The Union Training and Innovation Program, which was announced in Budget 2016, targets the Red Seal trades and involves broad-based partnerships with a number of stakeholders. It is expected that the Program will:
- help improve the quality of training through investments in equipment;
- support innovative approaches and partnerships with other stakeholders; and
- reduce barriers to participation and success in the trades for key groups, including women and Indigenous people.
The Program, which has two streams, is open to all unions, including those that do not provide training recognized by provinces and territories as technical apprenticeship training, and those that do not operate training facilities.
Stream 1 helps unions purchase new and up-to-date training equipment. Continuous technological change puts pressure on training providers to ensure workers are developing the right skills needed on the jobsite.
Stream 2 focuses on innovative approaches to help address challenges limiting apprenticeship outcomes, including barriers to participation and success in the trades for key groups such as women and Indigenous people. This stream is open to a range of stakeholders and partners, but unions need to be involved, either as the lead or as a partner on projects.
The Government of Canada invests significantly in apprenticeship through grants, loans, tax credits, Employment Insurance benefits (during in-school training), project funding and support for the Red Seal program. The Government is also working with the provinces and territories to harmonize apprenticeship training requirements in targeted Red Seal trades.
To further help key groups in the trades, Budget 2018 announced three new initiatives:
- $46 million over five years, starting in 2018–19, with $10 million per year ongoing, for a new
pre-apprenticeship program to encourage groups facing barriers to explore careers in the trades, gain work experience, make informed career choices, and develop the skills needed for the trades.
- Approximately $20 million over five years, starting in 2018–19, to support an Apprenticeship Incentive Grant for Women, a five-year pilot project where women would receive a new grant of $3,000 for each of their first two years of training in trades where women are under-represented. This, in combination with the existing Apprenticeship Completion Grant valued at $2,000, will result in a total of $8,000 in grant support over the course of their training; and
- $10 million over three years, starting in 2018–19, for the Women in Construction Fund, which supports projects building on existing models that have proven to be effective in attracting women to the trades, such as mentoring, coaching and tailored supports.
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