Government of Canada helping reduce barriers to training in the skilled trades

From: Employment and Social Development Canada

Mobile classroom to bring trades training to apprentices in the Thunder Bay area

January 23, 2019 Thunder Bay, Ontario Employment and Social Development Canada

Giving every Canadian a real and fair chance at success means helping them get the skills and training they need to succeed in a changing economy. The skilled trades are good, well-paying, middle-class jobs, and the Government of Canada is committed to supporting key groups, such as women, Indigenous people, newcomers and those with disabilities, to work in the skilled trades through funding for projects led by unions and other organizations.

That is why today, the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, announced that the Government of Canada is providing more than $181,000 to the Labourers’ International Union of North America (LiUNA) Local 607 for its Mobile Training Classroom: Removing Barriers to Train project.

This funding will enable LiUNA Local 607 to overcome geographical barriers for up to 300 apprentices in the Thunder Bay region so they can better pursue a career in the skilled trades. The Mobile Training Classroom will provide training opportunities on the work-site and will be a part of outreach efforts to Indigenous people, women and those who face barriers to entering the skilled trades. The courses offered will focus on the Construction Craft Worker and Concrete (Cement) Finisher Red Seal trades. During the first year of the project, at least 7 courses will be offered and at least 12 will be offered in the second year.

The Government invests $25 million annually in support of the Union Training and Innovation Program to help support union-based apprenticeship training, innovation and enhanced partnerships in the Red Seal trades across Canada. This investment means more apprentices will be able to develop their skills, complete their training and find good, well-paying jobs.

As Canada’s economy continues to grow and create good, well-paying jobs, the Government is committed to ensuring that all Canadians benefit from this success

“Canada’s future success depends on building an economy that is as inclusive as it is innovative. That’s why our government is helping those who face barriers to participate and succeed in the skilled trades to start exciting and well-paying careers right here in Thunder Bay.”

– The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour

“The Union Training and Innovation Program will help new generations of workers benefit from the mentorship and training that unions are so well-equipped to offer. Through this project in the Thunder Bay area, our government is building stronger communities and strengthening the middle class.”

– Don Rusnak, Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay–Rainy River

“On behalf of LiUNA we applaud Minister Hajdu’s announcement to improve accessibility to training programs throughout Thunder Bay. For over a decade, LiUNA Local 607 representing Thunder Bay has been working together with various training partners in order to meet the demands of membership and community. Today’s announcement will expand training and education resources across northwestern Ontario. This mobile classroom will facilitate more frequent and accessible training for LiUNA members, as well as improve accessible training resources for surrounding Indigenous communities, with whom LiUNA continues to work in partnership. We look forward to continuing to work with the Federal Liberal Government for the betterment of Canada’s workforce.”

– Joseph Mancinelli, LiUNA International Vice President and Regional Manager of Central and Eastern Canada

Quick facts

  • Up to $28,000 in funding through apprenticeship grants and loans is available Canadians who are trying to complete their apprenticeship training.

  • To further support key groups facing barriers so they can succeed in the skilled trades, the Government of Canada recently launched the Apprenticeship Incentive Grant for Women. This new grant provides $3,000 per year or level, up to a maximum amount of $6,000, to eligible registered apprentices who have successfully completed their first or second year/level of an apprenticeship program in Red Seal trades where they are under‑represented.

  • This, in combination with the existing Apprenticeship Completion Grant valued at $2,000, could result in combined grant support of up to $8,000 over the course of their training. Eligible apprentices can apply by visiting

  • In addition to the Apprenticeship Incentive Grant for Women, Budget 2018 announced two other initiatives to help apprentices succeed:

    • a pre-apprenticeship program with $46 million over five years, starting in 2018–19, with $10 million per year ongoing, 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; and

    • the Women in Construction Fund with $10 million over three years, starting in 2018–19, to support 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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