MRO Magazine

New Ontario tax credit part of four-year plan to boost apprenticeship training (November 24, 2004)

Toronto, ON -- The Ontario government has introduced an Apprenticeship Training Tax Credit, Mary Anne Chambers, the...


Industry

November 24, 2004
By MRO Magazine
MRO Magazine

Toronto, ON — The Ontario government has introduced an Apprenticeship Training Tax Credit, Mary Anne Chambers, the province’s minister of training, colleges and universities, announced yesterday.

“Our government is … committed to increasing opportunities for Ontarians to train as apprentices for rewarding careers in the skilled trades,” said Chambers. “To achieve that goal, we want to ensure that employers have the supports necessary to expand their commitment to skills training.”

If approved by the Legislature, the refundable tax credit would equal 25% of salaries and wages that are paid to eligible apprentices, primarily in the construction, industrial and manufacturing sectors.

To better support small businesses that train apprentices, the tax credit would increase to 30% for businesses with payrolls of $400,000 or less.

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The tax credit is part of the government’s four-year plan to expand the apprenticeship system.

Other elements of the plan include:

– An investment of an additional $11.7 million annually by 2006-07 to give 26,000 people opportunities to become apprentices each year

– 1,500 scholarships of $1,000 to those who have left high school and return to graduate and enter apprenticeships, as well as bonuses of $2,000 to encourage employers to hire these young people as apprentices

– The introduction of the Co-op Diploma Apprenticeship Program to provide young people with a clear path to skilled trades careers and a postsecondary education.

“Ontario’s apprenticeship training tax credit would help the province’s manufacturers compete with companies in jurisdictions that provide training incentives,” said James Bowman, chairman of the Canadian Tooling and Machining Association, Cambridge, Ont. “It would be an investment in the long-term goal of sustaining our skilled trades and provide employers with a vehicle for recovering costs incurred by training.”

“As an employer and strong supporter of apprenticeship training, I am delighted to see the government proceed with this initiative,” said Bob Steenson, president, Ontario Air Systems Ltd., Pickering, Ont. “There are chronic shortages of trained workers in many sectors of the construction industry and the tax credits proposed will encourage more employers to open doors for more apprentices. I congratulate the minister as this is clearly a win/win proposal.”

Ontario’s apprenticeship system is the largest in Canada. According to the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, 41% of Ontario’s skilled trades anticipate that they will face skill shortages in their industry within five years.