Ontario employers get help to hire and train apprentices in the electrical sector with Government of Canada’s support

News release

September 21, 2018     Etobicoke, Ontario                  Employment and Social Development Canada

Canada’s future prosperity depends on every Canadian having the skills, training and experience they need to get good-quality jobs and succeed in a changing economy. The skilled trades offer good middle-class jobs that are in demand and pay well.

Today the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, announced that the Government of Canada is providing over $618,000 to the Ontario Electrical League for the Consortia Pilot Project – Employer Engagement. This investment will help increase the number of employers who train apprentices in the electrical sector.

The Ontario Electrical League will recruit and train employers who have never been involved in apprenticeship training. A total of 20 employers and 20 apprentices will benefit from the investment and an employer consortium will be created. At the end of the project, lessons learned during the pilot will be expanded to other geographic areas in Ontario so that more employers can benefit from them.

Apprentices alternate between periods of on-the-job training and technical training before they can become certified journeypersons. One of the long-standing challenges that prevents apprentices from completing their training is low employer engagement. Employers also face a number of barriers to participating in apprenticeship, such as high administrative burden, difficulty connecting with apprentices and lack of work for the full scope of the trade. By increasing the number of employers involved in apprenticeships, the Government of Canada is helping to ensure that Canada has the skilled tradespeople it needs to meet the needs of the labour market.

Through this pilot, the Government is not only supporting employers but also investing in the next generation of skilled tradespeople so they can all share in Canada’s prosperity.


“We know that apprentices often have a hard time finding an employer to help them complete their training. This investment will help more employers get involved in apprenticeship training so that more apprentices have a fair chance at success. As Canada’s economy continues to grow, the Government is ensuring that Canadians are ready to fill the good-quality jobs that are being created.”
– The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour

“This is a ground-breaking initiative for both employers and apprentices in the electrical and mechanical trades. The program streamlines every step of the hiring and training process, so employers can focus on providing quality on-the-job training for apprentices. The resources, like experienced industry mentors and a web-based hiring tool, are tailored specifically to busy employers’ needs so they can invest in the future of their companies and support a productive employer and apprentice experience.”
Stephen Sell, President, Ontario Electrical League

Quick facts

  • According to the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum, only one in five employers in the skilled trades hire and train apprentices. Yet, apprentices spend 80 to 90 percent of their training time on the job.

  • In October 2016, the Forum of Labour Market Ministers committed to explore innovative approaches to increase employer engagement in apprenticeship.

  • The Government of Canada makes significant investments in apprenticeship and the skilled trades through the Red Seal program and other federal supports for apprenticeship. These include grants, loans, tax credits and Employment Insurance benefits during in-school technical training.

  • In 2017, the Government also launched the Union Training and Innovation Program that provides $25 million in union-based apprenticeship training, innovation and enhanced partnerships.

  • In Budget 2018, the Government announced three new initiatives to further support groups facing barriers so they can succeed in the skilled trades, including a Pre-Apprenticeship Program, an Apprenticeship Incentive Grant for Women and the Women in Construction Fund.

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Véronique Simard
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Patty Hajdu, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour

Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
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