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

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Application period

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:

Some examples of challenges are:


To apply, you must meet all the following eligibility criteria.

Eligible applicants

Your organization must be located in Canada and be 1 of the following types:

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.

Eligible projects

Your project must meet all of the following criteria:

Eligible activities

Eligible activities may include, but are not limited to:

Screening for eligibility

We will assess your project only if you meet all of the following eligibility requirements and you provide the necessary documents:

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)

Project activities, timelines and feasibility (Question 56)

Project impact and results (Questions 57 and 58)

Project cost (Questions 66 to 77)

Additional funding priorities

We may give funding priority to projects that:

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:

If we select your project, we will ask you to submit a letter confirming:

Step 3. Decide how to apply

Apply online

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:

  1. Access your GCOS account
  2. answer all the application questions in GCOS
  3. complete the Budget Detail Template and upload it in GCOS

Apply by email or mail

  1. Download and complete the Application for Funding form (PDF Format) and Budget Detail Template (PDF Format)
  2. Complete the attestation (part 4 of the application form)
  3. Send your complete application package by email or mail to:
    • email address:
    • 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.

By email

You will receive an automatic confirmation of receipt by email.

By mail

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.

Contact us

You can reach us at We will answer questions sent before November 29, 2022 at 12:00 p.m. (noon) Eastern Standard Time (EST).

Information sessions

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 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:
    • photovoltaic
    • 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:
    • heating
    • cooling
    • ventilation
    • air conditioning
  • skills to reduce industrial emissions. This could include new components in pollution control devices and systems:
    • fabricating
    • constructing
    • erecting
    • installing
    • maintaining
    • repairing
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
  • Inuit
  • Métis
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:

  • products
  • processes
  • marketing
  • 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:

  • seeing
  • hearing
  • mobility
  • flexibility
  • dexterity
  • pain-related
  • learning
  • developmental
  • mental health-related
  • memory

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
  • on-reserve
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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