Apply for funding for the Innovation in Apprenticeship Stream under the Union Training and Innovation Program

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Application period

Current status: Closed

This call for proposals ran from July 3, 2020 and August 28, 2020 at 3:00 pm Eastern Daylight Time.

Applicants should not start their proposed projects until:

  • they receive approval of their project from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC)
  • an agreement has been signed between the organization and a representative of ESDC

Please note that not all applications submitted under this process will be approved. Funding is limited. It is subject to budget considerations of ESDC and allocation of funds by Parliament.

Decisions are final and there is no appeal process.

Learn more about other funding opportunities

You can apply between July 3, 2020 and August 28, 2020 at 3:00 pm Eastern Daylight Time (EDT).

Note that we will review your application and decide if you will receive funding.

We expect to make funding decisions in November 2020.

Description of the funding

The Innovation in Apprenticeship Stream aims to support innovative approaches and strengthen partnerships to address apprenticeship challenges.

There is more information available on the Union Training and Innovation Program page.


We will fund projects that:

Some examples of challenges are:


This section describes how we will assess your application to determine its eligibility. Your application must meet the eligibility criteria. Otherwise, we can’t consider it.

Eligible applicants

To receive funding, your organization must be one of the following types:

If your organization is not a union representing workers in Red Seal trades, you must involve at least one. It must be a lead or a partner in the project. Without it, your project will not be eligible.

Note that organizations in the province of Québec cannot apply for this funding. The Government of Canada has partnered with the Government of Québec (en français seulement). Together they have implemented a program that accounts for the unique features of Québec’s apprenticeship system.

Eligible projects

To be eligible for funding, your project must meet all of the following criteria:

How we assess your application

If we decide that your application is eligible, we will assess it using the following criteria.

Project objectives

Your application must clearly:

Project activities, timelines and feasibility

Your application must:

Project results and effects

Your application describes your project’s outputs, outcomes and indicators.

Project budget

Your application provides a brief and clear justification of how you intend to use the funds and your project costs are reasonable, detailed, and support the project activities.


We can further consider projects that:

Steps to apply

Application period

You have to apply by August 28, 2020 at 3:00 pm EDT.

Create a Grants and Contributions Online Services (GCOS) account to apply online

To apply online, you will need to create a Grants and Contributions Online Services account. We encourage you to create your GCOS account as soon as possible. It may take a minimum of 2 weeks to validate and finalize your account.

GCOS allows you to:

Get your supporting documents and information

Please send these documents:

If we select your project, we will ask you to submit a letter confirming the cash, or in-kind contribution from a source other than us.

Apply, submit and track the status of your application online using GCOS

Apply by email

Apply by mail

Mailing address

Union Training and Innovation Program submissions: Innovation in Apprenticeship Stream
Coordination Unit, Mailstop 402
National Grants & Contributions Delivery Centre (ESDC)
140 Promenade du Portage, Phase IV, 4th Floor
Gatineau QC  K1A 0J9

After you have applied

Contact us

If you have questions about this application process, email us at We will answer any questions sent before August 27, 2020 at 1:00 pm EDT.

If you need any accessibility related accommodation, please email us at with the details. We strive to accommodate all of your needs in line with accessibility standards. We will accept accessibility requests until August 14, 2020 at 9:00 am EDT

Information sessions

We will hold an information session. You can participate online or by teleconference. If you are interested, send an email to In your email, specify your preferred language (English or French) and if you need accommodations. We will provide you with the instructions on how and when to attend.

Frequently asked questions

Here are responses to some of the most frequently asked questions received to date for this call for proposals. This additional information could be useful as you prepare your application.

Funding options

Various types of organizations can apply for up to $10,000,000 for projects that uses innovative approaches and strengthen partnerships to address apprenticeship challenges in Red Seal trades.

Eligible expenses

We will only consider expenses of various types that are directly related to your project, such as:

  • staff wages
  • project costs, such as rent, utilities, professional fees, furniture and office supplies, and tools and equipment
  • capital assets
  • participant costs, such as travel and disability-related supports
My project costs less than the amount provided

If the costs of your project are less than the amount you received, you will have to contact your project officer and discuss repayment options.

Where and how to download application forms

The application uses PDF form technology. To print these high-quality PDF forms, you must have a PDF reader installed on your computer. If you do not already have such a reader, there are several available on the Internet such as the latest version of Adobe Reader and Foxit Reader, which you can download for free.

The form is available here.

If you are experiencing issues, please contact us at


Broad-based partnerships

Collaboration between organizations that span across different sectors, regions or trades. Examples are between unions, or between unions and non-union partners.

Innovative approach

Improving apprenticeship training and outcomes for Red Seal trades by:

This approach should aim to benefit the entire sector and not only your organization. For example, it could be:

Lack of infrastructure

A situation where a difficulty to access resources and facilities limits employment opportunities and apprenticeship in the trades.

This could be small organizations with limited resources or minimal infrastructure such as:

This could also be a lack of:

Limited partnership opportunities

A situation where establishing partnerships can be more difficult. This could happen because of a limited number of employers and training institutions, or agreement holders competing for available partners. Remote and isolated regions can have limited presence of partners such as:


Permanent residents, Canadian citizens or persons granted refugee status in Canada. They must have arrived in Canada within the last ten years and be legally entitled to work in Canada.

Online and/or virtual training

Training that is provided to Red Seal trades workers off-site, whether at home or any location other than training facilities. It provides an alternative to training that would usually be offered in-person to improve apprenticeship training and outcomes for Red Seal trades. For example, it may involve the use of web-based resources, such as E-Learning platforms.

Red Seal Trades

A Red Seal endorsement on a journey person's Certificate of Qualification confirms:

There are 56 recognized Red Seal Trades.

Remote location

A geographical area where a community is located over 350 km from the nearest service centre that has year-round road access. This could include geographical areas that have scheduled flights and good telephone services, but are without year-round road access. For example:

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