Now more than ever, skilled tradespeople are in high demand to fill well-paying jobs and build rewarding careers. The most recent projections estimate about 700,000 skilled trades workers are expected to retire between 2019 and 2028, creating an ever-growing need to recruit and train thousands more. That is why the Government of Canada is making targeted investments to remove barriers and get more Canadians the apprenticeship training they need to build good, well-paying careers in the skilled trades.
Today, Lena Metlege Diab, Member of Parliament for Halifax West, on behalf of the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough, announced $43,453 in funding to International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 39 for its Building Blocks: Training for the Future project. The project will seek to address the training gap within the labour force of Glazier and Drywall Tapers in Lakeside, NS. MP Lena Metlege Diab also announced $39,395 in funding to Local Unionworkers 625 International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers for its Renewable Energy Photovoltaic Training project. The project will seek to address new technologies in the field of renewable solar energy with Photovoltaic Training within the electrical trade industry.
These projects are funded through the Union Training and Innovation Program’s (UTIP) Stream 1 to help unions across Canada improve the quality of training through investments in equipment and materials.
The UTIP supports union-based apprenticeship training and works to: improve the quality of training in the trades; address barriers limiting participation and success in trades training careers; and enhance partnerships between stakeholders. Through the UTIP the Government is helping equity-deserving groups to succeed in the trades, such as women, Indigenous people, newcomers, persons with disabilities, and visible minorities, get the support they need to enter, progress and become certified in well-paying jobs in the Red Seal trades.
To highlight the value of skilled trades workers and the wide range of supports available to build a successful and fulfilling career in the trades, the Government recently launched an advertising campaign to promote the skilled trades as first choice careers for young people and diverse populations. The campaign website Canada.ca/skilled-trades provides Canadians with information about what the skilled trades are, how to become a tradesperson, and what financial supports are available to them while in training.
“Skilled tradespeople have been critical to essential sectors during this pandemic and they will continue to be critical in the years to come. That’s why the Government of Canada is investing in the Union Training and Innovation Program to provide skilled trades workers with access to modern training equipment that will set them up for success in the workplace.”
– Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough
“To power Canada’s recovery, we need to ensure our skilled trade workers have access to the training and equipment they need to succeed. Our government’s support for these projects with the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 39 and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 625 will help better prepare workers in our Halifax West communities to tackle the challenges they will encounter in their workplaces.”
– Lena Metlege Diab, Member of Parliament for Halifax West
“We need to ensure our workers are ready for the future now, but we can’t do it alone. The support we are receiving through the Union Training and Innovation Program is critical to provide skill upgrading for existing tradespeople, and to ensure new entrants to the trades get to benefit from using the latest technology.”
– Blair Mikkelsen, Red Seal Training Director, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 625
“With the funding assistance we are receiving from the Union Training and Innovation Program, our union will be able to work more effectively with our partners and the diverse communities they serve and represent. This includes the Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia (ISANS), the East Preston Empowerment Academy (EPEA), the Aboriginal Peoples Training and Employment Commission, and Women Unlimited, to name just a few.”
– Chris Bullman, Red Seal Glazing and Safety Instructor, International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 39
- The Government of Canada is investing nearly $1 billion annually in apprenticeship supports through grants and contributions, loans, tax credits, Employment Insurance benefits during in-school training, project funding, and support for the Red Seal program. Announced in Budget 2019, the Canadian Apprenticeship Strategy will strengthen existing apprenticeship supports and programs by helping apprentices and key apprenticeship stakeholders, including employers, to participate and succeed in the skilled trades.
- According to the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum, an average of around 75,000 new apprentices will need to be hired per year in the next five years in order to meet the demand for skilled journeypersons in Red Seal trades. Top trades most at risk of not meeting the demand include welder, industrial mechanic (millwright), bricklayer, boilermaker, cook and hairstylist.
- Demand for construction trades is likely to remain high. According to BuildForce Canada, the industry needs to recruit 309,000 new construction workers over the next decade (2021 to 2030), driven predominantly by the expected retirement of 259,100 workers (22% of the current labour force).
- The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on Canada’s apprenticeship systems. Apprenticeship data from 2020 shows the largest year-over-year declines in new apprenticeship registrations and certifications since the data series began in 1991.
- There were 55,455 new apprenticeship registrations in 2020, a decrease of 28.5% (-22,119) from 2019.
- There were 26,376 apprentices who received a trade certificate in 2020, a decrease of 31.5% (-12,138) from 2019.
- In Canada, young women continue to be less likely to express interest in a career in the skilled trades. According to a survey done by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, only two percent of 15-year-old female students indicated that they were definitely planning to pursue a career in the skilled trades.