Canada Invests in Helping Canadians Enter Skilled Trades

Tara Beauport

Now more than ever, skilled tradespeople are in high demand to fill well-paying jobs and build rewarding careers. Approximately 700,000 skilled trades workers are expected to retire in Canada by 2028, creating an ever-growing need to recruit and train thousands more. That is why the Government of Canada is making targeted investments to remove barriers and get more Canadians the apprenticeship training they need to build promising, well-paying careers in the skilled trades.

The Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough, announced over $33 million over five years for the Skilled Trades Awareness and Readiness (STAR) program. The STAR program encourages Canadians—particularly those facing barriers, such as women, Indigenous people, visible minorities, newcomers, persons with disabilities, and youth—to explore and prepare for careers in the skilled trades.

“Canada needs more skilled trades workers,” said Qualtrough. “We need more women, persons with disabilities, Indigenous people, racialized Canadians, LGBTQ2S+ people, and other marginalized people to consider a career in the trades and to have the opportunity to start one. That’s why we’re investing in projects like GRiT and other initiatives across Canada that are helping to create a strong, skilled, and diverse workforce in the trades.”

As part of today’s announcement, Minister Qualtrough highlighted $2.8 million in funding to Selections Career Support Services for their project, Get Ready in Trades (GRiT). This project will support youth with disabilities to overcome barriers to relevant training and meaningful employment within the skilled trades. GRiT will help youth pre-apprentices with disabilities by providing flexible and individualized career plans, skills enhancement, and work experience opportunities to empower them to explore and prepare for careers in the skilled trades.

“The Get Ready in Trades project has been instrumental to Selections for the plethora of opportunities it has afforded to youth with disabilities who now have an opportunity to begin a career in the trades,” said Executive Director of Selections Career Support Services, Angie Amaris. “This funding enables the organization to diversify services, create awareness and promote inclusion, which impacts our community in a meaningful way. The fundamental objective of the Get Ready in Trades program is to empower our youth to be a part of the future skilled trades workforce while contributing to a growing economy.”

To further support the hiring of new apprentices, the Government of Canada recently announced close to $247 million for 13 projects under the Apprenticeship Service that will help small and medium-sized enterprises hire more than 25,000 first-year Red Seal apprentices and provide them with hands-on experience and training they need to become certified journeypersons.

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