TORONTO, April 15, 2015 /CNW/ - The Honourable Pierre Poilievre, Minister of Employment and Social Development, gathered feedback and advice today during roundtable discussions that touched on issues such as tax cuts, job training, apprenticeships and other government priorities.
Minister Poilievre spoke with Ontario members of the Progressive Contractors Association of Canada on several matters, including programs and activities designed to increase participation in skills training as well as ideas that will help more Canadians to choose skilled trades as a career option and also help increase apprenticeship completion rates.
He also took the opportunity to highlight how strong families and good jobs go hand in hand, sharing important information about the Harper government's Family Tax Cut and benefits. To help hard-working families, the Government is enhancing the Universal Child Care Benefit, introducing the Family Tax Cut and making improvements to the Child Care Expenses Deduction and the Children's Fitness Tax Credit.
- According to Statistics Canada, almost 360,000 people are enrolled in over 400 apprenticeship and skilled trades programs.
- If past trends continue, only about half of apprentices are expected to complete their program. According to the most recent Statistics Canada study on the subject, 50 percent of apprentices had completed their training program.
- According to the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum, only 19 percent of skilled trade employers hire and train apprentices. That is one of the reasons the Government of Canada created the Canada Job Grant, so employers would play a more active role in training.
- Economic Action Plan 2014 created the Canada Apprentice Loan to provide people 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 will benefit from it each year. Since its launch in January 2015, over 5,000 apprentices have already benefitted.
- Since 2006, the Government has provided over 530,000 apprenticeship grants to Canadians, including over 131,000 in Ontario.
- The Universal Child Care Benefit is expected to increase 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.
"Our Government's top priority remains creating jobs, economic growth and long-term prosperity. With measures such as apprenticeship grants, the Canada Apprentice Loan, tax credits and investments in training, our Government is helping Canadians get the skills and training they need, but more needs to be done. That is why initiatives like the Canada Job Grant are taking skills training choices out of the hands of government and putting them where they belong: in the hands of employers and Canadians who want to work."
– The Honourable Pierre Poilievre, Minister of Employment and Social Development
"PCA member companies believe that strengthening Canada's construction workforce starts with investing in the dignity, training and productivity of our people. We commend the Government of Canada for their continued leadership in this area, and in promoting the skilled trades, creating jobs and advancing our economy."
– Sean Reid, Vice President, Federal and Ontario Progressive Contractors Association of Canada
SOURCE Employment and Social Development Canada
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