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

News release

August 13, 2021              Winnipeg, Manitoba              Employment and Social Development Canada                  

Skilled tradespeople from across the country have been critical to essential sectors during the COVID-19 pandemic, and their expertise is in high demand. This demand is expected to remain high over the next 10 years, as over 700,000 skilled trades workers are expected to retire between 2019 and 2028, creating an ever-growing need to recruit and train thousands more. The Government is making targeted investments so that key groups facing barriers—such as women, newcomers, Indigenous people, persons with disabilities, and visible minorities including Black and other racialized communities—can better find work in the skilled trades through projects led by unions and their partner organizations.

Today, the Minister of Northern Affairs, Dan Vandal, on behalf of the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough, announced close to $1.4 million, over four years, to Manitoba Building Trades for a project funded under the Union Training and Innovation Program (UTIP). This project, which is funded under the Investments in Training Equipment stream of the UTIP, will help electrician 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, Manitoba Building Trades will purchase modern training equipment and materials to offer higher quality training and help create a more skilled and productive workforce. The investment will also contribute to increasing diversity and inclusivity in the trades by improving the participation and success of key groups, such as women, Indigenous people, newcomers, persons with disabilities and visible minorities, including Black and other racialized communities.  

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. 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.

Recently, Minister Qualtrough launched calls for proposals for the Investments in Training Equipment stream of the UTIP and the Apprenticeship Service. Organizations eligible under these two calls for proposals are encouraged to submit proposals until September 14, 2021.


“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  moves toward 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 key component of Canada’s workforce, and are vital to the strength and diversity of our local economy. This investment will help create a pool of qualified tradespeople in Winnipeg and in communities across the province who are ready to take on in-demand jobs as our economy continues to recover.”
– Minister of Northern Affairs, Dan Vandal

“This investment will increase our capacity to deliver industry-focused training, including programs to diversify Manitoba’s skilled workforce by attracting and training more women, Indigenous workers and new Canadians. Our training facility will work directly with employers to provide timely and specific training to prepare a work-ready labour force.”
– CEO of Manitoba Building Trades, Sudhir Sandhu

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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For media enquiries, please contact:

Ashley Michnowski
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough

Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
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