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Government of Canada helps Indigenous apprentices in Alberta complete their technical training

by ahnationtalk on May 27, 2018299 Views

From: Employment and Social Development Canada

May 25, 2018 Red Deer, Alberta Employment and Social Development Canada

The skilled trades represent high-quality and well-paid middle class jobs that are critical to Canada’s economic growth. As Canada’s economy continues to grow and create good, well-paying jobs, the Government of Canada wants to ensure that all Canadians share in and benefit from this success.

That’s why, the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, today highlighted the successful completion of the Virtual Reality and Co-operative Trades project at Red Deer College.

With funding of over $1.4 million under the Flexibility and Innovation in Apprenticeship Technical Training program, this project used innovative and flexible ways of teaching to help 50 Indigenous apprentices from remote communities in Alberta become certified welders. To better meet the needs of apprentices and employers, participants received the in-class training up front followed by practical workplace training. The project also included the use of innovative training methods, such as access to a new simulation tool, which helped reduce the time that apprentices spend away from their workplaces.

To further help underrepresented groups in the skilled trades, in Budget 2018, the Government announced three new initiatives:

· $46 million over five years, starting in 2018–19, with $10 million per year ongoing, for a new Pre-Apprenticeship Program;

· $19.9 million over five years, starting in 2018–19, to support an Apprenticeship Incentive Grant for Women, a five-year pilot project where women in male-dominated Red Seal trades would receive a new grant of $3,000 (up to $6,000) once they successfully complete their first or second year/level of an apprenticeship program in an eligible Red Seal trade. This, in combination with the existing Apprenticeship Completion Grant valued at $2,000, will result in a total of $8,000 in support over the course of their training; and

· $10 million over three years, starting in 2018–19, for the new Women in Construction Fund, which will build on existing models that have proven to be effective in attracting women to the trades. These models provide supports such as mentoring, coaching and tailored supports that help women progress through their training and find and retain jobs in the trades.

In 2017, the Government launched the Union Training and Innovation Program with approximately $10 million in funding, and $25 million annually thereafter. The program supports the Government’s commitment to strengthen union-based apprenticeship training, innovation and enhanced partnerships. It also aims to address barriers that prevent key groups, such as women and Indigenous people, from succeeding in the trades.

Through measures such as these, the Government of Canada is helping the next generation of tradespeople and apprentices get the skills and training they need to succeed.


“High-quality apprenticeship training helps support a skilled, mobile and certified trades workforce. By helping Canadians succeed in the labour market, the Government of Canada is strengthening and growing the middle class and helping those working hard to join it. ”
– The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour

“Red Deer College, Montana First Nation, WorleyParsonsCord and the Government of Canada formed a partnership to deliver a FIATT project in central Alberta. The project combined the use of a redesigned curriculum delivery model and learning technologies to prepare 50 Aboriginal learners for a career in welding. Now many of them have completed their technical training and are on their way to finding jobs in their chosen trades.”
– Rhonda Stangeland, Project Coordinator, FIATT, Red Deer College

Quick facts

  • Skilled tradespeople play a vital role in the economy. With planned investments in infrastructure and an aging workforce, it is expected that the need and demand for tradespeople will continue to grow.
  • The Government of Canada makes significant investments in apprenticeship through project funding and other supports for apprentices. Apprentices can receive up to $20,000 in grants and loans during a four-year apprenticeship program, as well as tax credits and Employment Insurance benefits during in-school training.
  • In addition, the Government of Canada is working with provinces and territories to harmonize apprenticeship training requirements in targeted Red Seal trades. This aims to improve the mobility of apprentices, support completion of training, enable employers to access a larger pool of apprentices and increase consistency across apprenticeship systems.
  • To date, training has been harmonized for two thirds of Red Seal apprentices, achieving the goal set by the Forum of Labour Market Ministers.

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Emily Harris
Senior Communications Advisor
Office of the Honourable Patty Hajdu, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour

Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada

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