The Government of Canada announced investments of over $42 million for Quebec apprentices through the Canadian Apprenticeship Strategy.

The Government of Canada is providing $39.4 million over five years, beginning in 2023-24, to the Government of Quebec through the Canadian Apprenticeship Strategy’s Union Training and Innovation ProgramThrough this joint investment, organizations in Quebec including professional and technical training institutions, Indigenous and not-for-profit organizations, and private sector employer groups will be able to benefit from funding to support investments in modern and up-to-date training equipment and materials. The funding will also support innovation and enhanced partnerships to help improve apprenticeship outcomes. Between 2,000 and 5,000 Red Seal apprentices, including individuals from under-represented groups, are expected to benefit from this funding each year in Quebec.

“A robust skilled trades workforce is key to building a better Canada for all. By supporting Quebec apprentices to enter and grow in high demand careers we can improve the housing supply and reduce barriers to participation for under-represented groups. Providing a path for young people to further their passions in the skilled trades is crucial to addressing the challenges of today and fueling the innovations of tomorrow,” said Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Official Languages, Randy Boissonnault.

Boissonnault also highlighted two investments for a total of over $3.5 million to two unions for projects under the Women in the Skilled Trades Initiative, helping women in Quebec get the apprenticeship training and support they need to enter the skilled trades workforce:

  • An investment of over $940,000 to the Centrale des syndicats démocratiques (CSD) aims to reduce barriers and increase access to Red Seal Trades in Quebec by supporting learning activities such as information workshops across schools and facilitating mentoring collaborations.
  • An investment of over $2.5 million to the Syndicat québécois de la construction (SQC) is helping them partner with recruiting firms to hire women apprentices, provide career development training and a wraparound supports to encourage retention and create a welcoming space to help women feel safe.
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“Women are increasingly present on construction sites, reaching a record figure of some 7,500 workers in Quebec by 2023. However, around 60% of them leave the sector after five years. To improve retention, CSD Construction has developed an innovative program that offers coaching, guidance, training and financial support, while combating psychological and sexual harassment. We know that retaining women workers in the industry requires training and workplace support. Our project will promote the recruitment, induction, integration and job retention of women apprentices in the construction trades,” said Carl Dufour, president of CSD Construction.

As part of the Canadian Apprenticeship Strategy, the Government of Canada is making targeted investments to recruit, retain and train a diverse and inclusive skilled trades workforce that will have the right technical and green skills to build the country’s housing supply and grow tomorrow’s low-carbon economy.

“Thanks to this grant, the Syndicat québécois de la construction is contributing to the success of women apprentices in Red Seal trades across Quebec by promoting diversity and equity in the workplace, not only among women, but also among employers. The Projet Initiatives Femmes du SQC is a unifying, inclusive project tailored to women construction workers. It includes a working women’s committee made up of tradeswomen, events for women throughout Quebec, financial support to encourage the pursuit of a training program, personalized accompaniment and resources to promote welcoming and integration. At SQC, every woman should feel proud, accomplished and competent as a construction worker,” said Charles-Olivier Picard, General Manager of the Syndicat québécois de la construction.

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Featured image: (Employment and Social Development Canada)

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