BRANDON, MB, Jan. 29, 2015 /CNW/ - The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development, joined Larry Maguire, Member of Parliament for Brandon–Souris, at Assiniboine Community College today, where they spoke with students and administration about available supports for apprentices offered by the Government of Canada. During the tour, Minister Kenney highlighted the new Canada Apprentice Loan, an Economic Action Plan 2014 commitment that provides apprentices in Red Seal trades access to interest-free loans of up to $4,000 per period of technical training.
While on campus, Minister Kenney joined in on discussions about Canada's jobs agenda. He underscored the importance of enhanced support for apprentices, which will help ensure that more Canadians obtain the skills and training needed to fill jobs that will power and grow the Canadian economy. In addition to the Canada Apprentice Loan, Minister Kenney mentioned other supports, such as tax credits and grants. The Government of Canada provides apprenticeship grants and tax credits to both apprentices and employers to encourage careers in the skilled trades. To date, the Government has issued over 500,000 apprenticeship grants to Canadians.
Minister Kenney also discussed the need for youth to seek out more information about where the jobs are and will be. He noted the pressing demand for skilled tradesmen and tradeswomen, particularly in areas such as infrastructure through projects like the Government's New Building Canada Plan.
- It is estimated that at least 26,000 apprentices per year will apply for Canada Apprentice Loans.
- The 57 skilled trades designated as Red Seal trades include welder, bricklayer, carpenter, electrician, gasfitter, heavy equipment operator, ironworker, machinist, painter, plumber, sheet metal worker and truck mechanic.
- According to Statistics Canada, almost 360,000 people are enrolled in over 400 apprenticeship and skilled trades programs. However, only half of apprentices are completing their programs.
"Our Government's top priorities are creating jobs, economic growth and long-term prosperity. Jobs in the skilled trades are in demand in many sectors and regions across the country. Apprenticeship is an essential form of training for these high-skilled jobs, which are key to helping grow our economy. That's why we're making it a priority to support apprentices in Canada with initiatives like the Canada Apprentice Loan, which will help more apprentices complete their training and encourage more Canadians to pursue a career in the skilled trades."
– The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development
"I am thrilled that Minister Kenney is visiting Westman to meet with community and business leaders. Our Government is investing in new ways to train our young people so they can secure high-paying jobs right here in our region."
– Larry Maguire, Member of Parliament for Brandon–Souris
"The vibrant economy in western Manitoba has resulted in increased demand from employers for skilled labour. These are the types of skills that students at Assiniboine Community College have acquired and, upon graduation, can quickly put into action. This is one of the reasons that I applaud the great efforts made by the Government of Canada to support infrastructure growth and also help colleges build capacity and meet student and labour market demand."
– Mark Frison, President, Assiniboine Community College
Since 2006, our Government has recognized the importance of apprentices to Canada's economy and has made significant investments to help apprentices and the employers that hire them.
Economic Action Plan 2014
To help registered apprentices with the cost of their training and encourage more Canadians to consider a career in the skilled trades, the Canada Apprentice Loan will offer interest-free loans of up to $4,000 per period of technical training and will defer interest charges and loan repayment until the recipients complete or cancel their study program. It is estimated that at least 26,000 apprentices per year will apply for over $100 million in loans.
Another new Economic Action Plan 2014 initiative, the Flexibility and Innovation in Apprenticeship Technical Training pilot project, will help reduce non-financial barriers to completing training and obtaining certification by using new learning tools such as in-class simulators, e-learning modules, remote learning sites and video conferencing. This will help apprentices continue working and earning while fulfilling the technical training requirements of their study program. This project could potentially support up to 12 multi-year projects through reallocations of $13 million over four years starting in 2014–15.
The Government will ensure increased awareness of existing financial supports available through Employment Insurance so apprentices can start to receive benefits more quickly while on technical training. Through the Employment Insurance Supplemental Unemployment Benefit plan, employers can also invest more in apprenticeship training by choosing to top up an apprentice's benefits by up to 95 percent of his or her normal wage.
Support for apprentices
The Government of Canada has provided $4.3 million and the governments of the Atlantic provinces over $3.5 million to harmonize training, certification and standards, leading to increased availability of training, higher apprenticeship completion rates and more labour mobility for apprentices across Atlantic Canada. In turn, these actions mean more jobs and opportunities for workers in the skilled trades and a step forward in addressing the skills shortage faced in certain regions and sectors in Canada.
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. Since 2007, the Government has issued over 500,000 apprenticeship grants.
The Government of Canada also offers 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.
Promoting careers in the skilled trades
Through Economic Action Plan 2013, the Government proposed to provide more information on job prospects and the benefits of working in the skilled trades, science, technology, engineering and mathematics to promote education in these high-demand fields.
The Government of Canada also provides a range of support—including Canada Student Loans, Canada Student Grants, the Canada Learning Bond and the Canada Education Savings Grant—to help young Canadians pursue and save for their post-secondary education, so that they can acquire the skills and training they need to succeed in the job market and in the future economy.
SOURCE Canada's Economic Action Plan
For further information: Lauren Armstrong, Office of Minister Kenney, 819-994-2482; Media Relations Office, Employment and Social Development Canada, 819-994-5559, [email protected]