October 26, 2022
The skilled trades are essential to Canada’s economy. Few sectors are as essential to Canadians’ everyday lives. Smart investments are needed to support Canadians from all backgrounds in taking up apprenticeship training now, and to help kick-start lucrative careers in well-respected skilled trades.
Recently, the Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, on behalf of the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, announced more than $53 million to the Native Women’s Association of Canada for the Indigenous women, Two-Spirit, and Gender-Diverse Apprenticeships with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) project. The project will provide financial incentives and a suite of online training and resources to SMEs across Canada to help them participate in the apprenticeship system and create a safe, inclusive and supportive environment for at least 4,000 apprentices.
Through this project, first-year apprentices in eligible Red Seal trades will get the hands-on experience and training they need to progress toward becoming certified journeypersons in the Red Seal trades. The organizations that are being funded under the Apprenticeship Service will distribute financial incentives to SMEs and provide additional supports, such as help navigating the apprenticeship system and training for SMEs to help improve onboarding processes and the creation of welcoming and inclusive workplaces. The incentives are doubled for SMEs who hire from equity-deserving groups.
This recent announcement builds on the 16 Apprenticeship Service projects announced since May 2022. To date, the Government has invested over $393 million in 19 projects that will enable SMEs to create over 42,000 new apprenticeship positions across Canada.
The Government of Canada is investing nearly $1 billion annually in apprenticeship supports through grants, loans, tax credits, Employment Insurance benefits during in-school training, project funding, and support for the Red Seal program. Announced in Budget 2019, the Canadian Apprenticeship Strategy will strengthen existing apprenticeship supports and programs by helping apprentices and key apprenticeship stakeholders, including employers, to participate and succeed in the skilled trades.
“Canada needs more skilled trades workers. We need more women, persons with disabilities, Indigenous people, racialized Canadians and other traditionally marginalized people to get into the skilled trades. That’s why the Apprenticeship Service program is so critical. It’s helping more and more Canadians seize these great job opportunities, and it’s making sure businesses have the skilled workers they need to thrive.”
– The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion
“As Canada continues its economic recovery from the pandemic, we need to address our labour shortage and find ways to increase the number of Canadians working in the skilled trades. Our government’s funding of the Native Women’s Association of Canada’s project will create an inclusive and supportive environment for Indigenous women, Two-Spirit and gender-diverse apprentices who face gender-based discrimination, so they can pursue a career in the skilled trades and become job-ready.”
– The Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations
“The trades offer exciting, highly-skilled, well-paying careers. We’re helping more Canadians, especially Indigenous peoples and other traditionally marginalized groups, start their careers in the trades. This is good for those workers, their families, local businesses, and our country’s workforce.”
– Greg Fergus, Member of Parliament for Hull—Aylmer
“With this announcement, we’re talking about good-paying jobs for a segment of society that has too often been shut out of workplaces where decent wages can be earned. This will mean food on tables, and roofs over heads. It will mean the kind of satisfaction and promising future that comes from having a real career.”
– Carol McBride, President, Native Women’s Association of Canada
- •According to the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum, in order to meet the demand for skilled journeypersons in Red Seal trades, an average of approximately 75,000 new apprentices will need to be hired per year over the next five years. The top trades most at risk of not meeting the demand include welder, industrial mechanic (millwright), bricklayer, boilermaker, cook and hairstylist.
- •According to BuildForce Canada, the construction industry needs to recruit 309,000 new workers over the next decade (2021 to 2030), driven predominantly by the expected retirement of 259,100 workers (22% of the current labour force).
- •On October 12, the Government of Canada launched two calls for proposals that close on December 1, 2022.
- 1. The first call for proposals is under Stream 2 (Innovation in Apprenticeship) of the Union Training and Innovation Program. This will help fund projects that seek to improve the participation in Red Seal trades of apprentices who are women, newcomers, persons with disabilities, Indigenous people and racialized individuals.
- 2. The second call for proposals is under the Women in Skilled Trades Initiative to support projects that aim to recruit and retain women apprentices in 39 eligible Red Seal trades, predominantly in the construction and manufacturing sectors.
- •There are more than 195,000 SMEs in Canada who work in the eligible Red Seal trades. The Apprenticeship Service will help them hire more first-year apprentices, which will help fulfill Canada’s labour market needs.
- •Measures in Budget 2022 to support skilled trades workers include:
- 1. $84.2 million over four years to double the funding for the Union Training and Innovation Program to help apprentices from under-represented groups begin—and succeed in—careers in the skilled trades through mentorship, career services and job matching.
- 2. A new Labour Mobility Deduction, which would provide tax recognition on up to $4,000 per year in eligible travel and temporary relocation expenses to eligible tradespersons and apprentices. This measure would apply to the 2022 and subsequent taxation years.
- 3. $2.5 million in 2022–2023 for Employment and Social Development Canada to launch a new union-led advisory table that brings together unions and trade associations. The table will advise the Government on how to help workers navigate the changing labour market, with a particular focus on skilled mid-career workers in at-risk sectors and jobs.
- •To highlight the value of skilled trades workers and the wide range of supports available to build a successful and fulfilling career in the trades, the Government launched an advertising campaign earlier this year to promote the skilled trades as first choice careers for young people. The campaign website (Canada.ca/skilled-trades) provides Canadians with information about what the skilled trades are, how to become a tradesperson, and what financial supports are available to them while in training.
- Apply for funding for the Women in Skilled Trades Initiative
- Apply for funding for the Innovation in Apprenticeship Stream
- Apprenticeship Service
- Support for apprentices
- Budget 2022