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26,000 apprentices per year will apply for over $100 million in Canada Apprentice Loans.

The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development, provided an overview of the apprenticeship support offered by the Government of Canada while on a tour of the Canadian Welding Bureau in Milton, Ontario. Minister Kenney highlighted the new Canada Apprentice Loan, an Economic Action Plan 2014 commitment that provides apprentices in Red Seal trades access to interest-free loans of up to $4,000 per period of technical training.

During his tour of the Canadian Welding Bureau, Minister Kenney joined apprentices, welding professionals and administrators in underscoring the importance of enhanced support for apprentices, which will help ensure that more Canadians obtain the skills and training needed to fill jobs that will power and grow the Canadian economy. In addition to the Canada Apprentice Loan, Minister Kenney mentioned other supports, such as tax credits and grants. The Government of Canada provides apprenticeship grants and tax credits to both apprentices and employers to encourage careers in the skilled trades. To date, the Government has issued over 500,000 apprenticeship grants to Canadians.

Minister Kenney also discussed the pressing demand for skilled tradesmen and tradeswomen, particularly in areas such as infrastructure. He spoke about projects like the Government’s New Building Canada Plan.

Quick Facts

It is estimated that at least 26,000 apprentices per year will apply for over $100 million in Canada Apprentice Loans.

The 57 skilled trades designated as Red Seal trades include welder, bricklayer, carpenter, electrician, gasfitter, heavy equipment operator, ironworker, machinist, painter, plumber, sheet metal worker and truck mechanic.

According to Statistics Canada, almost 360,000 people are enrolled in over 400 apprenticeship and skilled trades programs. However, only half of apprentices are completing their programs.


“Our Government’s top priorities are creating jobs, economic growth and long-term prosperity. Jobs in the skilled trades are in demand in many sectors and regions across the country. Welding is an essential component of many industries, such as the construction and automotive industries, and we need qualified welders to help grow our economy. That’s why we’re making it a priority to support apprentices in Canada with initiatives like the Canada Apprentice Loan, which will help more apprentices complete their training and encourage more Canadians to pursue a career in the skilled trades.”

– The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development

“The CWB Group, as Canada’s only nationally mandated welding organization, supports any program that helps create a pool of well qualified, job-ready domestic welders. We cannot forget that trades are the people who have built, and continue to build, this country. With the average age of a welder now 56, initiatives like the Canada Apprenticeship Loan program are urgently required to ensure that young Canadians get the training, equipment and support they need to successfully enter industry.”

– Doug Luciani, President and CEO of the CWB Group


Economic Action Plan 2014
Government of Canada Programs for Apprentices

Canada Job Grant
Infrastructure Canada



Since 2006, our Government has recognized the importance of apprentices to Canada’s economy and has made significant investments to help apprentices and the employers that hire them.

Economic Action Plan 2014
To help registered apprentices with the cost of their training and encourage more Canadians to consider a career in the skilled trades, the Canada Apprentice Loan will offer interest-free loans of up to $4,000 per period of technical training and will defer interest charges and loan repayment until the recipients complete or cancel their study program. It is estimated that at least 26,000 apprentices per year will apply for over $100 million in loans.

Another new Economic Action Plan 2014 initiative, the Flexibility and Innovation in Apprenticeship Technical Training pilot project, will help reduce non-financial barriers to completing training and obtaining certification by using new learning tools such as in-class simulators, e-learning modules, remote learning sites and video conferencing. This will help apprentices continue working and earning while fulfilling the technical training requirements of their study program. This project could potentially support up to 12 multi-year projects through reallocations of $13 million over four years starting in 2014–15.

The Government will ensure increased awareness of existing financial supports available through Employment Insurance so apprentices can start to receive benefits more quickly while on technical training. Through the Employment Insurance Supplemental Unemployment Benefit plan, employers can also invest more in apprenticeship training by choosing to top up an apprentice’s benefits by up to 95 percent of his or her normal wage.

Support for apprentices – The Government of Canada has provided $4.3 million and the governments of the Atlantic provinces over $3.5 million to harmonize training, certification and standards, leading to increased availability of training, higher apprenticeship completion rates and more labour mobility for apprentices across Atlantic Canada. In turn, these actions mean more jobs and opportunities for workers in the skilled trades and a step forward in addressing the skills shortage faced in certain regions and sectors in Canada.

The Apprenticeship Incentive Grant and Apprenticeship Completion Grant are taxable cash grants that encourage Canadians to pursue and complete apprenticeship training in designated Red Seal trades. As a result of these grants, apprentices could be eligible to receive up to $4,000, which can be used to pay for tuition, tools or other expenses. Since 2007, the Government has issued over 500,000 apprenticeship grants.

The Government of Canada also offers a tax credit to employers to encourage them to hire apprentices and a tax deduction for apprentices and tradesmen to help cover the cost of new tools.

Promoting careers in the skilled trades – Through Economic Action Plan 2013, the Government proposed to provide more information on job prospects and the benefits of working in the skilled trades, science, technology, engineering and mathematics to promote education in these high-demand fields.

Post-secondary education – The Government of Canada also provides a range of support—including Canada Student Loans, Canada Student Grants, the Canada Learning Bond and the Canada Education Savings Grant—to help young Canadians pursue and save for their post-secondary education, so that they can acquire the skills and training they need to succeed in the job market and in the future economy.



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