Government of Canada announces funding for training equipment to help apprentices in Old Castle, Ontario, complete their training and find work in the skilled trades

News release

September 9, 2019              Old Castle, Ontario              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 succeed in a changing economy. The skilled trades are good, well-paying, middle-class jobs, and the Government of Canada is committed to supporting key groups, such as women, Indigenous people, newcomers and persons with disabilities, to work in the skilled trades through funding for projects led by unions and other organizations.

That is why today, the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs, on behalf of the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, announced that the Government of Canada is providing close to $213,000 to Labourers Local 625 Training Trust for two projects that will support 990 apprentices. Both projects are funded under the Investment in Training Equipment Stream of the Union Training and Innovation Program.|

The Government is investing $25 million annually in support of the Union Training and Innovation Program through two streams:

  • Stream 1: Investments in Training Equipment Stream
  • Stream 2: Innovation in Apprenticeship Stream

Projects help unions across Canada improve the quality of training through investments in up-to-date training equipment and materials, and support innovation and enhanced partnerships to address long-standing challenges that limit apprenticeship outcomes in Canada. As a result of this investment, more apprentices will be able to develop their skills, complete their training and find good, well-paying jobs.

As part of the first project titled Elevated Bridge Work, Local 625 will receive close to $118,000 to purchase up-to-date training equipment including two hydro mobile mast climbing scaffolds, an articulating boom, a scissor lift and a swing stage. By getting trained on the modern equipment, apprentices will boost their skills sets and get certified to take up jobs in major construction projects such as the new Gordie Howe Bridge.

Through the second project titled Utility Training – Connect our Community, Local 625 will receive close to $95,000 for the purchase of a trailer, a line locator, a compactor, a compaction metre, an excavator and a Bob Cat. Apprentices will benefit from training on the new equipment and become ready for in-demand and well-paying jobs in the construction craft worker and cement finisher trades.

As Canada’s economy continues to grow and create good, well-paying jobs, the Government is committed to ensuring that all Canadians share in and benefit from this success.


“Canada’s future success depends on building an economy that is as inclusive as it is innovative. That’s why our government is investing in this project that will help apprentices in Old Castle and surrounding communities, and especially those who face additional barriers to participate and succeed in the skilled trades, start exciting and well-paying careers in the trades.”
– The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour

“The Union Training and Innovation Program will help new generations of workers benefit from the mentorship and training that unions and other training organizations are so well equipped to offer. Through this project in Old Castle, our government is building stronger communities and strengthening the middle class.”
– Minister Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs

 “The LiUNA Local 625 Training Centre provides our community with important apprenticeship, skills upgrade, as well as construction health and safety training, which in turn provides our contractor partners with a qualified skilled workforce. The federal funds that we have received through the Union Training and Innovation Program (UTIP) will allow us to, not only continue to offer this high level training, but also encourages us to adapt our innovative training to the ever-changing needs of the construction industry”
Rob Petroni, Business Manager of LiUNA Local 625

Quick facts

  • The Union Training and Innovation Program provides $25 million annually to support union-based apprenticeship training, innovation and enhanced partnerships in the Red Seal trades.

  • To further support key groups facing barriers so they can succeed in the skilled trades, the Government of Canada launched the Apprenticeship Incentive Grant for Women. This new grant provides $3,000 per year/ level, up to a maximum amount of $6,000, to registered women apprentices who have successfully completed their first or second year/level of an apprenticeship program in eligible Red Seal trades where women are under‑represented.

  • This, in combination with the existing Apprenticeship Completion Grant valued at $2,000, could result in combined grant support of up to $8,000 to eligible women over the course of their training. Eligible apprentices can apply by visiting

  • In addition, the Government implemented two other initiatives to help individuals succeed:

    • the Skilled Trades Awareness and Readiness Program with $46 million over five years, starting in 2018–19, with $10 million per year ongoing thereafter, to encourage groups facing barriers to explore careers in the trades, gain work experience, make informed career choices and develop the skills needed for the trades; and
    • the Women in Construction Fund with $10 million over three years, starting in 2018–19, to support projects building on existing models that have proven to be effective in attracting women to the trades, such as mentoring, coaching and tailored supports.
  • To further support the skilled trades, the Government proposed several new measures in Budget 2019:

    • $40 million over four years in funding for Skills Canada, starting in 2020–21, and $10 million per year ongoing to encourage more young people to consider training and work in the skilled trades;
    • $6 million over two years, starting in 2019–20, to create a national campaign to promote the skilled trades as a first-choice career for young people. The new ministerial advisory committee to support that commitment was announced on August 16, 2019;
    • a new Apprenticeship Strategy to ensure that existing supports and programs available to apprentices address the barriers faced by those who want to work in the skilled trades and support employers who face challenges in hiring and retaining apprentices;
    • a lower interest rate on Canada Apprentice Loans starting in 2019–20 and making the first six months after a borrower completes their apprenticeship training interest-free; and
    • the new Canada Training Benefit, which would give workers money to help pay for training, provide income support during training and offer job protection so that workers can take the time they need to keep their skills relevant and in demand.

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For media enquiries, please contact:
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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