The federal government is announcing nearly $247 million to help create more than 25,000 apprenticeships in the skilled professions across Canada.
Employment Minister Carla Qualtrough says the money will fund 13 programs to help small and medium-sized employers offer apprenticeships.
In a press release, Qultrough says more than $45 million will go to the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum to help hire 4,000 first-year apprentices in the construction and manufacturing industries.
Ottawa says employers are eligible for double the money if they hire certain groups seeking equity, such as women, persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples and racialized people.
The government says about 700,000 skilled workers in Canada will retire by 2028.
The Canadian Apprenticeship Forum says in its press release that to meet the demand for skilled workers, an average of 75,000 new apprentices will need to be hired each year over the next five years.
“We need Canadians to seize these opportunities and to have the tools, training and resources they need to thrive,” Qultrough said. “Students are one of the best ways to do that.”
The most sought-after craftsmen are welders, industrial fitters, masons, boilermakers, cooks and hairstylists.
According to BuildForce Canada, the construction industry alone will need to hire 309,000 new workers over the next decade to meet projected demand.
Canadian Apprenticeship Forum Executive Director France Daviault welcomed the announcement.
“The apprenticeship community understands the importance of encouraging and supporting employers to hire new apprentices,” Daviualt said in the press release.
—The Canadian Press
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