Apprentices get help with training and getting certified thanks to new Government of Canada Union Training and Innovation Program

News Release

May 15, 2017                Gatineau, Quebec             Employment and Social Development Canada

Giving every Canadian a real and fair chance at success means helping them get the skills and training they need to get good jobs, earn a good living, and look after their families. Today, the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, announced that the Government of Canada is rolling out a plan to support the next generation of apprentices and tradespeople  - particularly women and Indigenous people – get the skills they need to succeed in a changing economy.

Minister Hajdu made the announcement of $85 million to support training in the skilled trades while speaking at a conference hosted by Canada’s Building Trades Union in Gatineau, Quebec.

The Government of Canada will launch the program through a call for proposals beginning on July 24th. Apprentices and tradespeople will benefit from this new program that supports union-based apprenticeship training, innovation and enhanced partnerships. These investments will create a more skilled, mobile and certified trades workforce who have access to good quality jobs, which will in turn strengthen Canada’s middle class.

The Government of Canada worked with unions, stakeholders, as well as provinces and territories to design the program. It will include two streams of funding. Under the first stream, unions will receive financial support to purchase up-to-date training equipment and materials to help unions keep up with constant technological change and meet industry standards. The second stream will fund innovative approaches to break down barriers that deter women and Indigenous people from starting a career in the skilled trades.

As this government rolls out its historic investments in infrastructure across the country, demand for skilled tradespeople will only increase.

The Government’s Union Training and Innovation Program will also improve apprenticeship completion rates in Canada. Today, only about 50% of apprentices complete their training and become certified journeypersons.   Women and Indigenous people face particular challenges in completing their training and finding work.


Quotes

“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

“We are pleased with the launch of this program. It will support union-based apprenticeship training in Canada and serve to support the development of a future-focused construction workforce, helping meet the needs of our members.”
– Robert Blakely, Chief Operating Officer, Canada’s Building Trades Union

Quick Facts

  • Announced in Budget 2016, the Union Training and Innovation Program will be launched in 2017-18 with initial funding of $10 million and $25 million annually.

  • A call for proposals for the program will begin on July 24th.

  • There will be two streams of funding:

    • financial support for unions to purchase up-to-date training equipment and materials to help unions keep up with constant technological change and meet industry standards

    • funding for innovative approaches to break down barriers facing women and Indigenous people who want to enter the skilled trades

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Contacts

Matt Pascuzzo
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Patty Hajdu, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour
matt.pascuzzo@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca
819-654-4183

Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
819-994-5559
media@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca
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