September 8, 2022
Now more than ever, skilled tradespeople are in high demand to fill well-paying jobs and build rewarding careers. Demographic shifts and high retirement rates are creating an ever-growing need to recruit and train thousands more Canadians in the skilled trades. Meeting this high demand through targeted investments will make it easier for more Canadians to get the apprenticeship training they need to enter the skilled trades workforce.
Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough, announced a call for proposals under Stream 1: Investments in Training Equipment of the Union Training and Innovation Program (UTIP). Up to $10 million in 2022–2023 is being invested by the Government of Canada for projects that provide unions with up to 50% of the cost of new training equipment and materials.
Selected projects will help unions across Canada improve the quality of training in Red Seal trades that registered apprentices and pre-apprentices (non-registered apprentices) receive. These projects will also support the development of environmental skills for Canada’s transition to a clean economy.
This UTIP call for proposals supports the new Canadian Apprenticeship Strategy, announced in Budget 2019. This strategy builds on the success of existing programs, like the UTIP, to strengthen apprenticeship supports for Canadians and allows the Government to be more flexible and responsive to the needs of apprentices and those looking to work in the skilled trades.
The Government of Canada invests nearly $1 billion annually in apprenticeships supports through grants, loans, tax credits, Employment Insurance benefits during in-school training, project funding and support for the Red Seal program. The Government is also working with the provinces and territories to harmonize apprenticeship training requirements in targeted Red Seal trades. According to the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum, to meet the demand for skilled journeypersons in Red Seal Trades, an average of 75,000 new apprentices will need to be hired each year for the next five years. Skilled trades most at risk of not meeting the demand include welder, industrial mechanic (millwright), bricklayer, boilermaker, cook and hairstylist.
“Canada needs more skilled trades workers, and union training programs are critical to this mission. That’s why we’re investing in centres across the country that will help train the next generation of welders, carpenters, electricians and other skilled workers in the Red Seal trades.”
– Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough
- The call for proposals opens August 31, 2022 and closes on October 12, 2022.
- Eligible organizations are unions representing workers in the Red Seal trades.
- Budget 2022 doubled funding for the UTIP with an investment of $84.2 million over four years. This will help an additional 3,500 apprentices from underrepresented groups, including more women, newcomers, persons with disabilities, Indigenous people and racialized Canadians, access good-quality jobs in high-paying skilled trades.
- In 2020–2021, 24,461 people participated in the UTIP Stream 1 projects, and 24% of participants were from equity-deserving groups:
- 6% were Indigenous people; 4% were newcomers; 1% were persons with disabilities; and 8% were individuals from racialized communities; and
- 6% were women, exceeding the current average of women apprentices in non-traditional Red Seal trades (which was at 5% in 2017).
- In addition, 75% of the project participants reported an increase in skills after program intervention.