Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced that the Canada Apprentice Loan initiative is now open for business and accepting applications.
The initiative will help those already apprenticing to complete their training and encourage more Canadians to pursue a career in the skilled trades, allowing participants to take advantage of the many job opportunities across Canada.
The Prime Minister was accompanied by Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development and Minister for Multiculturalism; Kerry-Lynne Findlay, Minister of National Revenue; James Moore, Minister of Industry; Alice Wong, Minister of State for Seniors; Dan Albas, Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board; MP Nina Grewal; MP John Weston; and Senator Yonah Martin.
The Canada Apprentice Loan, which was introduced in Economic Action Plan 2014, will provide apprentices in Red Seal trades across Canada with access to interest-free loans.
These loans will help apprentices address the costs they encounter during technical training, including educational fees, tools and equipment, living expenses and forgone wages.
It will be managed by the Canada Student Loans Program, within Employment and Social Development Canada.
Apprentices registered in a Red Seal trade apprenticeship will be able to apply for loans of up to $4,000 per period of technical training.
The loans are interest-free until after loan recipients complete or leave their apprenticeship training program, up to a maximum of six years.
Those interested in applying for the Canada Apprentice Loan can do so through the Canada Apprentice Loan Online Service which is available through Canada.ca/apprentice.
A few quick facts:
It is estimated that at least 26,000 apprentices a year will benefit from over $100 million in Canada Apprentice Loans.
According to Statistics Canada, almost 360,000 people are enrolled every year in over 400 apprenticeship and skilled trades pro-grams; however, only half of apprentices are completing their programs, in part, because of the financial demands incurred during their technical training.
There are approximately 2.9 million skilled trade workers in Canada which represent 17 per cent of the workforce.
Red Seal trades include 57 skilled trades, such as bakers, bricklayers, carpenters, electricians, gasfitters, heavy equipment operators, ironworkers, machinists, painters, plumbers, sheet metal workers, and truck mechanics, to name a few.
The Conference Board of Canada predicts that Canada will need about one million additional skilled workers by the year 2020.
“Apprenticeships play an important role in Canada’s post-secondary education system and are a key provider of the vital skills and knowledge necessary to power and grow the Canadian economy,” said Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
“The Canada Apprentice Loan initiative will allow young people from across the country to access jobs in the skilled trades that are in-demand in different sectors and regions – from shipbuilding in the East, to mining in the North, to oil and gas projects in the West,” the Prime Minister added.
“We encourage Canadians to use these loans, learn a trade, gain hands-on experience, and take advantage of this investment,” he said.
Posted: Feb 3, 2015