persons with Disabilities and is seeking
more employer involvement in the renewed Labour Market Development
Minister Kenney also outlined his concern for the many challenges
apprentices face, which need to be fixed, including low completion
rates, lack of employer participation, inconsistencies among provincial
and territorial apprenticeship systems and high
apprentice-to-journeymen ratios. Minister Kenney spoke about the
important role apprenticeship training plays in Canada's post-secondary
education system and as a key provider of the vital skills and
knowledge necessary to power and grow the Canadian economy.
Lastly, Minister Kenney announced that the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum
would receive $453,000 to study labour mobility challenges and issues
facing both domestic and foreign-trained apprentices. The project will
examine the differences among provincial regulations and training
requirements, as well as the obstacles faced by apprentice newcomers
with limited experience in the trades.
Economic Action Plan 2014 proposes several measures to ensure training
reflects the needs of the labour market and Canadians have the skills
to take advantage of the jobs and opportunities available to them. One
such measure is the Canada Apprentice Loan, which could provide up to
$4,000 in interest-free loans per period of technical training for
apprentices in a Red Seal trade.
According to the Canadian Apprentice Forum, only 19 percent of skilled
trade employers hire and train apprentices. Employers need to be more
involved. This is one of the reasons the Government of Canada created
the Canada Job Grant, so employers would play a more active role in
The Canadian Apprenticeship Forum's 2013 youth perception survey
indicated that almost 40 percent of youth had considered a career in
the trades within the last year; however, young people continue to
perceive university as first choice. Governments and employers need to
do more to encourage youth to pursue careers in the skilled trades.
"Our government's top priorities are creating jobs, economic growth and
long-term prosperity. Our government is committed to addressing the
paradox of too many Canadians without jobs in an economy of too many
jobs without Canadians. We are taking action to address skills
shortages by providing even more support for apprentices. This includes
the introduction of the Canada Apprentice Loan, which will help more
apprentices complete their training and encourage more Canadians to
consider a career in the skilled trades."
- The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social
"Minister Kenney recognizes apprenticeship as an important way to
develop homegrown solutions to skills shortages. Those who promote and
support young people learning the technical and mechanical skills so
needed in today's workplaces can appreciate a national vision that
includes apprenticeship as a highly valued post-secondary pathway."
- Sarah Watts-Rynard, Executive Director, Canadian Apprenticeship Forum
Economic Action Plan 2014
Canada Job Grant
Red Seal Program
The Government of Canada has several programs in place to help
registered apprentices with the cost of their training and encourage
more Canadians to consider a career in the skilled trades.
The Canada Apprentice Loan will offer interest-free loans of up to
$4,000 per period of technical training and will defer interest charges
and loan repayment until the recipients complete or cancel their study
program. It is estimated that at least 26,000 apprentices per year will
apply for over $100 million in loans.
We are also introducing the new Flexibility and Innovation in
Apprenticeship Technical Training pilot project, a research initiative
that will explore ways to allow apprentices to continue working while
fulfilling the technical training requirements of their programs. This
will eventually help apprentices continue working and earning while
fulfilling the technical training requirements of their study program.
This project could potentially support up to 12 multi-year projects
through reallocations of $13 million over four years starting in
The Government will ensure increased awareness of existing financial
supports available through Employment Insurance (EI) so apprentices can
start to receive benefits more quickly while on technical training.
Through EI's Supplemental Unemployment Benefit plan, employers can also
invest more in apprenticeship training by choosing to top up an
apprentice's benefits by up to 95 percent of his or her normal wage.
The Government of Canada provided $4.3 million and the governments of
the Atlantic provinces provided over $3.5 million to harmonize
training, certification and standards, leading to increased
availability of training, higher apprenticeship completion rates and
more labour mobility for apprentices across Atlantic Canada.
The Apprenticeship Incentive Grant and Apprenticeship Completion Grant
are taxable cash grants that encourage Canadians to pursue and complete
apprenticeship training in designated Red Seal trades. As a result of
these grants, apprentices could be eligible to receive up to $4,000,
which can be used to pay for tuition, tools or other expenses.
The Government of Canada also offers a tax credit to employers to
encourage them to hire apprentices and a tax deduction for apprentices
and tradespeople to help cover the cost of new tools.
Through Economic Action Plan 2013, the Government of Canada introduced
measures to support apprentices and the skilled trades. These include
encouraging the use of apprentices in federal construction and
maintenance contracts and infrastructure projects, and federal funding
commitments under the Investment in Affordable Housing, and working
with the provinces and territories to harmonize apprenticeship training
and certification and examining the use of practical tests as a method
of assessment in certain skilled trades.
The Government of Canada is also working to implement the Canada Job
Grant, which will provide funding for skills training for unemployed
and underemployed Canadians to help them become qualified to fill
skills shortages and succeed in the job market.
SOURCE: Employment and Social Development Canada
For further information:
Office of the Minister
Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
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