OTTAWA, Feb. 13, 2014 /CNW/ - The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of
Employment and Social Development, highlighted the Government of
Canada's ongoing commitment to support apprenticeships and the skilled
trades today at a meeting with representatives of the Canadian
Apprenticeship Forum (CAF) in Ottawa.
Minister Kenney emphasized the importance of supporting apprenticeships
to help address the pressing demand for skilled tradesmen. He noted
several steps that are being pursued, including encouraging harmonized
apprenticeship requirements among the provinces and territories,
supporting the use of apprentices in federal contracts and projects,
and providing grants and tax credits to apprentices and the employers
who hire them.
Support for apprentices was a major theme in Economic Action Plan 2014
with the creation of 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. In addition,
Economic Action Plan 2014 included the creation of the Flexibility and
Innovation in Apprenticeship Technical Training pilot project to
explore ways to allow apprentices to continue working while fulfilling
the technical training requirements of their programs.
In a study completed by the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum (CAF) and
Skills Canada, only 32 percent of high school students said they would
consider a career in the skilled trades. According to Statistics
Canada, the average age for entry of an apprentice is 25. As part of
Economic Action Plan 2013, the Government of Canada announced measures
to create more opportunities for apprentices and to promote careers in
the skilled trades.
In the decade Canada is expected to need 319 000 workers in the
construction sector, 145 000 workers in the mining sector, 130 000
workers in the petroleum sector, and 95 000 engineers.
EAP 2014 proposes to create the Canada Apprentice Loan to provide
apprentices in Red Seal trades with access to over $100 million in
interest free loans each year and to increase awareness of financial
supports for apprenticeship training.
EAP 2014 also introduced plans to expand the use of innovative
approaches to the delivery of apprentice technical training through the
Flexibility and Innovation in Apprenticeship Technical Training pilot
"Our government's top priority remains creating jobs, economic growth
and long-term prosperity. With apprenticeship grants, apprenticeship
loans, tax credits and investments in training, our government is
helping apprentices get the skills they need to fill well-paying jobs
available in the Canadian economy."
- The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social
Development and Minister for Multiculturalism
"The Canadian Apprenticeship Forum is encouraged by Minister Kenney's
emphasis on labour shortages in the skilled trades. We need more
employers training the next generation of tradespeople and more youth
who value apprenticeship as a post-secondary pathway. National support
for Canada's apprenticeship systems recognizes the importance of
skilled tradespeople to our country's productivity."
- Sarah Watts-Rynard, Executive Director, Canadian Apprenticeship Forum
Apprenticeship Incentive Grant and Apprenticeship Completion Grant
Canada Job Grant
Economic Action Plan 2014
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 Flexibility and Innovation in Apprenticeship Technical Training
pilot project will help reduce non-financial barriers to completing
training and obtaining certification by using new learning tools such
as in-class simulators, e-learning modules, remote learning sites and
video conferencing. This will 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 2014-2015.
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 per cent of his or her normal wage.
Support for apprentices
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. In turn,
these actions mean more jobs and opportunities for workers in the
skilled trades and a step forward in addressing the skills shortage
faced in certain regions and sectors in 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. 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.
Promoting careers in the skilled trades
Also through Economic Action Plan 2013, the Government proposed to
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.
Canada Job Grant
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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