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Ottawa, Ontario, October 21, 2013—In a keynote speech today at the Association of Canadian Community Colleges, the Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development and Minister for Multiculturalism, emphasized the importance of the skilled trades and the vital role of Canada’s colleges in preparing the skilled workforce of the future.
“Our government’s top priorities are creating jobs, economic growth and long-term prosperity. Colleges play a vital role in ensuring we have a skilled workforce to achieve this goal,” said Minister Kenney. “With the Canada Job Grant, our government is committed to fixing the skills mismatch in Canada where we have too many Canadians without jobs and too many jobs without Canadians.”
Minister Kenney stressed the need for provinces and territories to take action to reform their apprenticeship systems to address Canada’s skills shortage and create jobs and opportunities for Canadians. Minister Kenney also highlighted the economic benefits of the Canadian European Free Trade Agreement to Canadians and how it will create even more opportunities for Canadians to enter the skilled trade sector.
Our government has been a strong supporter of Canada’s colleges, with significant investments in infrastructure through the Knowledge Infrastructure Program and reforms to our student loans regime to improve access to post-secondary education for part-time students.
Economic Action Plan 2013 announced measures to support apprentices and the skilled trades, specifically, using apprentices in federal construction and maintenance contracts and infrastructure projects, working with the provinces and territories to harmonize requirements for apprenticeship training and certification, and examining the use of practical tests as an assessment in certain skilled trades.
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Canada Job Grant
The Grant will provide $15,000 or more per person, including a maximum $5,000 federal contribution and matching contributions from provinces, territories and employers. Businesses with a plan to train Canadians for an existing job or a better job will be eligible to apply for a Canada Job Grant.
Upon full implementation, nearly 130 000 Canadians each year are expected to be able to access the training they need to obtain gainful employment or improve their skills for in-demand jobs.
Support for Apprentices
The Apprenticeship Incentive Grant and Apprenticeship Completion Grant are taxable cash grants which encourage Canadians to pursue and complete apprenticeship training in designated Red Seal trades. As a result of these grants, apprentices could be eligible to receive up to $4,000, which can be used to pay for tuition, tools or other expenses.
The Government of Canada also offers a tax credit to employers to encourage them to hire apprentices, as well as a tax deduction for apprentices and tradespeople to help cover the cost of new tools.
In addition, Economic Action Plan 2013 plans to provide more information on the job prospects and benefits of working in the skilled trades, science, technology, engineering and mathematics to promote education in these high-demand fields.
Post-secondary education is vital, not only for a young person’s future, but for Canada’s economic growth and long-term prosperity.
The Government of Canada provides a range of support – including Canada Student Loans and Grants and the Canada Learning Bond the Canada Education Savings Grant – to help young Canadians pursue and save for their post-secondary education, in order to acquire the skills and training they need to succeed in the job market and in the future economy.
Through Economic Action Plan 2013 and support for post-secondary education, our Government is helping equip Canadians with the right education, skills and training to find good jobs, succeed in the workforce and contribute to their communities.