In Gatineau, Quebec on May 6th, 2014; the Honourable Jason Kenney, Minster of Employment and Social Development spoke at the Canadian Building Trades Conference. The topic of choice was Canada’s ongoing commitment to support apprenticeships and the skilled trades.
Minister Kenney noted that Canada’s post-secondary education system is the key to a prosperous future in the Skilled Trades and necessary to grow the Canadian economy.
At this conference, the Minister discussed the various Government of Canada initiatives to support Skilled Trades: grants for apprentices, the Canada Job Grant and introduced the Canada Apprentice Loan that was recently outlined in the Economic Action Plan (EAP) 2014.
He continued to highlight that EAP 2014 has ‘grinded the gears’ on increasing awareness of the existing financial supports available to apprentices. This new awareness will be targeted to those that are on technical training through the Employment Insurance program and a pilot project that will explore ways to allow apprentices to continue working while fulfilling the technical training requirements of their programs. Wow!
Besides the information, Minister Kenney announced over 1.2 million injection to Frontier College to integrate literacy and essential skills training in apprenticeship programs. This aims to help apprentices complete their training and trade certification.
A few Interesting facts provided by the Government of Canada:
In the construction sector alone, it is expected that Canadian companies will need approximately 300,000 new workers over the next 10 years.
The Canada Job Grant will help ensure that Canada has the skilled workforce it needs to help bridge the gap between the skills Canadians have and the skills employers are looking for.
EAP 2014’s Canada Apprentice Loan will provide apprentices in Red Seal trades with access to interest-free loans of up to $4,000 per period of technical training to encourage careers in the skilled trades. It is estimated that at least 26,000 apprentices a year will apply for these loans.
[Source: Government of Canada]