DARTMOUTH, NS, Aug. 15, 2019 /CNW/ - Canada's changing economy and investments in infrastructure make skills training critical to our future. To keep our economy strong and growing, Canadians will need the right skills to fill in-demand and well-paying jobs. The Government of Canada is taking steps to encourage key groups facing barriers to explore careers in the trades.
Today, Darren Fisher, Member of Parliament for Dartmouth–Cole Harbour, announced on behalf of the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, funding of $228,476 to Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) for its Pathways to Shipbuilding for African Nova Scotians project. This project is funded in part through the new Skilled Trades Awareness and Readiness program, which encourages more Canadians, particularly those facing barriers, to pursue careers in the skilled trades through career exploration, skills training and work experience.
Approximately 5,000 Canadians over four to five years are expected to benefit from the new Skilled Trades Awareness and Readiness program. Funding started with $6 million in 2018–19 and $10 million per year ongoing thereafter, as announced in Budget 2018.
The Pathways to Shipbuilding for African Nova Scotians project will support 20 African Nova Scotian students through the Pre-Apprenticeship Welding Diploma program at NSCC. The project is specifically designed for African Nova Scotians interested in a career in welding in the shipbuilding industry and employment at Irving Shipbuilding. Recruitment and selection of the 20 participants was led by the East Preston Empowerment Academy, the community partner in the program.
Employers, provinces and territories, learning institutions, unions, community organizations and individuals all have key roles to play in Canada's continued success in building a skilled, mobile and certified workforce that supports Canada's labour market.
"The new Skilled Trades Awareness and Readiness program will equip Canadians from key groups with the foundational skills, knowledge and experience they need to get trained and start well-paying careers in the skilled trades. By creating a skilled, diverse and inclusive workforce, our government is strengthening the middle class and creating a more prosperous country."
– The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour
"The shipbuilding industry in Nova Scotia is strong, growing and providing good jobs here at home. Our government's support for the Pathways to Shipbuilding for African Nova Scotians project at NSCC will help more Nova Scotians train for the skilled trade jobs needed today and tomorrow."
– Darren Fisher, Member of Parliament, Dartmouth–Cole Harbour
"As Nova Scotia's community college, we are focused on supporting industry and the need for an educated, skilled workforce. The Federal government's investment in our students and their journey through the Irving Shipbuilding Centre of Excellence Pathway's program will enhance their experience and help ensure their future success in the marine sector."
– Don Bureaux, President, Nova Scotia Community College
- One in five employed Canadians work in the skilled trades, representing almost 4 million workers.
- The annual average salary of skilled tradespeople in Canada is $69,512.
- To sustain workforce certification levels, 67,000 new journeypersons will be required across the 10 largest Red Seal trades in Canada by 2023.
- Barriers related to technical training prevent some apprentices from completing their levels and programs. According to studies undertaken by Statistics Canada, the apprenticeship completion rate has been at 50% or less for well over a decade.
- There are a number of benefits for apprentices who complete their training. Those who earn certification are more likely to be employed full-time and earn more than those with no certification.
- Women's representation in Red Seal trades where women are under-represented was at 5% in 2017.
The Government of Canada invests significantly in apprenticeship through grants, loans, tax credits, Employment Insurance benefits during in-school training and project funding such as for Union Training and Innovation Program projects.
Skilled Trades Awareness and Readiness program
Budget 2018 announced the Skilled Trades Awareness and Readiness program to encourage Canadians—including those who face barriers, such as women, Indigenous people, newcomers, people with disabilities and youth—to explore and prepare for careers in the skilled trades.
The Program supports pre-apprenticeship training, including:
- career exploration opportunities to build awareness of the trades as viable, good quality careers through means such as "try a trade" events, career fairs, job shadowing and mentorships;
- skills training to help participants upgrade their essential skills, such as literacy and numeracy, and technical skills so they are ready for apprenticeship training; and
- work experience to explore the trades with hands-on job experience, form connections with employers and increase employment readiness.
Union Training and Innovation Program
Through a $25 million annual investment, the Union Training and Innovation Program (UTIP) objectives are to:
- help unions improve the quality of training through investments in up-to-date training equipment and materials;
- support innovative approaches and partnerships with other stakeholders to address challenges limiting apprenticeship outcomes; and
- reduce barriers to participation and success in the trades for key groups including women and Indigenous people.
The UTIP has two streams:
- The Investments in Training Equipment stream helps unions purchase new and up-to-date training equipment. Continuous technological change puts pressure on training providers to ensure workers are developing the right skills needed on the job site.
- The Innovation in Apprenticeship stream focuses on innovative approaches to address challenges limiting apprenticeship outcomes, including barriers to participation and success in the trades for key groups such as women and Indigenous people. This stream is 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 has approved 109 UTIP projects, including 34 in 2017–18 and 75 in 2018–19.
On April 30, the Government of Canada launched the 2019 Call for Proposals, a $10 million investment in the Investments in Training Equipment stream of the UTIP. Projects are currently being assessed, and approximately $13.5 million is expected to be invested in this Call for Proposals.
Women in Construction Fund
Budget 2018 announced the Women in Construction Fund with an investment of $10 million over three years to increase the participation of women in construction trades by helping them progress through their training and retain jobs in the trades.
The Women in Construction Fund, which is expected to benefit approximately 2,800 women over three years, supports projects that target the Red Seal construction trades and focus on:
- attracting and recruiting women into the trades (e.g. site visits, hands-on experiences and career exploration);
- supporting apprentice training and skill development through upgrading of essential skill and a continuum of tailored services for women (e.g. child care, transportation, purchase of tools, coaching and mentoring); and
- supporting employers by developing recruitment and retention tools and supports based on best practices for inclusive and respectful workplaces.
A wide range of organizations and partnerships are eligible for the program, including women's non profit organizations, employer and industry associations, unions, training providers, and provinces and territories.
Three-year projects were solicited in 2018 through a targeted solicitation process with a wide range of organizations and partners eligible for this program. Projects are currently underway.
To further support the skilled trades, the Government proposed additional new investments in Budget 2019:
- $40 million over four years in funding for Skills Canada, starting in 2020–21, and $10 million per year ongoing to encourage more young people to consider training and work in the skilled trades;
- $6 million over two years, starting in 2019–20, to create a national campaign to promote the skilled trades as a first-choice career for young people;
- a new Apprenticeship Strategy to ensure that existing supports and programs available to apprentices address the barriers faced by those who want to work in the skilled trades and support employers who face challenges in hiring and retaining apprentices;
- a lower interest rate on Canada Apprentice Loans, starting in 2019–20, and making the first six months after a borrower completes their apprenticeship training interest-free; and
- the new Canada Training Benefit, which would give workers money to help pay for training, provide income support during training and offer job protection so that workers can take the time they need to keep their skills relevant and in demand.
Since the introduction of the Apprenticeship Grants, almost 853,300 grants have been issued to Canadians, representing over $1.1 billion in funding. This includes:
- over 603,600 Apprenticeship Incentive Grants;
- over 2,300 Apprenticeship Incentive Grants for Women; and
- 247,400 Apprenticeship Completion Grants.
As Canada's economy continues to grow and create good, well-paying jobs, the Government is committed to ensuring that all Canadians share in and benefit from this success.
SOURCE Employment and Social Development Canada
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