Government of Canada invests in supports for apprentices to complete their training and find work in the skilled trades

News release

Eligible organizations have until August 28, 2020, to apply for funding

July 3, 2020              Gatineau, Quebec
              Employment and Social Development Canada

In order to better position our country for a strong economic recovery, the Government of Canada is investing in our skilled trades to ensure that Canadians have the training they need to access these good, well-paying jobs.

Today, the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, announced that the Government is investing $40 million over three years in the Union Training and Innovation Program and has launched two calls for proposals. Eligible organizations are encouraged to apply for funding through two streams: Stream 1: Investments in Training Equipment; and Stream 2: Innovation in Apprenticeship.

Eligible projects will help unions across Canada improve the quality of training through investments in equipment and materials and support innovation and broad-based partnerships to address challenges faced by apprentices. The Program will also help to reduce barriers to participation and success in the trades among under‑represented groups such as women, newcomers, persons with disabilities and visible minorities including Black Canadians. In order to support institutions as they continue to look at alternative delivery methods for future training, the Government encourages projects that allow apprentices and organizations to continue their training online.

With this investment, more apprentices will be able to gain the skills and experience they need to become certified journeypersons.


Skilled tradespeople are a key component of Canada’s workforce. Their work is critical to several essential sectors during the pandemic, and they will continue to support the Canadian economy as it moves towards economic recovery. This investment will help Canadians get the training they need to start exciting and well-paying careers in the trades.”
– The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion

“Given the CBTU’s demonstrated and proven-track record of training apprentices, women, Indigenous people, new Canadians and other historically underrepresented people across Canada, the CBTU knows that the continuation of the UTIP grants in assisting in workforce development across Canada will continue training the next generation of Canada’s skilled trade workforce.  This much needed funding goes a long way to build life-long careers and most importantly allows the highly skilled graduates to both enter and remain in Canada's middle class.”
– Mr. Sean Strickland, Executive Director for Canada’s Building Trades Unions

Quick facts

  • The calls for proposals will remain open for eight weeks, with a closing date of August 28, 2020.

  • Through the Union Training and Innovation Program, the Government of Canada provides $25 million annually to support union-based apprenticeship training, innovation and broad-based partnerships in the Red Seal trades.

  • In 2017-2018, over 3000 people participated in the UTIP Stream 1 projects, of whom:

    • 15% were Indigenous peoples, exceeding the current average of Indigenous apprentices in Red Seal trades (which was at 6% in 2015) and
    • 9% were women, exceeding the current average of women apprentices in non-traditional Red Seal trades which was at 5% in 2017).
    • In addition, 93% of the project participants reported an increase in skills after participation.
  • The demand for skilled tradespeople is expected to remain strong as our economy moves towards recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic. Between 2019 and 2028, about 700,000 skilled trades workers are also expected to retire. Meeting these demands will require the recruitment and training of thousands of additional skilled workers.

  • 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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For media enquiries, please contact:
Marielle Hossack
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Carla Qualtrough
Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion

Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
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