Apprenticeship training: Our competitve advantage - CAF-FCA launches employer engagement strategy

    OTTAWA, Aug. 20 /CNW Telbec/ - Want to maintain your competitive edge?
Worried about how you will replace retiring workers? Apprenticeship training
is an essential starting point if businesses want a skilled workforce, higher
productivity, and increased profitability. Apprenticeship training also
provides youth and new Canadians the hands-on experience needed to access
rewarding and well-paying careers in the skilled trades. Yet, less than twenty
percent of employers in Canada actually train apprentices. Our hats go off to
those employers! But more should be done! Canada lags behind other countries
in terms of its global competitiveness and productivity. Skills shortages due
to the retirement of baby boomers could further threaten Canada's economic
prosperity because we won't have the expertise needed to get the job done. To
address these challenges, we need to support the employers who do train and
increase overall employer investment in apprenticeship training. Over the next
three years, the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum-Forum canadien sur
l'apprentissage (CAF-FCA) aims to do just that. Today CAF-FCA is releasing the
results from a series of dialogue sessions it held with employers. Ongoing
activities include a national return on training investment survey, the
creation of a catalogue of employer support mechanisms, and ongoing
consultations with employers. Through this work, CAF-FCA is providing the
information and tools needed to ensure employers are prepared to meet their
future human resource challenges. CAF-FCA is well positioned to complete this
work, since it is the only inclusive national body that brings together all
players in apprenticeship training.
    The report being released today provides direct feedback from employers
across the country. Over the past year, CAF-FCA held six pilot Employer
Engagement Forums with a cross-section of industries in Burnaby, British
Columbia, London and Hamilton, Ontario, St. John's, Newfoundland, Halifax,
Nova Scotia, and Whitehorse, Yukon. The good news is that employers who
participated in the forums validated the business case for apprenticeship and
offered a number of compelling reasons why they support the business case for
apprenticeship including:

    - An effective recruitment strategy which leads to higher retention rates
      and lower turn over.
    - Two way skills development. Mentoring apprentices renews and
      revitalizes journeypersons' skills leading to greater productivity.
    - Higher quality work that develops skills and competencies meeting
      industry standards.
    - Increased productivity through training apprentices in the company's
      systems and work processes.
    - Improved safety leading to fewer accidents and reduced compensation
    - Improved company reputation by developing strong customer relationships
      and by delivering high quality products.

    Participants also offered a number of concrete strategies for improving
    employer participation in apprenticeship:

    - Educate employers about mentoring
    - Inform employers that apprenticeship training is industry driven
    - Provide incentives to employers
    - Ensure apprentices understand their value
    - Encourage employers to participate in talking to their peers
    - Build appreciation for skilled labour

    For the full report see

For further information:

For further information: on how to become involved in CAF-FCA's Employer
Engagement Strategy contact: Emily Arrowsmith, Researcher, (613) 235-4004 ext.
201,; For further information on the CAF-FCA and
its activities, please contact: Debbie Miller, Communications Manager, (613)
235-4004 ext. 207,

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