Government of Canada invests in training to help workers across Canada become certified in the skilled trades

News release

July 29, 2021              Winnipeg, Manitoba              Employment and Social Development Canada

To help maintain a strong workforce and better position our country for a prosperous economic recovery, the Government of Canada is investing in the skilled trades to ensure that Canadians have the training they need to access good, well-paying jobs. The Government is making targeted investments, so that key groups facing barriers—such as women, newcomers, Indigenous people, persons with disabilities, and Black and racialized Canadians—can better find work in the skilled trades through projects led by unions and their partner organizations.

Today, Filomena Tassi, Minister of Labour, on behalf of the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough, announced more than $2.4 million, over five years, to the United Brotherhood of Carpenters for a project funded under the Union Training and Innovation Program (UTIP).

This project, which is funded under the Innovation in Apprenticeship stream of the UTIP, will help nearly 2,300 apprentices progress toward becoming certified journeypersons. This funding is part of the Government of Canada’s $62‑million investment over five years to help develop a highly qualified skilled trades workforce and prepare Canadians to fill available jobs as our economy continues to recover.

As part of the project, the United Brotherhood of Carpenters will create national guidelines to increase diversity and inclusion in the trades, implement a mentorship program for a number of trades, including carpenters, cabinetmakers, floor covering installers and roofers. It will also develop a national recognition program to encourage and champion excellence demonstrated by journeypersons, apprentices and employers toward improving diversity and inclusion in the construction industry.

The UTIP supports union-based apprenticeship training and works to reduce barriers to participation and success in Red Seal trades. The first stream, Investments in Training Equipment, helps unions across Canada improve the quality of training through investments in equipment and materials. The second stream, Innovation in Apprenticeship, supports innovation and strengthened partnerships to address challenges that are limiting apprenticeship outcomes in Canada.

In Budget 2021, the Government of Canada announced an investment of $470 million over three years, beginning in 2021–22, to establish the new Apprenticeship Service. This initiative will help 55,000 first-year apprentices in eligible Red Seal trades connect with opportunities with small and medium-sized employers. Employers could receive up to $5,000 for first-year apprenticeship opportunities to pay for costs such as salaries and training.

In addition, to increase diversity in Red Seal trades, the Government of Canada will double the incentive to $10,000 through Budget 2021 for employers who hire Canadians from under-represented groups, including women, racialized Canadians and persons with disabilities. It has also waived on the Canada Apprentice Loans until March 31, 2023. These measures will help to ensure that those who want to build a career in the skilled trades get the support they need to succeed. 

Quotes

“As we continue to fight COVID-19, our support for workers remains strong. Skilled tradespeople across the country have been critical to essential sectors during this pandemic, and they will continue to be so as Canada begins its economic recovery. This investment will help Canadians, including Canadians from key groups facing barriers, get the training they need to launch exciting and well-paying careers in the trades.”
– Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough

“Skilled tradespeople are a critical part of Canada’s workforce, and are essential to the strength and diversity of the economy – in Winnipeg and right across the country. This investment will help create a pool of qualified tradespeople in Winnipeg and in communities across Manitoba who will be ready to take on in-demand jobs as our economy continues to recover. Reducing barriers to employment for key groups means more Canadian workers will be able to reach their full potential. That`s not just the right thing to do, it`s the smart thing to do.”
– Minister of Labour, Filomena Tassi

"This project demonstrates the federal government’s understanding of how to change the construction industry fundamentally. Their willingness to partner with the UBC to create a new apprenticeship development model that will create a more equitable, diverse, and inclusive apprenticeship system for all underrepresented populations within Red Seal trades across Canada is reflected in today’s announcement. Together, we will address systemic barriers and that will improve the inclusion and integration of diverse populations into the construction industry, ultimately leading to improved safety, health, and productivity outcomes for apprentices as they embark on a career in the construction industry."
Jason Rowe, Vice President, Canadian District, United Brotherhood of Carpenters

Quick facts

  • Through the UTIP, the Government of Canada provides $25 million annually to support union-based apprenticeship training, innovation and enhanced partnerships in the Red Seal trades.

  • Demand for skilled tradespeople is expected to remain strong as the economy moves toward recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic. As well, between 2019 and 2028, about 700,000 skilled trades workers are expected to retire. Meeting these demands will require the recruitment and training of thousands of additional skilled workers.

  • In Canada, young women continue to be less likely to express interest in a career in the skilled trades. According to an Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development survey, only 2% of 15-year-old female students indicated they were planning to pursue a career in the skilled trades.

  • The Government of Canada invests significantly in apprenticeships 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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Contacts

For media enquiries, please contact:

Ashley Michnowski
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough
ashley.michnowski@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca

Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
819-994-5559
media@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca
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