Apply for funding for the Innovation in Apprenticeship Stream under the Union Training and Innovation Program
On this page
- Application period Closed
- Description of the funding
- How we assess your application
- Steps to apply
- After you’ve applied
- Contact us
Current status: Closed
You can apply between October 12, 2022 to December 1, 2022 at 3:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST).
Description of the funding
In 2019, the Government of Canada announced the creation of the Canadian Apprenticeship Strategy (CAS). This new framework aims to encourage Canadians to explore, prepare for, participate and succeed in apprenticeships and careers in the skilled trades. It supports Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) apprenticeship initiatives and programs and helps addressing ongoing challenges across apprenticeship systems. The Union Training and Innovation Program (UTIP) falls under this new framework.
The Innovation in Apprenticeship Stream under the Union Training and Innovation Program aims to support innovative approaches and strengthen partnerships to address apprenticeship challenges in the Red Seal trades.
Eligible organizations can apply for up to $5,000,000 for a project that is up to 60 months in duration.
Eligible organizations may submit only 1 application under this funding process.
We expect that successful projects will begin in late summer 2023.
There is more information available on the Union Training and Innovation Program page.
We reserve the right to accept a project for funding in whole or in part. We may also and give priority to factors such as geographic coverage and official languages requirements.
Note to eligible organizations
ESDC launched a funding process for the Women in the Skilled Trades Initiative under the Canadian Apprenticeship Strategy at the same time. If you apply to this funding opportunity, you cannot submit an application with the same project activities under the Women in the Skilled Trades Initiative.
We will fund projects that:
- use innovative approaches or expand best practices to address challenges limiting apprenticeship outcomes in Red Seal trades
- involve broad-based partnerships between organizations across sectors, regions or trades
Some examples of challenges are:
- insufficient resources and support for success in an apprenticeship
- absence of suitable mentors and role models
- language barriers for newcomers to Canada
- employers and co-workers may not understand the unique cultural differences of Indigenous people
- cultural stereotypes about gender norms
- harassment and discrimination
- family obligations and limited access to flexible or suitable child care for trades occupations
- employer misconceptions regarding persons with disabilities on issues such as safety and productivity
To apply, you must meet all the following eligibility criteria.
Your organization must be located in Canada and be 1 of the following types:
- union representing workers in Red Seal trades or an organization managing training funds for Red Seal trades workers, for example:
- a joint training fund set up by a union
- a union and an employer association
- not-for-profit organization
- for-profit organization (provided that the nature and intent of the activity is non-commercial, not intended to generate profit, and supports program priorities and objectives)
- municipal government
- Indigenous organization including:
- band council
- tribal council
- self-government entity
- provincial and territorial government including:
- Crown corporation
If your organization is not a union representing workers in the Red Seal trades, you must involve at least one. It must be a lead or a partner in the project. Without this collaboration, your project will not be eligible. You need to include a letter confirming the participation of a union with your application.
Note to organizations located and operating in Quebec
Organizations in the Province of Quebec cannot apply for this program. The Government of Canada has a separate funding agreement with the Government of Quebec (in French only). The funding support the Province in implementing a program that accounts for the unique features of Quebec’s apprenticeship system. The agreement will respect the same parameters of UTIP applied to the rest of Canada.
Your project must meet all of the following criteria:
- involve a broad-based partnership between organizations across sectors, regions or trades
- solely target Red Seal trades that are designated under the Interprovincial Standards Red Seal Program in the province(s) or territory(ies) in which proposed activities will be undertaken
- have contributions from sources other than Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC):
- cash contributions equal or more than 10% of your total project costs, including the amount contributed by ESDC
- in-kind contributions are acceptable in lieu of cash contribution if you can demonstrate that you face any of these challenges:
Eligible activities may include, but are not limited to:
- developing, testing, evaluating and promoting innovative approaches
- expanding, replicating or both, and evaluating best practices to support individuals to prepare for, progress in or certify in an apprenticeship in the Red Seal trades
Screening for eligibility
We will assess your project only if you meet all of the following eligibility requirements and you provide the necessary documents:
- a complete application is received by December 1, 2022 at 3:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST)
- your organization is eligible (questions 3 to 5)
- the project meets:
- the program objective and project activities (questions 55, 56 and 63)
- the leveraging requirement (question 66)
- application is complete, if:
- you have answered all the questions on the Application for Funding form
- you have completed the Budget Detail Template
- you have included a letter outlining collaboration with a union in the Red Seal trades, if your organisation is not a union
- you have completed the Attestation (Part 4 of the application form)
Note to eligible organizations
ESDC may refuse applications that are incomplete or contain errors. We will contact you to request any mandatory information if it is missing from your application. We will do this before we determine if your application is eligible. If you receive such a request, you must respond within 5 business days of the date we sent the request. If you do not respond before the deadline, we will assess your application with the information on file.
