Backgrounder: Union Training and Innovation Program


The Union Training and Innovation Program targets the Red Seal trades and involves broad-based partnerships with a number of stakeholders. The Program:

  • helps to improve the quality of union-based training through investments in equipment;
  • supports innovative approaches and partnerships with other stakeholders; and
  • reduces 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 funds cost-shared purchases of training equipment and materials. Continuous technological change puts pressure on training providers to ensure workers are developing the right skills needed on the job site. Stream 1 helps unions to purchase new and up-to-date training equipment.

  • Stream 2 focuses on innovative approaches to help address challenges limiting apprenticeship outcomes in Canada, 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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