OTTAWA, June 3, 2015 /CNW/ - The Honourable Pierre Poilievre, Minister of Employment and Social Development, shared the Harper Government's plans to deal with the looming skills shortage with the construction industry today at BuildForce Canada's first National Construction and Maintenance Industry Strategy Summit.
Minister Poilievre discussed the Harper Government's commitment to ensuring support for apprenticeships and the skilled trades. He also drew attention to Economic Action Plan 2015, which includes measures such as federal support for apprenticeship harmonization, expansion of the Canada Student Grants for short duration programs like skilled trades and the promotion of Blue Seal certification to encourage more skilled tradespeople to start or expand their own businesses. The Minister also outlined measures that benefit both employers and workers, noting in particular the success of the Canada Job Grant.
Minister Poilievre also took the opportunity to highlight how strong families and good jobs go hand in hand, sharing important information about the Harper Government's Family Tax Cuts and Benefits. In its continued efforts to help hard-working families, the Government is enhancing the Universal Child Care Benefit, introducing the Family Tax Cut and making improvements to the Child Care Expenses Deduction and the Children's Fitness Tax Credit.
- BuildForce Canada has identified Canada will need up to 322,000 workers in the construction trades over the next 10 years.
- Economic Action Plan 2014 created the Canada Apprentice Loan to provide apprentices registered in a Red Seal trade program with access to interest-free loans of up to $4,000 per period of technical training. The loans are interest-free until apprentices complete or leave their apprenticeship training program, up to a maximum of six years. It is estimated that at least 26,000 will benefit from these loans each year. Since its launch in January 2015, more than 7,000 apprentices across Canada have already received their loans.
- Since 2007, the Government has provided over 530,000 apprenticeship grants to Canadians across the country, including 7,200 in the National Capital Region. Approximately 75,000 grants are provided each year.
- The Canada Job Grant will provide up to $15,000 per person for the direct costs of training, such as tuition and training materials, which includes up to $10,000 in government contributions. In Ontario alone, 15,600 workers are receiving training through the Canada Job Grant. Approximately 2,200 employers have been approved for funding under the Canada Job Grant.
- The Universal Child Care Benefit would increase to $1,920 per year for children under the age of 6, and parents would receive a new benefit of up to $720 per year for each child aged 6 through 17.
"With measures such as apprenticeship grants, the Canada Apprentice Loan, tax credits, investments in training and the Canada Job Grant, our Government is focused on working in partnership and ensuring that workers have the skills they need and employers have access to a highly skilled workforce today and in the future.
At the same time, we are putting more money back into the pockets of families because we know that strong families and good jobs go hand in hand."
– The Honourable Pierre Poilievre, Minister of Employment and Social Development
"Our aging construction workforce is a national challenge that requires a national solution and strategy. Through the funding and support provided by the Government of Canada, our labour market information has enabled the industry to understand the implications of this and other workforce challenges. It's only by working collaboratively that we can succeed in addressing it."
– Rosemary Sparks, Executive Director, BuildForce Canada
Economic Action Plan 2014
Government of Canada Programs for Apprentices
Canada Job Grant
Helping Families Prosper
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Through Economic Action Plan 2015, the Government continues to demonstrate its commitment to apprenticeships and the skilled trades by outlining the following measures:
- Highlighting federal support to provinces and territories to promote the implementation of recommendations made by the Canadian Council of Directors of Apprenticeship to harmonize apprenticeship training and certification requirements in targeted Red Seal trades.
- Providing $1 million over five years, beginning in 2015–16, to promote the adoption of Blue Seal certification across Canada.
- Providing $184 million over four years, starting in 2016–17, to expand eligibility for Low- and Middle Income Canada Student Grants to short-duration programs. Short-duration programs provide practical skills and help students get jobs in the trades, like welding, plumbing and cabinet-making.
- Making a one-time investment of $65 million to business and industry associations to allow them to work with willing post-secondary institutions to better align curricula with the needs of employers.
Since 2006, our Government has recognized the importance of apprentices to Canada's economy and has made significant investments to help them and the employers that hire them.
The Canada Apprentice Loan offers interest-free loans of up to $4,000 per period of technical training to apprentices in Red Seal trades. The loans are interest-free until recipients complete or leave their apprenticeship training program, up to a maximum of six years.
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. Apprentices could be eligible to receive up to $4,000, which can be used to pay for tuition, tools or other expenses.
Other relevant measures include:
- 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;
- the Flexibility and Innovation in Apprenticeship Technical Training pilot project, an initiative of Economic Action Plan 2014, to help apprentices continue working and earning while fulfilling the technical training requirements of their study program; and
- harmonizing training, certification and standards in the Atlantic provinces, leading to increased availability of training, higher apprenticeship completion rates and more labour mobility for apprentices across Atlantic Canada.
Canada Job Grant
Part of the Canada Job Fund, the Canada Job Grant is an innovative, employer-driven approach to help Canadians gain the skills and training they need to fill available jobs. It can provide up to $15,000 per person for training costs, such as tuition and training materials, which includes up to $10,000 in government contributions. Employers are required to contribute one-third of these training costs.
Helping families prosper
The Government of Canada has proposed new measures to make life more affordable for Canadian families.
Once fully implemented, the new family package would mean more money in the pockets of Canadian families.
The proposed credits and benefits include the following:
- The Family Tax Cut is a non-refundable credit of up to $2,000 for couples with children under the age of 18 that takes effect starting with the 2014 tax year.
- The Children's Fitness Tax Credit may be claimed by families whose children participated in an eligible program of physical activity in 2014. Families may be able to claim up to $1,000 per child for the cost of the program. If the child is eligible for the disability tax credit and the program costs at least $100 in registration or membership fees, families can claim an additional $500.
- The Universal Child Care Benefit would increase to $160 per month for children under the age of 6, and parents may receive a benefit of $60 per month for each eligible child aged 6 through 17. The new benefit amounts would take effect on January 1, 2015, and would begin to be reflected in monthly payments to recipients in July 2015.
- The limits used to calculate the Child Care Expenses Deduction would increase by $1,000 starting in the 2015 tax year: from $7,000 to $8,000 for children under the age of 7; from $4,000 to $5,000 for children aged 7 through 16; and from $10,000 to $11,000 for children who are eligible for the Disability Tax Credit.
SOURCE Employment and Social Development Canada
For further information: Aaron Bell, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Employment and Social Development, 819-994-2482, firstname.lastname@example.org; Media Relations Office, Employment and Social Development Canada, 819-994-5559, email@example.com