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April 6, 2018

Canadian government announces $10.2 million in funding to help apprentices complete their training

MORRISBURG, ONApril 4, 2018 /CNW/ – Giving every Canadian a real and fair chance at success means helping them get the skills and training they need to succeed in a changing economy. The skilled trades are good, well-paying, middle class jobs, and the Government of Canada is committed to getting more people working in the skilled trades – particularly women and Indigenous people – while helping unions purchase up-to-date training equipment.

That’s why today, the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, announced that the Government of Canada is investing $10.2 million, through Stream 1 of the Union Training and Innovation Program, to help unions across Canada purchase new and up-to-date training equipment and materials. As a result of this investment, more apprentices will be able to develop their skills, complete their training and find good, well-paying jobs.

Minister Hajdu also announced that the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 793 will receive over $936,000for the Apprenticeship Enhancement – All Terrain Crane and GPS/Laser Upgrades project. With this funding, the union will purchase a new mobile all-terrain crane and equip their dozer fleet with the latest Global Positioning System (GPS) and laser equipment. As a result of this project, apprentices who are getting trained to become mobile crane operators and dozer operators will be able to complete their technical training faster. Participants will also include Canadians from under-represented groups, such as women and Indigenous people, who face barriers to enter and participate in the skilled trades.


“We’re helping apprentices and tradespeople get the skills they need to succeed, and breaking down barriers for women and Indigenous people in pursuing a great career in a skilled trade. This new program is just one part of our plan to help Canadians in the middle class, and those working so hard to join it, get good, well-paying jobs.”
– The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour

The Union Training and Innovation Program funding will greatly benefit Local 793’s Apprenticeship programs as well our core training programs. We will now be able to purchase an All Terrain Crane that has the latest technology and computer systems. The funding has allowed us to upgrade our existing heavy equipment fleet with the latest GPS and Laser technology.
– Harold McBride, Training Director, Operating Engineers Training Institute of Ontario

Quick Facts

  • The Union Training and Innovation Program was launched in 2017-18 with initial funding of $10 million and $25 million annually. 
  • The Government of Canada also provides a range of supports to apprentices to help them complete their training and become certified. These include grants, loans and tax credits and Employment Insurance supports during technical training. 
  • Between January 2015 and February 2018, almost 54,000 Canada Apprentice Loans totaling over $207 million have been provided to apprentices.
  • Since the introduction of the Apprenticeship Grants program, over 757,500 grants have been issued to apprentices, representing over $970 million in funding. 
  • Budget 2018 announced three new initiatives to help apprentices succeed:
    • $46 million over 5 years, starting in 2018–19, with $10 million per year ongoing, for a new Pre-Apprenticeship Program.
    • $19.9 million over 5 years, starting in 2018–19, to support an Apprenticeship Incentive Grant for Women, a 5-year pilot project where women in Red Seal trades that have low female representation would receive a new grant of $3,000 once they have successfully finished their first or second year of apprenticeship training. This, in combination with the existing Apprenticeship Completion Grant valued at $2,000, will result in a total of $8,000 in support over the course of their training.
    • $10 million over 3 years, starting in 2018–19, for the new Women in Construction Fund which will build on existing models that have proven to be effective in attracting women to the trades. These models provide supports such as mentoring, coaching and tailored supports that help women progress through their training and find and retain jobs in the trades.

The Union Training and Innovation Program, which was announced in Budget 2016, targets the Red Seal trades and involves broad-based partnerships with a number of stakeholders. It is expected that the Program will:

  • help improve the quality of training through investments in equipment;
  • support innovative approaches and partnerships with other stakeholders; and
  • reduce barriers to participation and success in the trades for key groups including women and Indigenous people.

The Program, which has two streams, is open to all unions, including those that do not provide training recognized by provinces and territories as technical apprenticeship training, and those that do not operate training facilities.

Stream 1 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 jobsite.

Stream 2 focuses on innovative approaches to help 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 of Canada invests significantly in apprenticeship through grants, loans, tax credits, Employment Insurance benefits (during in-school training), project funding and support for the Red Seal program. The Government is also working with the provinces and territories to harmonize apprenticeship training requirements in targeted Red Seal trades.


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