OTTAWA, Oct. 24, 2013 /CNW/ — In remarks today to the Canadian Council
of Directors of Apprenticeship, the Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister
of Employment and Social Development and Minister for Multiculturalism
called for provinces to take immediate action to reform their
"Employers in Canada increasingly require highly skilled workers. To
create jobs, economic growth and long-term prosperity, we must match
skills training to workplace needs," said Minister Kenney. "The
provinces and territories need to reform their apprenticeship systems
to create more opportunities for Canadian workers, while helping to
address skills shortages."
Minister Kenney drew attention to challenges in apprenticeship training:
high apprentice-journeyperson ratios in some provinces, low completion
rates, lack of employer involvement and inconsistency between
provincial and territorial apprenticeship systems. He also highlighted
our government's commitment to fixing the skills mismatch with the
Canada Job Grant. Through Economic Action Plan 2013, the Canada Job
Grant will invest in skills training for unemployed and underemployed
Canadians, better ensuring they are qualified to fill the high-quality,
well-paying jobs that are available.
Minister Kenney also highlighted the importance of addressing Canada's
skills shortage to take advantage of the tremendous opportunity the
Canada European Union Free Trade Agreement offers. This historic
agreement will create 80,000 jobs for Canadians and give Canadian
businesses access to a half-billion new customers.
Economic Action Plan 2013 also announced measures to support apprentices
and the skilled trades, specifically, using apprentices in federal
construction and maintenance contracts and infrastructure projects,
working with the provinces and territories to harmonize requirements
for apprenticeship training and certification, and examining the use of
practical tests as an assessment in certain skilled trades. In
addition, our government provides grants and tax credits to encourage
Canadians to pursue and complete apprenticeship training and promotes
careers in the skilled trades to youth.
Canada Job Grant
The Canada Job Grant will provide $15,000 or more per person, including
a maximum $5,000 federal contribution and matching contributions from
provinces, territories and employers. Businesses with a plan to train
Canadians for an existing job or a better job will be eligible to apply
for a Canada Job Grant.
Upon full implementation, nearly 130 000 Canadians each year are
expected to be able to access the training they need to obtain gainful
employment or improve their skills for in-demand jobs.
Support for Apprentices
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.
In addition, Economic Action Plan 2013 plans to provide more information
on the job prospects and benefits of working in the skilled trades,
science, technology, engineering and mathematics to promote education
in these high-demand fields.
SOURCE: Employment and Social Development Canada
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