Call for proposals for new Union Training and Innovation Program launched today

Eligible organizations are encouraged to apply for funding to support apprentices in completing their training

GATINEAU, QC, July 24, 2017 /CNW/ - Supporting the next generation of apprentices and tradespeople—particularly women and Indigenous people—depends on high-quality apprenticeship training systems, like union-based training centres.

Today, Rodger Cuzner, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour,  announced the launch of the call for proposals for the new Union Training and Innovation Program and encouraged unions and other organizations in the skilled trades to apply for funding.

Through the Union Training and Innovation Program, successful applicants will receive financial support to purchase up-to-date training equipment and materials so workers can get the skills they need on the job site. Successful applicants will also receive funding to support approaches that will break down barriers facing women and Indigenous people who want to enter the skilled trades.


"Our government is helping the next generation of tradespeople and apprentices get the skills and training they need to succeed. When we ensure that underrepresented groups—including women and Indigenous people—can develop their skills and find good jobs, our middle class is stronger and our economy thrives."
– The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour

"The Union Training and Innovation Program will help new generations of workers benefit from the mentorship and training that unions are so well equipped to offer. By supporting this project, our government is helping groups such as women and Indigenous people build successful careers in the skilled trades."
Rodger Cuzner, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour

Quick Facts

  • The call for proposals will remain open for six weeks, with a closing date of September 5, 2017.
  • Since its inception in January 2015, more than 43,000 Canada Apprentice Loans totalling over $166 million have been provided to apprentices.
  • Over 716,000 apprenticeship grants have been provided to apprentices since their introduction. This includes close to 518,000 Apprenticeship Incentive Grants and almost 199,000 Apprenticeship Completion Grants and represents more than $915 million in funding.

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The Union Training and Innovation Program, which was announced in Budget 2016, will target the Red Seal trades and involve broad-based partnerships with a number of stakeholders. It is expected that the Program will:

  • help to improve the quality of training through investments in equipment;
  • support innovative approaches and partnerships with other stakeholders; and
  • reduce barriers to participation and success in the trades for key groups including women and Indigenous people.

The Program, which will have two streams, is open to all unions, including those that do not provide training recognized by provinces and territories as technical apprenticeship training, and those that do not operate training facilities.

Stream 1 will fund cost-shared purchases of training equipment and materials. Continuous technological change puts pressure on training providers to ensure workers are developing the right skills needed on the job site. Stream 1 will help unions to purchase new and up-to-date training equipment.

Stream 2 will focus on innovative approaches to help address challenges limiting apprenticeship outcomes in Canada, including barriers to participation and success in the trades for key groups such as women and Indigenous people. This stream will be open to a range of stakeholders and partners, but unions need to be involved, either as the lead or as a partner on projects. 

The Government of Canada invests significantly in apprenticeship through grants, loans, tax credits, Employment Insurance benefits (during in-school training), project funding and support for the Red Seal program. The Government is also working with the provinces and territories to harmonize apprenticeship training requirements in targeted Red Seal trades.

Quebec organizations are not eligible to apply for funding. Discussions with the Government of Quebec are underway to develop an approach that takes into account the unique features of Quebec's apprenticeship system. For more information, and updates, visit UTIP Stream 1 and UTIP Stream 2


SOURCE Employment and Social Development Canada

For further information: Media enquiries: Jean-Bruno Villeneuve, Advisor, Office of the Honourable Patty Hajdu, P.C., M.P., Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour,, 819-654-5611; Media Relations Office, Employment and Social Development Canada, 819-994-5559,

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