July 6, 2022
The Canadian Construction Association (CCA) is partnering with the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum (CAF) on a federal government initiative that will enable small and medium-sized employers (SMEs) to offer more apprenticeship training opportunities. This is an important plank in CCA’s efforts to build workforce capacity, expanding beyond our Talent Fits Here campaign.
The Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough, announced the $247 million investment for apprenticeship development at the CAF’s National Apprenticeship Conference in Halifax on May 30. CAF is the recipient of $45 million of that funding to administer grants to employers across the country who hire new first-year apprentices in 39 Red Seal trades. The program officially launches in September.
CCA will be promoting the program to its members and construction employers across Canada. An important element of the campaign will be to leverage our network of integrated partner associations to communicate the program and encourage employers to sign up for the funding.
The financial incentives available to small and medium-sized employers are $5,000 per apprentice per year for a max of two Level 1 apprentices per employer. The amount is doubled if the apprentice identifies as being from an underrepresented group. The funding applies to new apprentices only for which an employer must complete an application form and is not retroactive to any hired before the September program launch date.
The need to build workforce capacity has been a central focus for CCA and our members. Skilled tradespeople cannot be created overnight. The construction industry needs to recruit 309,000 new workers over the next decade, while 75,000 new apprentices need to be hired per year in the next five years to meet the demand for Red Seal trades.
This program will provide support to employers wanting to hire apprentices and promote the skilled trades as a first-choice career for youth, women, Indigenous peoples, LGBTQ+, immigrants and foreign workers.