Launch of the Canada Apprentice Loan in Ontario
The Honourable Lisa Raitt, Minister of Transport, on behalf of the Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development, announced the launch of the new Canada Apprentice Loan, an Economic Action Plan 2014 commitment 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.
Minister Raitt reiterated that enhanced support for apprentices and apprenticeship training are key to power and grow the Canadian economy. 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 Raitt emphasized the value of skilled trades and underlined the pressing demand for skilled tradespeople, particularly in areas such as infrastructure projects like the Government’s New Building Canada Plan, which commits $53 billion in funding, including over $2.7 billion to projects in Ontario under the New Building Canada Fund.
- 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 percent of the workforce.