Government of Canada helps to create at least 2,100 apprenticeship positions in British Columbia
August 24, 2022 Victoria, British Columbia Employment and Social Development Canada
The skilled trades are essential to Canada’s economy. Indeed, few industries are as essential to Canadians’ everyday lives. Smart investments are needed to support Canadians from all backgrounds in taking up apprenticeship training now, and to help kick-start lucrative careers in well-respected skilled trades.
Today, the Minister of Seniors, Kamal Khera, on behalf of the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough, was at the British Columbia Construction Association to announce over $21 million in funding for its Construction Industry Apprenticeship Program project. The project will provide financial support to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in British Columbia to hire a minimum of 2,100 first-year apprentices in eligible Red Seal trades over the next two years. This includes a minimum of 500 first-year apprentices from equity-deserving groups such as women, persons with disabilities, Indigenous people and racialized people.
First-year apprentices in eligible Red Seal trades will get the hands-on experience and training they need to progress toward becoming certified journeypersons in the Red Seal trades as a result of connecting with these job opportunities. The organizations that are being funded under the Apprenticeship Service will distribute financial incentives to SMEs and provide additional supports, such as help navigating the apprenticeship system. They will also develop training for SMEs to help them onboard apprentices and create welcoming and inclusive workplaces. To help Canadians facing barriers to a career in the skilled trades, the incentives are doubled for SMEs that hire from equity-deserving groups.
This announcement is in addition to the 13 Apprenticeship Service projects announced by Minister Qualtrough in May 2022 that will support new apprenticeship positions across Canada. To date, the Government has invested $278 million in 14 projects that will enable SMEs to create over 27,000 new apprenticeship positions across Canada.
“We need more skilled trades workers in British Columbia, and across Canada. That’s why we’re working with employers to create tens of thousands of new apprenticeships. It’s why we’re doubling incentives for employers who hire women, persons with disabilities, and other traditionally marginalized groups—to make sure that everyone who wants to pursue a skilled trade has the chance to.”
– Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough
“The skilled trades offer many exciting and rewarding career opportunities, and they are in high demand. The Apprenticeship Service will help Canadians get valuable work experience in the skilled trades, particularly equity-deserving groups such as women, persons with disabilities, Indigenous people and racialized people. Today’s announcement will also support small and medium-sized enterprises that are providing these key job opportunities to first-year apprentices.”
– Minister of Seniors, Kamal Khera
“The British Columbia Construction Association is committed to making sure that these financial incentives and recruitment supports get out to small and medium employers across BC’s construction industry. This is a time of significant cost increases, supply chain disruption and project risk, and many contractors will appreciate the assistance as they work hard to attract and retain talent.”
– British Columbia Construction Association President, Chris Atchison
According to the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum, to meet the demand for skilled journeypersons in Red Seal trades, an average of approximately 75,000 new apprentices will need to be hired per year over the next five years. The top trades most at risk of not meeting the demand include welder, industrial mechanic (millwright), bricklayer, boilermaker, cook and hairstylist.
According to BuildForce Canada, the construction industry needs to recruit 309,000 new workers over the next decade (2021 to 2030), driven predominantly by the expected retirement of 259,100 workers (22% of the current labour force).
The Government of Canada is investing nearly $1 billion annually in apprenticeship supports through grants, loans, tax credits, Employment Insurance benefits during in-school training, project funding, and support for the Red Seal Program. Announced in Budget 2019, the Canadian Apprenticeship Strategy will strengthen existing apprenticeship supports and programs by helping apprentices and key apprenticeship stakeholders, including employers, to participate and succeed in the skilled trades.
To highlight the value of skilled trades workers and the wide range of supports available to build a successful and fulfilling career in the trades, the Government launched an advertising campaign earlier this year to promote the skilled trades as first-choice careers for young people. The campaign website (Canada.ca/skilled-trades) provides Canadians with information about what the skilled trades are, how to become a tradesperson, and what financial supports are available to them while in training.
Measures in Budget 2022 to support skilled trades workers:
- $84.2 million over four years to double the funding for the Union Training and Innovation Program to help apprentices from under-represented groups begin—and succeed in—careers in the skilled trades through mentorship, career services and job matching.
- A new Labour Mobility Deduction, which would provide tax recognition on up to $4,000 per year in eligible travel and temporary relocation expenses to eligible tradespeople and apprentices. This measure would apply to the 2022 and subsequent taxation years.
- $2.5 million in 2022–23 for Employment and Social Development Canada to launch a new union-led advisory table that brings together unions and trade associations. The table will advise the Government on how to help workers navigate the changing labour market, with a particular focus on skilled, mid-career workers in at-risk sectors and jobs.
For media enquiries, please contact:
Office of the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion
Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
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