Delta, British Columbia - 8 January 2015
Our Government recognizes that apprenticeship training plays a key role in Canada’s post-secondary education system and provides vital skills and knowledge necessary to power and grow the Canadian economy. Our Government is also aware that a number of employers in Canada cannot meet demand for skilled labour in specific sectors. In fact the Conference Board of Canada predicts that Canada will need one million additional skilled workers by 2020.
On January 8, 2015, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced the launch of the Canada Apprentice Loan, which will provide apprentices registered in designated Red Seal trades with access to over $100 million in interest-free loans each year. The initiative will help those already apprenticing to complete their training and encourage more Canadians to pursue a career in the skilled trades, allowing participants to take advantage of the many opportunities being created through the Government of Canada’s historic investments in infrastructure. The Canada Apprentice Loan will help fill employment gaps and generate economic growth across the country.
Introduced in Economic Action Plan 2014, the Canada Apprentice Loan will assist an estimated 26,000 apprentices in Red Seal trades across Canada every year. These loans will help apprentices cover costs they encounter during technical training, including educational fees, tools and equipment, living expenses and forgone wages.
Red Seal trades include a total of 57 skilled trades, such as bakers, bricklayers, carpenters, electricians, gasfitters, heavy equipment operators, ironworkers, machinists, painters, plumbers, sheet metal workers, and truck mechanics, to name a few.
As of January 2, 2015, apprentices registered in a designated Red Seal trade apprenticeship with their province or territory will be able to apply for interest-free loans of up to $4,000 per period of technical training.
Applications and eligibility criteria are available through the Canada Apprentice Loan Online Service at Canada.ca/apprentice. Applicants that submit all the necessary information can expect to receive their loan within 7 to 10 business days from the time the application is received.
The loans are interest-free until after loan recipients complete or leave their apprenticeship training program, up to a maximum of six years.
From March through June 2014, the Government of Canada held discussions on the Canada Apprentice Loan with key stakeholder groups including training providers, apprenticeship organizations and industry representatives (e.g. Canadian Apprenticeship Forum, Canadian Construction Association, Canadian Labour Congress, Polytechnics Canada, and others), as well as with provincial and territorial governments.
The Canada Apprentice Loan is one of many initiatives taken by our Government to support apprenticeships and career training. Since 2007, the Government of Canada has issued over 500,000 apprenticeship grants, for almost $700 million, to Canadians to help them get the training and experience they need to get well-paying jobs as skilled tradespersons. Other significant supports include Employment Insurance benefits for apprentices taking technical training, tax credits and deductions for employers and apprentices.