TORONTO, March 20, 2015 /CNW/ - The Honourable Pierre Poilievre, Minister of Employment and Social Development, today congratulated the first Ontario recipients of the Canada Apprentice Loan at George Brown College in Toronto. The Minister announced that more than 600 apprentices from Ontario have benefitted from the loan, out of a total of 4,000 from across the country. Of these, nearly 50 apprentices are attending George Brown College.
The Canada Apprentice Loan was announced in January of this year and provides up to $4,000 per period of technical training to registered apprentices attending technical training in Red Seal trades.
In his remarks, Minister Poilievre underscored how the Government is helping equip Canadians with the skills they need to take on in-demand jobs and be better prepared for the jobs of tomorrow. He also made note of the looming shortage of skilled workers stemming from the expected retirement of baby boomers and how providing better labour market information to Canadians will help them to make more informed career choices.
The Minister also highlighted the Government's plan to help 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 both 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 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 over 530,000 apprenticeship grants worth nearly $700 million to Canadians across the country. Apprentices in Ontario have received over 127,000 apprenticeship grants.
- 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 child aged 6 through 17.
"I am pleased to congratulate the first Canada Apprentice Loan recipients in Ontario. Over 4,000 apprentices have received the loans across Canada, and nearly 600 are from Ontario. I am confident the Canada Apprentice Loan will help more Canadians complete their training so they can take advantage of job opportunities that are becoming available right here in the province."
– The Honourable Pierre Poilievre, Minister of Employment and Social Development
"We heartily endorse the objective of the Canada Apprentice Loan to help more trades trainees complete their apprenticeship and become certified journeypersons. The Government of Canada has recognized the financial burden faced by apprentices when they return to the classroom while maintaining their monthly financial obligations, and supports such as the Canada Apprentice Loan help reduce that constant pressure."
– Nobina Robinson, CEO of Polytechnics Canada
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 costs of their training and to 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 a 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: 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