How we assess your application
We will assess your application based on the following criteria:
Project objectives (Questions 55 and 63)
- Describe what challenge limiting apprenticeship outcomes in Red Seal trades your project will address
- Describe how your project is an innovative approach or expands on best practices or both
- Describe how your project will involve broad-based partnerships between organizations across sectors, regions or trades
Project activities, timelines and feasibility (Question 56)
- Provide clear and relevant description of your project activities, that align with the project objectives
- Provide timelines and milestones that are specific, detailed and realistic
Project impact and results (Questions 57 and 58)
- Describe how this funding will improve apprenticeship outcomes and enhance partnerships in the Red Seal trades
- Describe how the organization plans to collect, measure and report on the project’s results
Project cost (Questions 66 to 77)
- Provide a brief and clear justification of how you intend to use the money
- Demonstrate that the costs are reasonable, detailed and support the project activities
Additional funding priorities
We may give funding priority to projects that:
- target the equity deserving groups, to improve their participation or access to apprenticeship in Red Seal trades, or both, including through mentorship, career services and job matching:
- support the development of environmental skills in the Red Seal trades
- contribute to the objective of supporting UTIP Innovation in Apprenticeship projects in a variety of regions across Canada (except Québec)
- contribute to the objective of supporting approximatively 18,300 Red Seal apprentices between 2023 to 2024 and 2027 to 2028
- are submitted by eligible organizations who have 5 or more years of experience in delivering projects that support training of pre-apprentices or apprentices in the skilled trades
Steps to apply
Step 1. Read the applicant guide
Read the applicant guide to complete your application form. This guide includes details for each question of the form.
Step 2. Gather your supporting documents and information
A complete application package includes:
- a complete Application for Funding form
- a letter outlining collaboration with a union in the Red Seal trades, if your organization is not a union
- a complete Budget Detail Template
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
- your broad-based partnerships with other organizations from different sectors, regions or trades
Step 3. Decide how to apply
The Grants and Contributions Online Services is the recommended option to submit your application.
If your organization has a Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) business number, you can register for a GCOS account.
For instructions on how to create and register for a GCOS account, please refer to the User Guide.
After creating your account and validating the Organization by email, you can apply and submit a funding application immediately using the “Apply for Funding” feature:
- Access your GCOS account
- answer all the application questions in GCOS
- complete the Budget Detail Template and upload it in GCOS
Apply by email or mail
- Download and complete the Application for Funding form (PDF Format) and Budget Detail Template (PDF Format)
- Complete the attestation (part 4 of the application form)
- Send your complete application package by email or mail to:
- email address: EDSC.PFIMS.INNOVATION-INNOVATION.UTIP.ESDC@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca
- mailing address:
Union Training and Innovation Program – Innovation in Apprenticeship Stream
Coordination Unit Mailstop 402
National Grants & Contributions Delivery Centre (ESDC)
Phase IV 4th Floor
140 Promenade du Portage
Gatineau QC K1A 0J9
If you are unable to scan the required sections or any other documents, you may mail these documents to the address above. If you send the other documents by mail, specify this in your email.
Note on PDFs
Our Application form uses PDF form technology. You must have a PDF reader installed to use the form. There are several readers you can get on the Internet for free that support our form. Both Adobe Reader 8 (or higher) and Foxit Reader should work.
Downloading the application form
- Make sure that you have 1 of the above PDF readers installed on your system
- Select the Application for Funding form
- When prompted to open or save, select “Save as”
- Select your folder location and save (file type must be PDF)
- Reopen the form from your computer:
- select the “Open with” option
- choose option to open with your PDF reader
- make sure that the form opens in your PDF reader of choice, by looking at the top of your screen
- Begin inputting and save your form as you go
- Before submitting make sure that the form is complete and is saved
Forms that perform calculations
Some sections of the form will calculate totals for you. Please double-check all data you enter. You are in charge of ensuring the form is complete and correct.
Beware that these issues will impact your form
- Not using correct reader software. For example, old versions of Adobe, or Preview reader on a Mac
- Completing the form in a browser
After you’ve applied
We will review and assess your application.
You will receive an automatic confirmation of receipt.
You will receive an automatic confirmation of receipt by email.
You will receive a confirmation of receipt by email within 14 calendar days of the closing date of the call. We will use the email address you provided in your application.
How long it will take to get a funding decision
We expect to make funding decisions in summer 2023.
We will issue a notification of funding decision by email within 26 to 28 weeks of the date the submission period has ended.
We will issue the first payment within 14 calendar days of a signed agreement by both parties. We will issue the other payments within 14 calendar days of the date we receive a completed claim package for contribution projects.
You can reach us at EDSC.PFIMS.INNOVATION-INNOVATION.UTIP.ESDC@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca. We will answer questions sent before November 29, 2022 at 12:00 p.m. (noon) Eastern Standard Time (EST).
