Applying for CAF-FCA Apprenticeship Hiring Incentive Program

May 16, 2023

By Blake Marchand

The federal government launched their SME (small and medium enterprises) apprenticeship funding program back in September of 2022, the program will run until March 31st, 2024. You can receive from $5,000 to $20,000 of funding when taking on up to two new apprentices. Hiring apprentices from equity deserving groups doubles the amount of funding you receive per apprentice.

There are 19 service providers for the funding, you can find a full list HERE. This article focuses on CAF-FCA and the wrap-around services they can provide, although you may be better served working with one of the other 19 providers, depending on your area or trade.

As a service provider, Canadian Apprenticeship Forum has partnered with Aboriginal Apprenticeship Board, Canadian Construction Association, BuildForce, SkillPlan and Apprenticesearch.com to administer funding as well as provide wrap around services for contractors, journeypersons, and apprentices.

Applying for CAF-FCA Apprenticeship Hiring Incentive Program

BuildForce and SkillPlan are providing complementary training courses for apprentices and journeypersons as part of the program to help build mentorship, learning, and fundamental skills. While Apprenticesearch.com has a platform that can match apprentices with employers.

The funder for the program is Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), CAF-FCA works with them to facilitate the administration of funding.

Program Goal: Support the hiring and training of Level 1 Apprentices in Canada.

Who Can Participate? Small and medium-sized businesses:

Micro (1 to 4 employees)

Small (5 to 99 employees)

Medium (100 to 499 employees)

Financial Incentive: $5,000 per apprentice per year for a max of two Level 1 apprentices per employer; or

$10,000 per apprentice per year for a max of two Level 1 apprentices if the apprentice identifies as being from an under-represented group.

Location: Available across Canada

Trades: Employers hiring and training in 39 Red Seal trades are included in the program. Of the 39 Red Seal trades are construction electrician, industrial electrician, and powerline technician.

Applying to the Program

The funding is meant to offset the costs associated with taking on an entry level apprentice. Health and safety training, gear and equipment, accommodations for block training, or even offset wages. Essentially, the funding is yours once you receive it and you can decide the best way to utilize it.

The fiscal year started on April 1st, if you already received funding in the previous fiscal year, you are still eligible to apply for funding for two apprentices.

Equity deserving groups include women, indigenous peoples, newcomers to Canada, persons with disabilities, visible minorities, and folks that are part of the LGBTQ+ community.

Both the employer and the apprentice need to register at the program website, this is where the apprentice will indicate if they are a part of an equity deserving group or not. Which is a self-disclosure done voluntarily by the apprentice.

CAF-FAC value-adds includes the aforementioned matching service provided through Apprenticesearch.com. It’s more than just an algorithm, they have people behind the scenes that can help match you with apprentices in your area.

They will also provide complimentary access to a mentorship course and app for apprentices as well as journeypersons who may or may not have had an apprentice work under them before. The course is online and self-directed, it takes about 2-3 hours to complete.

SkillPlan and BuildForce engaged in research to determine six competencies that make people great mentors.

For apprentices, they will learn how to ask good questions and get the most out of their training.

CAF-FCA will also provide complementary essential skills training through SkillPlan and BuildForce. It’s called Build Your Skills to help apprentices with ratios, measurements, percentages; skills that get used on a regular basis on most construction sites.

If you are applying for funding through CAF-FCA, the first step is to go to Apprenticesearch.com/cas to register. After you complete the registration form you will be contacted by a Job Developer from Apprenticesearch.com, they will ask you for a sub-agreement between you and the program to indicate you will follow program guidelines and follow through on the apprenticeship training.

Once you lock into a service provider you can’t work with another provider for the year.

You’ll also need to provide an electronic funds transfer document to receive payment, as well as your training agreement/sponsorship document.

An important note is that you need to register with CAF-FCA before you register with your regional authority. The program isn’t retroactive, it’s only eligible for new apprentices.

The apprentice and journeyperson must register for the mentorship training before funding is released.

For union indentured apprentices, the funding goes to the company that is paying the apprentice.

Companies that are a subsidiary of a larger company are still eligible if their payroll is housed within the subsidiary company.

The application process will likely take at least 2-4 weeks, so although the program runs until March 31, 2024, it will be best to begin the application at least couple months before that deadline.

Go HERE for more information

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