GATINEAU, QC, May 6, 2014 /CNW/ - Today, the Honourable Jason Kenney,
Minister of Employment and Social Development, spoke at the Canadian
Building Trades Conference about the Government of Canada's ongoing
commitment to support apprenticeships and the skilled trades.
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. He also addressed his concern for the many challenges
apprentices face, including low completion rates, lack of employer
participation, inconsistencies between provincial and territorial
apprenticeship systems and high apprentice to journeyperson ratios,
particularly in some provinces.
Minister Kenney outlined a number of Government of Canada initiatives of
interest to the construction sector including grants for apprentices,
the Canada Job Grant and the introduction of the Canada Apprentice
Loan, as outlined in Economic Action Plan (EAP) 2014.
Minister Kenney also announced that the Government of Canada is now
mandating that those bidding on government construction and maintenance
contracts sign a voluntary certification expressing their commitment to
hire and train apprentices. Contractors and subcontractors will also be
required to inform the Government of Canada about the number of
apprentices they plan to use on the contract, as well as their trades.
This information will help inform future additional changes to
encourage the use of apprentices. This initiative was a commitment made
in EAP 2013 to further promote apprenticeships in Canada.
He highlighted additional EAP 2014 measures including increasing
awareness of the existing financial supports available to apprentices
while they are on technical training through the Employment Insurance
program and a pilot project that will explore ways to allow apprentices
to continue working while fulfilling the technical training
requirements of their programs.
In addition, Minister Kenney announced over $1.2 million to Frontier
College to integrate literacy and essential skills training in
apprenticeship programs. This aims to help apprentices complete their
training and trade certification.
In the construction sector alone, it is expected that Canadian companies
will need approximately 300,000 new workers over the next 10 years.
The Canada Job Grant will help ensure that Canada has the skilled
workforce it needs to help bridge the gap between the skills Canadians
have and the skills employers are looking for.
EAP 2014's Canada Apprentice Loan will provide apprentices in Red Seal
trades with access to interest-free loans of up to $4,000 per period of
technical training to encourage careers in the skilled trades. It is
estimated that at least 26,000 apprentices a year will apply for these
"Our government's top priorities are creating jobs, economic growth and
long-term prosperity. We are taking action to address skills shortages
by providing even more support for apprentices. Through our Economic
Action Plan and support for training programs, along with grants and
tax credits, we are encouraging apprenticeships and careers in the
skilled trades, including the introduction of the Canada Apprentice
- The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social
"There is no national apprenticeship system in Canada. There are 13
different systems, one for each province and territory, which can
create barriers for apprentices to move easily during their training to
where the jobs are. We support the work the Government of Canada is
doing with the provinces and territories to facilitate the mobility of
apprentices. Apprenticeship training should be harmonized across the
country, with common sequencing so that more apprentices are able to
apply their skills anywhere they are needed across Canada."
- Robert Blakely, Director of Canadian Affairs, Building & Construction
Economic Action Plan 2014
Canada Job Grant
Economic Action Plan 2014 - Support for apprentices
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.
The Government of Canada is also introducing the new Flexibility and
Innovation in Apprenticeship Technical Training pilot project to
explore ways to 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.
Apprentice Procurement Initiative
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, federal funding
commitments under the Investment in Affordable Housing initiative,
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.
As a first step, contractors bidding on federal projects will be
expected to attest that they are providing opportunities to
apprentices. This will also include gathering information to further
understand the landscape. The information will later determine an
ongoing approach to support the use of apprentices in federal project
that helps Canadian workers, but is also fair to business.
Canada Job Grant
The Canada Job Grant will help Canadians get the training they need for
available jobs and put skills training decisions in the hands of
employers. It will provide up to $15,000 per person for training costs,
such as tuition and training materials, which includes up to $10,000 in
The provinces and territories will have full flexibility on the source
of funds for the Canada Job Grant. They may be sourced from
provincial/territorial allocations under the Canada Job Fund, the
Labour Market Development Agreements or provincial/territorial sources.
The Canada Job Grant will be for short-duration training provided by an
eligible third-party trainer, such as community colleges, career
colleges, trade union centres and private trainers. Training can be
provided in a classroom, on site at a workplace or online.
All private and not-for-profit businesses with a plan to train Canadians
for a new or better job will be eligible to apply for a Canada Job
Grant, once implemented.
The Canada Job Grant will be flexible enough to meet the needs of
businesses of all sizes, in all industries and regions. Small
businesses will benefit from flexible arrangements, such as
the potential to count wages as part of the employer contribution. This
will help ensure that all businesses, regardless of size, can fully
participate in the Canada Job Grant.
The Canada Job Grant will ensure that employers participate meaningfully
as partners in the skills training system, sharing in the associated
costs. This will ensure that training is better aligned with job
opportunities, particularly in sectors facing skills mismatches and
The Canada Job Grant is strongly supported by employers and other
The Building and Construction Trades Department, AFL-CIO;
National Association of Career Colleges;
Canadian Federation of Independent Business;
Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters;
Canadian Construction Association;
Information Technology Association of Canada;
Canadian Welding Bureau;
Progressive Contractors Association;
Christian Labour Association of Canada;
Canadian Home Builders' Association;
Canadian Shipowners Association;
Canadian Electricity Association;
Canadian Institute of Plumbing and Heating;
Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada;
Chemistry Industry Association of Canada; and
Aerospace Industry Association of Canada.
SOURCE: Employment and Social Development Canada
For further information:
Office of Minister Kenney
Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
Follow us on Twitter