The Government of Canada announced over $21 million in funding for the British Columbia Construction Association’s Construction Industry Apprenticeship Program project.

The project will provide financial support to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in British Columbia to hire a minimum of 2,100 first-year apprentices in eligible Red Seal trades over the next two years. This includes a minimum of 500 first-year apprentices from equity-deserving groups such as women, persons with disabilities, Indigenous people and racialized people.

“We need more skilled trades workers in British Columbia, and across Canada. That’s why we’re working with employers to create tens of thousands of new apprenticeships. It’s why we’re doubling incentives for employers who hire women, persons with disabilities, and other traditionally marginalized groups—to make sure that everyone who wants to pursue a skilled trade has the chance to,”  said Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough.

“The British Columbia Construction Association is committed to making sure that these financial incentives and recruitment supports get out to small and medium employers across BC’s construction industry. This is a time of significant cost increases, supply chain disruption and project risk, and many contractors will appreciate the assistance as they work hard to attract and retain talent,” said British Columbia Construction Association President, Chris Atchison.

First-year apprentices in eligible Red Seal trades will get the hands-on experience and training they need to progress toward becoming certified journeypersons in the Red Seal trades as a result of connecting with these job opportunities. The organizations that are being funded under the Apprenticeship Service will distribute financial incentives to SMEs and provide additional supports, such as help navigating the apprenticeship system. They will also develop training for SMEs to help them onboard apprentices and create welcoming and inclusive workplaces. To help Canadians facing barriers to a career in the skilled trades, the incentives are doubled for SMEs that hire from equity-deserving groups.

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“The skilled trades offer many exciting and rewarding career opportunities, and they are in high demand. The Apprenticeship Service will help Canadians get valuable work experience in the skilled trades, particularly equity-deserving groups such as women, persons with disabilities, Indigenous people and racialized people. Today’s announcement will also support small and medium-sized enterprises that are providing these key job opportunities to first-year apprentices,” said Minister of Seniors, Kamal Khera.

Featured image: (L to R) Knowledge Keeper Florence Dick from the Songhees Nation, Honourable Kamal Khera, Canada’s Minister of Seniors, Linda Ryan, BCCA Apprenticeship Services Program Manager, Chris Atchison, BCCA President. (BC Construction Association.)

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