Government of Canada invests in youth to build a stronger Canada

News release

July 14, 2023              Gatineau, Quebec              Employment and Social Development Canada

When young people learn, work and succeed, Canada thrives. That is why the Government of Canada continues to invest in youth, so that they get the education, the experience, and the job opportunities to build a stronger Canada for generations to come.

Today, in advance of World Youth Skills Day, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough, announced more than $27 million over five years for Skills Canada, under the Canadian Apprenticeship Strategy. This funding supports the organization’s project Engaging youth in the skilled trades through competitions and career exploration, which encourages young people to explore careers in the skilled trades and technology.

Through this project, Skills Canada provides hands-on experience to youth and underrepresented groups including women, persons with disabilities, newcomers to Canada, individuals identifying as 2SLGBTQI+, Indigenous people and racialized individuals in the skilled trades and technology. Skills Canada undertakes a number of promotional activities and events including Skills Canada provincial and territorial competitions, national competitions, WorldSkills competitions, and National Skilled Trades and Technology Week.

Each year, the Government of Canada invests nearly $1 billion in apprenticeship supports through grants, loans, tax credits, Employment Insurance benefits during in-school training, project funding and support for the Red Seal program. Further to providing supports in the skilled trades, the Government of Canada is helping to increase awareness, through an advertising campaign promoting the skilled trades as a first-choice career option for young people.

Today’s announcement, together with other Government of Canada’s programs in support of youth, will set young Canadians up for success as they start their careers. 


“Young people want to help build Canada’s future. With the nature of work changing fast, today’s investment will help young people develop the skills they need to take advantage of future career opportunities in the skilled trades.”
– Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough 

“On World Youth Skills Day, we recognize the importance of providing youth with the training, supports and information they need to find good jobs now and tomorrow.”
– Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth, Marci Ien

“Skills Canada has raised awareness about skilled trade careers throughout Canada for close to 30 years. Our annual Skills Canada National Competition profiles more than 40 skilled trades and technology occupations and it includes more than 500 competitors representing every province and territory. Our most recent event in Winnipeg also welcomed more than 13,000 youth visitors who were able to learn about skilled trades and technologies through various interactive activities.”
– Chief Executive Officer, Skills Canada, Shaun Thorson.

Quick facts

  • On July 15, Canada will celebrate World Youth Skills Day, a day to acknowledge and celebrate the importance of equipping young people with skills for employment, decent work and entrepreneurship. This year’s theme is “Skilling teachers, trainers and youth for a transformative future.”

  • Skills Canada has delivered the Skills Canada National Competition across Canada over the past 29 years in over 40 skilled trades and technologies. The 2023 Skills Canada National Competition, in Winnipeg, drew over 500 competitors and over 13,000 visitors.

  • Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey for June 2023 states that employment increased by 60,000 (+0.3%), driven by gains in full-time work (+110.000; +0.7%). The gains were concentrated among young men aged 15 to 24 (+31,000) and men aged 25 to 54 (+31,000).

  • According to BuildForce Canada, the construction industry needs to recruit 299,200 new workers by 2032, driven predominantly by the expected retirement of 245,100 workers (20% of the labour force in 2022).

  • The Canadian Apprenticeship Forum estimates that over 122,000 new journeypersons will be required to sustain workforce certification across Red Seal trades in Canada. Of these, approximately 92,300 journeypersons will be concentrated in the top 15 Red Seal trades. Nationally, trades in demand are cook, industrial electrician, painter and decorator, and welder.

  • The 2022 Fall Economic Statement announced a new sustainable jobs stream under the Union Training and Innovation Program. Funded projects through this stream would support unions in leading the development of green skills training for workers in the trades. It is expected that 20,000 apprentices and journeypersons would benefit from this investment.

Associated links


For media enquiries, please contact:

Tara Beauport
Press Secretary
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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