Feds mark 500,000 apprenticeship grants milestone
September 4, 2014 | By Anthony Capkun
September 4, 2014 – Jason Kenney, Canada’s minister of employment and social development, announced yesterday the Government of Canada has provided a total of 500,000 apprenticeship grants to Canadians since 2007 to help them pursue careers in the skilled trades.
Kenney spoke with apprentices at an event hosted by George Brown College to celebrate the milestone, and handed out apprenticeship grants to those who have recently completed their training.
“The Apprenticeship Incentive Grant and Apprenticeship Completion Grant are actual help from the government for apprentices and their families. The grants are something tangible, something to show apprentices of all trades the work they do is valuable and necessary in Canada’s economy,” said Chris Smillie of Canada’s Building Trades Unions (CBTU).
The Apprenticeship Incentive Grant and Apprenticeship Completion Grant are cash grants that encourage Canadians to pursue and complete apprenticeship training in Red Seal trades, explains Ottawa. Through these grants, apprentices receive up to $4000, which can be used to pay for tuition, tools or other expenses. To date, the feds have provided nearly $700 million in apprenticeship grants.
“The apprenticeship grants are an important way of recognizing the hard work apprentices dedicate to learning their trade,” noted Sarah Watts-Rynard, executive director of Canadian Apprenticeship Forum. “By rewarding both progress and completion, the grants motivate and encourage apprentices on the path to certification.”
Kenney also highlighted other government measures to create opportunities for apprentices, such as the introduction of the Canada Apprentice Loan, support for training programs and tax credits such as the Tool Tax Deduction for apprentices and tradesmen, and the Apprenticeship Job Creation Tax Credit for employers.
He also addressed the need for a parity of esteem that will put the skilled trades on an equal footing with a university education. He expressed concern about negative stereotypes that exist toward the skilled trades, and the false perception that a university education is more valuable than an apprenticeship.
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