WHISTLER, BC, April 4, 2014 /CNW/ - Today, the Honourable Jason Kenney,
Minister of Employment and Social Development, spoke at the Canadian
Home Builders' Association National Conference about how the Government
of Canada is creating jobs and helping alleviate regional and sectoral
skills shortages, specifically in the skilled trades.
Minister Kenney outlined a number of Government of Canada initiatives of
interest to the homebuilding sector including tax credits for employers
who hire apprentices, grants for apprentices, the Canada Apprentice
Loan and supporting the hiring of apprentices for federal construction,
maintenance and infrastructure projects. Minister Kenney also urged
employers to make greater efforts to hire apprentices and urged
provinces to work with the federal government to harmonize
apprenticeship systems in Canada.
Minister Kenney highlighted the importance of involving employers in
training decisions. The Canada Job Grant will result in greater
employer investment and involvement in training and guaranteed jobs.
According to BuildForce Canada, over 300,000 new construction workers
will be needed in the next decade.
Economic Action Plan 2014 proposes the Canada Apprentice Loan, which
will provide apprentices with access to interest-free loans of up to
$4,000 per period of technical training. The loan will help apprentices
complete their training and will encourage more Canadians to consider
the skilled trades.
As of 2013, investment in new residential construction, renovations and
ownership transfer costs accounted for approximately 6.7 percent of
"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. Through the Canada Job Grant, support for
apprentices and encouraging Canadians to enter the skilled trades, we
are taking action to ensure Canadians have the skills for the jobs
employers have available."
- The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social
"Our member companies in the residential construction industry are
facing real challenges in finding the skilled workers we need—a problem
projected to get worse. We are therefore very pleased with the
proactive approach Minister Kenney has taken to his files both
previously as the Minister for Citizenship, Immigration and
Multiculturalism and now in his role as Minister of Employment and
- Kevin Lee, CEO, Canadian Home Builders' Association
Economic Action Plan 2014
Canada Job Grant
Economic Action Plan 2014
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 that will
explore ways to allow apprentices to continue working while fulfilling
the technical training requirements of their programs. This project
could potentially support up to 12 multi-year projects through
reallocations of $13 million over four years starting in 2014-15.
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.
Support for apprentices
The Government of Canada provided more than $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 tradesmen 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, including
federal funding commitments under the Investment in Affordable Housing.
These include encouraging the use of apprentices in federal
construction and maintenance contracts and infrastructure projects,
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.
Economic Action Plan 2014 also proposes the Canada Apprentice Loan to
provide apprentices registered in their first Red Seal trade with
access to interest-free loans of up to $4,000 per period of technical
training. This initiative will help more apprentices to complete their
training and encourage more Canadians to consider a career in the
skilled trades. The Government also plans to introduce the new
Flexibility and Innovation in Apprenticeship Technical Training pilot
project that will explore ways to allow apprentices to continue working
while fulfilling the technical training requirements of their programs.
Also through Economic Action Plan 2013, the Government will provide more
information on job prospects and the benefits of working in the skilled
trades, science, technology, engineering and mathematics to promote
education in these high-demand fields.
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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