EDMONTON, AB, March 17, 2015 /CNW/ - The Honourable Pierre Poilievre, Minister of Employment and Social Development, joined by the Honourable Laurie Hawn, Member of Parliament for Edmonton Centre, today congratulated the first recipients of the Canada Apprentice Loan at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT). Launched in January of this year, the Loan provides registered apprentices pursuing technical training in Red Seal trades with access to up to $4,000 per period of technical training. As of early March, over 3,000 apprentices from across Canada have benefitted from this loan, including over 1,200 in Alberta. Minister Poilievre also noted that more than 800 recipients of the loan are pursuing their studies at NAIT.
In his speech, Minister Poilievre encouraged more Canadians to take advantage of the Canada Apprentice Loan—to learn a trade, gain hands-on experience and seize the opportunities that exist in today's labour market and prepare for the jobs of tomorrow.
The Minister also outlined the Government's agenda to help more Canadians get the skills they need for in‑demand jobs and access better labour market information that will help them make more informed career decisions to align their skills with available jobs.
He went on to discuss the Government's plan to ensure Canadians keep more of their hard-earned money in their pockets. This plan includes enhancements to the Universal Child Care Benefit, the new Family Tax Cut and improvements to the Child Care Expenses Deduction and the Children's Fitness Tax Credit. These measures allow parents to invest more in their children's future.
- According to Statistics Canada, almost 360,000 people are enrolled in over 400 apprenticeship and skilled trades programs.
- Economic Action Plan 2014 created the Canada Apprentice Loan to provide apprentices registered in a Red Seal trade apprenticeship with access to interest-free loans of up to $4,000 per period of technical training. The loans are interest-free until apprentices complete or leave their apprenticeship training program, up to a maximum of six years.
- The Canada Apprentice Loan will help more apprentices complete their training, and it is estimated that at least 26,000 apprentices are expected to benefit from over $100 million in loans each year.
- Since 2006, the Government has provided nearly $700 million through apprenticeship grants to over 530,000 Canadians across the country, including over 137,000 to apprentices in Alberta.
- The Universal Child Care Benefit would increase to up to $1,920 per year for children under the age of 6, and parents may receive a benefit of up to $720 per year for each eligible child aged 6 through 17.
"Canada needs more apprentices to help fill a looming shortage of skilled workers. Today we are congratulating the first Canada Apprentice Loan recipients in Alberta. Over 1,200 apprentices in the province, including nearly 800 from the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, and more than 3,000 apprentices from across Canada are now benefitting from the support they need from the Government of Canada."
– The Honourable Pierre Poilievre, Minister of Employment and Social Development
"With new initiatives and financial supports like the Canada Apprentice Loan, apprentices in Canada's Red Seal trades can be sure that the Government of Canada regards them both as post-secondary learners and as vitally needed workers for the in-demand jobs across Canada's economy."
– Nobina Robinson, CEO of Polytechnics Canada
"As Canada's largest apprenticeship educator, NAIT is extremely pleased with this initiative. The Canada Apprentice Loan is increasing access to the trades by helping meet the financial challenges of returning to school. Through increasing accessibility it will also help Alberta and Canada better address ongoing needs for skilled labour."
– Dr. Glenn Feltham, president and CEO of NAIT (the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology)
Since 2006, our Government has recognized the importance of apprentices to Canada's economy and has made significant investments to help them and the employers that hire them.
Canada Apprentice Loan
To help apprentices in Red Seal trades with the cost of their training and encourage more Canadians to consider a career in the skilled trades, the Canada Apprentice Loan offers interest-free loans of up to $4,000 per period of technical training. The loans are interest-free until recipients complete or leave their apprenticeship training program, up to maximum of six years. Recipients are not required to make their first payment for another six months from the day their interest begins to accrue. It is estimated that at least 26,000 apprentices per year will apply for the loans.
Reducing non-financial barriers for apprentices
The Flexibility and Innovation in Apprenticeship Technical Training pilot project, an initiative of Economic Action Plan 2014, 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 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 530,000 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.
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.
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 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 Employment and Social Development Canada
For further information: Contacts ; Meagan Murdoch, Office of Minister Poilievre, 819-994-2482; Media Relations Office, Employment and Social Development Canada, 819-994-5559, [email protected]; Follow us on Twitter