Government of Canada launches call for proposals for investments in training equipment to support careers in the skilled trades
GATINEAU, QC, April 30, 2019 /CNW/ – Supporting the next generation of apprentices and tradespeople—particularly women and Indigenous people—depends on high-quality apprenticeship training systems, like union-based training centres.
Today, the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, announced the launch of a call for proposals for the Investments in Training Equipment stream of the Union Training and Innovation Program. Trade unions and training trust funds representing workers in the Red Seal trades are encouraged to apply for funding. The Government of Canada is investing approximately $10 million in this call for proposals that closes on May 29, 2019.
Through the Investments in Training Equipment stream of the Union Training and Innovation Program, successful applicants will receive financial support to purchase up-to-date training equipment and materials so trades workers can get the skills they need. The Government is committed to getting more people working in the skilled trades, including supporting key groups, such as women, Indigenous people, newcomers, persons with disabilities and racialized persons.
As Canada’s economy continues to grow and create good, well-paying jobs, the Government is committed to ensuring that all Canadians share in and benefit from this success.
“Our government is helping the next generation of tradespeople and apprentices get the skills and training they need to succeed. When we ensure that underrepresented groups including women and Indigenous peoples can develop their skills and find good jobs, our middle class is stronger and our economy thrives.”
– The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour
The Government of Canada is investing $25 million annually in the Union Training and Innovation Program to strengthen training in the skilled trades across Canada. The Program helps unions improve the quality of training through investments in up-to-date training equipment and materials and supports innovative approaches to address challenges limiting apprenticeship outcomes.
Fifty-seven projects received funding for a total investment of approximately $12 million, as part of the 2018 call for proposals for the Investments in Training Equipment stream.
To further support women so they can succeed in the skilled trades, the Government of Canada offers the Apprenticeship Incentive Grant for Women. This new grant can provide $3,000 per year or level, up to a maximum amount of $6,000, to registered women apprentices who have successfully completed their first or second year or level of an apprenticeship program in eligible Red Seal trades where they are under‑represented. This, in combination with the existing Apprenticeship Completion Grant valued at $2,000, could result in combined grant support of up to $8,000 over the course of their training.
In addition, the Government of Canada implemented two new initiatives in 2018–19 to help apprentices succeed:
a pre-apprenticeship program provides $10 million per year to encourage Canadians, including groups facing barriers, to explore and prepare for careers in the trades; and
the Women in Construction Fund provides $10 million over three years to support projects building on existing models that have proven to be effective in attracting women to the trades, such as mentoring, coaching and tailored supports.
To further support the skilled trades, the Government announced several new measures in Budget 2019:
$40 million over four years in funding for Skills Canada, starting in 2020–21, and $10 million per year ongoing to encourage more young people to consider training and work in the skilled trades;
$6 million over two years, starting in 2019–20, to create a national campaignto promote the skilled trades as a first-choice career for young people;
a new apprenticeship strategy to ensure that existing supports and programs available to apprentices address the barriers faced by those who want to work in the skilled trades and support employers who face challenges in hiring and retaining apprentices;
a lower interest rate on Canada Apprentice Loans, starting in 2019–20, and six interest-free months after a borrower completes their apprenticeship training; and
the new Canada Training Benefit, to give workers money to help pay for training, provide income support during training, and offer job protection so that workers can take the time they need to keep their skills relevant and in demand.
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. The Program’s objectives:
to improve the quality of training through investments in equipment;
to support innovative approaches and partnerships with other stakeholders; and
to reduce barriers to participation and success in the trades for key groups including women, Indigenous people, newcomers, persons with disabilities and racialized persons.
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:
The Investments in Training Equipment stream 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 job site.
The Innovation in Apprenticeship stream supports innovative approaches to address challenges limiting apprenticeship outcomes, including barriers to participation and success in the trades for key groups such as women, Indigenous people, newcomers and persons with disabilities. 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 and 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.