We will hold an information session on October 27, 2022 to provide an overview of this application process. You can participate online or by teleconference.
If you are interested, send an email to EDSC.PFIMS.INNOVATION-INNOVATION.UTIP.ESDC@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca. In your email, specify your preferred language (English or French). We will provide you with the instructions on how and when to attend. If you need special accommodations, let us know by October 20, 2022.
- Broad-based partnerships
Collaboration between organizations that span across different sectors, regions or trades for the purpose of the projects. Examples are between unions, or between unions and non-union partners such as:
- a partnership between 2 unions representing workers in different Red Seal trades
- a partnership between a union and an Indigenous training facility
- a partnership between a union representing construction workers and a union representing workers in the industrial sector
Note: For non-union organizations, in addition to your mandatory partnership with a union, your project must include a broad-based partnership as define above.
- Environmental skills
Skills, competencies and experience related to standards, practices and technology within the skilled trades. They support a transition to a clean economy to reduce environmental impacts.
Examples of environmental skills are:
- skills to install and maintain geo-thermal piping systems, for example heat pumps
- skills to install and maintain renewable energy systems, for example:
- solar thermal
- skills to install and maintain electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure
- skills to recycle and dispose of environmentally sensitive materials
- skills to install or retrofit buildings with high-efficiency lighting technologies
- skills to install or retrofit buildings with high-efficiency insulation including mechanical insulation
- skills to install and maintain energy-efficient mechanical systems, for example:
- air conditioning
- skills to reduce industrial emissions. This could include new components in pollution control devices and systems:
- Equity deserving group
A group of people who, because of systemic discrimination, face barriers that prevent them from having the same access to the resources and opportunities that are available to other members of society, and that are necessary for them to attain just outcomes.
- Indigenous People
A person who belongs to 1 of the 3 Indigenous Peoples in Canada, namely:
- First Nations
- Innovative approach
It refers to the conception, development or implementation of new ideas to produce new or modify existing methods to improve apprenticeship training and outcomes in the skilled trades. Innovative approaches can bring radical or gradual changes to current methods and create knowledge to address current and future challenges or gaps in apprenticeship. Innovative approaches could include:
- organizational innovations
Innovative approaches should aim to benefit the entire sector and not only your organization.
For example, it could be:
- developing new trades programs, services, systems, tools, or supports to address gaps in the sector and enhance the effectiveness of current approaches
- changing the current training methods, supports, and services
- Limited access to infrastructure
A situation where accessing resources and facilities is difficult and may limit employment and apprenticeship opportunities in the trades.
- 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:
- large or major industries
- colleges or polytechnics
- non-governmental organizations
Newcomers are persons who self-identify as having arrived in Canada within the last 10 years and are legally entitled to work in Canada. It includes permanent residents, Canadian citizens or persons granted refugee status in Canada.
- Persons with disabilities
Persons with disabilities are participants who self-identify as having have a disability in 1 of the following categories:
- mental health-related
The disability must result in a limitation in daily activities. The presence of a difficulty alone is not sufficient – individuals whose disability rarely presents them with some level of difficulty in their daily activities are excluded.
- Racialized individuals
A person or a group of people categorized according to ethnic or racial characteristics and subjected to discrimination on that basis.
For reporting purposes, data on racialized individuals should continue to be collected according to the 'visible minority' concept. 'Visible minority' refers to whether or not a person belongs to one of the visible minority groups defined by the Employment Equity Act. The Act defines visible minorities as "persons, other than Aboriginal peoples, who are non-Caucasian in race or non-white in colour." It is widely recognized that certain terms used in the Act are outdated. The Act is currently under modernization review by the Employment Equity Act Review Task Force.
- Red Seal trades
A Red Seal endorsement on a journey person's Certificate of Qualification confirms:
- the person has achieved a nationally recognized level of competency in the trade
- the journey person is licensed to practise his/her trade in any province or territory of Canada
A list of Red Seal trades, including the provinces and territories where they are designated, is available on the Ellis Chart. The Ellis Chart is an online comparative database of apprenticeship programs. There are 54 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:
- small population, defined as an area with a population less than 1,000 or a population density of less than 400 persons per square kilometer
- limited access to urban centres and training facilities, defined as areas without year-round road access
- Two-Spirit, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Plus (2SLGBTQI+)
Persons who self-identify as a member of the 2SLGBTQI+ community. The acronym 2SLGBTQI+ includes two-spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, or another minority sexual identity such as asexual or pansexual, as well as minority gender identity (transgender and non-binary identities like genderqueer, gender fluid, pangender or agender).
- Visible minority
See “Racialized individuals" definition.
Persons who self-identify their gender as woman. Gender refers to an individual's personal and social identity as a man, woman or non-binary person (a person whose identity is not exclusively a man or a woman).
Persons aged 15 to 29 years old.
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