With skilled trades retirement estimates hovering around the 700,000 mark by 2028, the Government of Canada is taking action to recruit and train thousands of people to fill this void, including funding a number of training and support programs that lead to careers. in the skilled trades.
The federal government is providing $33 million over five years for the Skilled Trades Awareness and Readiness (STAR) program. STAR encourages Canadians, especially those facing barriers, such as women, Indigenous peoples, visible minorities, newcomers, people with disabilities and youth, to discover and seize the opportunities that exist with a career in skilled trades.
An additional $2.8 million will help fund Selections Career Support Services’ Get Ready in Trades (GRiT) project, which aims to help young people with disabilities overcome barriers to relevant training and meaningful employment in skilled trades. GRiT will support young pre-apprentices by providing them with flexible and individualized career plans, opportunities for skills enhancement and work experience to allow them to explore and prepare for careers in the skilled trades.
The government also recently announced nearly $250 million in spending to support 13 projects under the Apprenticeship Services program, which will help small and medium-sized businesses hire more than 25,000 first-year and will provide them with the hands-on experience and training they need to become certified journeypersons.
“Canada needs more skilled workers. We need more women, people with disabilities, Indigenous peoples, racialized Canadians, LGBTQ2S+ people and other marginalized people to consider careers in the trades and have the opportunity to start one,” said Carla Qualtrough , Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion. “That’s why we invest in projects like GRiT and other initiatives across Canada that help create a strong, skilled and diverse workforce in the trades.
The Canadian government spends approximately $1 billion each year in support of learning in the form of grants, loans, tax credits, employment insurance benefits during classroom training, project funding and support for the Red Seal program.
According to the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum, an average of 75,000 new apprentices will need to be hired per year over the next five years to meet the demand for qualified journeypersons in designated Red Seal trades. Demand for construction trades, in particular, is expected to remain high. According to Buildforce Canada, the industry needs to recruit 309,000 new construction workers by 2030, as more than 250,000 workers, or 22% of the current workforce, are expected to retire during this period.