Launch of the Canada Apprentice Loan in Alberta
The Honourable Tim Uppal, Minister of State (Multiculturalism), on behalf of the Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development, has announced the launch of the new Canada Apprentice Loan, an important initiative that provides apprentices registered in a Red Seal trade program with access to loans of up to $4,000 per period of technical training. The loans are interest-free until after loan recipients complete or leave their apprenticeship training program, up to a maximum of six years.
In his address, Minister Uppal focused on the importance and value of the skilled trades for our Canadian economy and said that apprenticeship training is essential to keep Canada’s economy strong. That is why, in addition to the Canada Apprentice Loan, the Government also supports apprentices through several other initiatives, including grants and tax Credits. Since 2006, the Government of Canada has also provided apprenticeship grants and tax credits for both apprentices and employers to encourage apprenticeships and careers in the skilled trades. To date, the Government has issued over 500,000 apprenticeship grants to Canadians worth nearly $700 million to help them get the skills and training they need to get well-paying jobs.
Minister Uppal underlined the pressing demand for skilled tradesmen and women, particularly in areas such as infrastructure projects like the Government’s New Building Canada Plan, which commits $53 billion in funding, including nearly $942 million to projects in Alberta under the New Building Canada Fund. He also spoke of the many projects happening in the Fort McMurray area like the Fort McMurray West Transmission Project for new electrical transmission lines, affordable housing projects slated to start later this year, construction projects at the airport and the on-going downtown revitalization.
- It is estimated that at least 26,000 apprentices a year will apply for over $100 million in Canada Apprentice Loans.
- Red Seal trades include 57 skilled trades including bakers, bricklayers, carpenters, electricians, gasfitters, heavy equipment operators, ironworkers, machinists, painters, plumbers, sheet metal workers, and truck mechanics, to name a few.
- According to Statistics Canada, almost 360,000 people are enrolled in over 400 apprenticeship and skilled trades programs. But, only half of apprentices are completing their programs.
- There are approximately 2.9 million skilled trade workers in Canada, which represent 17 per cent of the workforce.