Backgrounder: Atlantic Apprenticeship Harmonization Project


Atlantic Apprenticeship Harmonization Project
Led by the Council of Atlantic Premiers (CAP), the Atlantic Apprenticeship Harmonization Project is designed to standardize the requirements for apprentices in 16 trades across Atlantic Canada. It will also increase the efficiency of the apprenticeship system across the Atlantic region.

Under the first phase of the project, the Government of Canada invested $6.6 million to harmonize 10 trades across the Atlantic provinces. These trades are bricklayer, cook, welder, metal fabricator, construction electrician, industrial electrician, carpenter, instrumentation and control technician, plumber and steamfitter-pipefitter. They were selected based on factors including the mobility of the trade, related trades and volume of apprentices as well as the Canadian Council of Directors of Apprenticeship’s national harmonization plans.

Building on the success of the harmonization of the initial 10 trades, CAP will now harmonize an additional 6 trades.

Harmonization of apprenticeship training across Canada
The Government of Canada is also working with the provinces and territories to harmonize apprenticeship training requirements in targeted Red Seal trades. Harmonization aims to improve the mobility of apprentices, support an increase in their completion rates, enable employers to access a larger pool of apprentices and increase consistency across apprenticeship systems.

Jurisdictions have different apprenticeship systems, with different standards, names, curricula and policies. They are working towards adopting the same trade name, number of training levels and total hours of training (in school and on-the-job) as well as consistent sequencing for technical training content.

In October 2016, the Forum of Labour Market Ministers reaffirmed its commitment to harmonizing apprenticeship training for 30 Red Seal trades in most jurisdictions (outside Quebec) by 2020, including reaching two-thirds of Red Seal apprentices by September 2017.

Union Training and Innovation Program
The new Union Training and Innovation Program is providing approximately $10 million in funding in 2017–18 and $25 million annually to support union-based apprenticeship training, innovation and enhanced partnerships in the Red Seal trades.

The program has two streams of funding. Under the first stream, unions representing workers in Red Seal trades receive financial support to purchase up-to-date training equipment and materials so workers can have the right skills required on the job site. The second stream provides support for innovative approaches to address ongoing challenges limiting apprenticeship outcomes. The Union Training and Innovation Program also helps groups who face additional barriers to participation and success in the skilled trades such as women and Indigenous people.

Flexibility and Innovation in Apprenticeship Technical Training
The Government is investing $11 million in the Flexibility and Innovation in Apprenticeship Technical Training (FIATT) Pilot. This pilot funds third-party organizations to test innovative and flexible approaches to improve access to apprenticeship training and increase completion rates.

This involves working with organizations to look at different styles of learning and alternative forms of training delivery to help apprentices complete their technical training and obtain a journeyperson certificate of qualification. Some examples include simulator training, mobile classrooms and e-learning modules. A total of 11 projects have been approved for funding.

Red Seal trades
Employment and Social Development Canada works with the provincial and territorial apprenticeship authorities through the Canadian Council of Directors of Apprenticeship (CCDA) to manage and deliver the Red Seal Program.

A Red Seal trade is a trade or occupation that has been designated by the CCDA for inclusion in the Interprovincial Standards Red Seal Program. The training and certification are based on a national standard, and provinces and territories participating in the program for that trade affix a Red Seal to the certificates of candidates who meet the standard. There are a total of 56 Red Seal trades in Canada.

The Red Seal endorsement, when affixed to a provincial or territorial trade certificate, indicates that a tradesperson has met a nationally recognized standard in their trade. The Red Seal endorsement is widely recognized and respected by the trades industry across Canada and internationally. It also allows qualified tradespeople to practice their trade in any province or territory without having to write additional examinations, thus improving labour mobility in Canada.

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