The Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology), on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, today announced that eligible apprentices may apply for the Apprenticeship Completion Grant starting July 2, 2009.
He made the announcement at the Guelph campus of Conestoga College, before an audience of business leaders, College officials, and campus apprenticeship students and faculty.
"By providing the Apprenticeship Completion Grant, our government is helping Canadians become tradespeople, thereby ensuring that we have the skilled and mobile workforce our country needs to meet the demands of our changing labour market," said Minister of State Goodyear.
The Government of Canada is investing $40 million per year in this important program that will not only encourage people to complete their apprenticeship training and become certified tradespeople, but will also enhance their ability to work anywhere in Canada by supporting the Interprovincial Red Seal Standards program.
The Apprenticeship Completion Grant provides $2,000 to eligible apprentices who successfully complete their apprenticeship training and receive their journeyperson certification in a designated Red Seal trade on or after January 1, 2009.
Under the existing Apprenticeship Incentive Grant, apprentices are already eligible for a $1,000 grant when they complete the first and/or second level of their apprenticeship program in a designated Red Seal trade, to a maximum of $2,000. To date, more than 100,000 grants have been issued to Canadians across the country. It is estimated that 20,000 apprentices will benefit from the Apprenticeship Completion Grant each year upon certification in a designated Red Seal trade. Highly valued by employers, the Red Seal program promotes a national standard for training excellence in the skilled trades.
Thanks to the two apprenticeship grants, apprentices who complete their training and become a certified journeyperson in a designated Red Seal trade could be eligible to receive a total of $4,000.
Minister Goodyear had praise for Conestoga and the work it does in advancing the cause of skilled trades education. "Conestoga College has a reputation in Canada," he said. “"t is clear that a Conestoga education is one of the best investments you can make. And investing in the skilled trades is one of the best investments a nation can make - for Canada to prosper, we need a skilled and mobile workforce."
In acknowledging the importance of the Apprenticeship Completion Grant, Conestoga President John Tibbits commented, "This will be a wonderful way to attract people into apprenticeship. Conestoga is now the third largest college in Ontario for apprenticeship enrolment, and we want to grow to the point where we are the largest. Initiatives such as the Apprenticeship Completion Grant are important to building the strongest applied learning network in the world."
Apprentices will be able to apply for the Apprenticeship Completion Grant starting July 2, 2009, with eligibility retroactive to January 1, 2009. Application forms and further information will be available through Service Canada’s website at servicecanada.gc.ca/apprenticeship or by phone at 1-866-742-3644 (TTY: 1 866 909 9757).
For further information (media only): Michelle Bakos Press Secretary Office of Minister Finley 819-994-2482
Media Relations Office Human Resources and Skills Development Canada 819-994-5559