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Minister Qualtrough visits training centre developing Canada’s next generation of skilled workers

Press Release

From: Employment and Social Development Canada

November 17, 2022

The skilled trades are essential to Canada’s economy. Few industries are as essential to Canadians’ everyday lives. Smart investments are needed to support Canadians from all backgrounds in taking up apprenticeship training now, and to help kick-start lucrative careers in well-respected skilled trades.

Today, the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough, visited the LiUNA Local 527 Training Centre in Ottawa, Ontario, to highlight close to $49 million in funding for Canada’s Building Trades Unions (CBTU) for a project under the Apprenticeship Service. The project provides financial incentives and support to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador.

Since the project was announced in May, Canada’s Building Trades Unions have begun reaching out to SMEs to recruit up to 5,000 first-year apprentices in eligible Red Seal trades over the next two years. This includes a minimum of 680 from equity-deserving groups such as women, Indigenous people and newcomers. The project is also working to set up an advisory committee with representatives from diverse stakeholder groups, including building trades unions, employers, trainers and organizations representing equity-deserving groups.

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 support them in effective onboarding of apprentices and creating 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.

This project is one of the 13 Apprenticeship Service projects announced by Minister Qualtrough in May 2022. Through the Apprenticeship Service, the Government is investing over $393 million in 19 projects to support the creation of more than 42,000 apprenticeships across Canada.

The Government of Canada is investing nearly $1 billion annually in apprenticeship supports through grants, loans, tax credits, Employment Insurance benefits during in-school training, project funding, and support for the Red Seal program. Announced in Budget 2019, the Canadian Apprenticeship Strategy will strengthen existing apprenticeship supports and programs by helping apprentices and key apprenticeship stakeholders, including employers, to participate and succeed in the skilled trades.


“We’re investing close to $49 million into helping more and more Canadians get good jobs in the skilled trades. Through the Apprenticeship Service, we are making sure that businesses can draw from a diverse pool of talented, skilled workers to fill critical labour shortages. We’re committed to helping dedicated organizations like LiUNA provide essential, high-quality training to prepare skilled trades workers to enter the field. Canada needs more skilled trades workers, and we’re working hard to ensure that more women, persons with disabilities, Indigenous people, racialized Canadians and other marginalized people can kick-start and upskill their careers in the skilled trades.”

– Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough

“We need to get Canadians trained as quickly as possible, as there is a big dearth of skilled workers in Canada. Through critical investments in programs like the Apprenticeship Services Program, and with organizations like LiUNA, we are making it possible to have a steady flow of much required skilled workers for small and medium-sized businesses.”

– Member of Parliament for Nepean, Chandra Arya

“Canada’s Building Trades Unions are leaders in delivering the highest-quality training to produce the safest skilled trades workforce anywhere in the world. With CBTU’s vast network of training centres and employers and world-class apprenticeship programs, we can ensure apprentices can access job opportunities, training and support to not only start an apprenticeship, but also complete it. With the support of the federal government, In The Trades will create opportunities for more Canadians from equity-deserving groups to get started in an apprenticeship, while providing support to unionized contractors to grow Canada’s skilled trades workforce.”

– Executive Director of Canada’s Building Trades Unions, Sean Strickland

“LiUNA has always focused on recruiting and training the next generation to work in Canada’s construction industry. The Apprenticeship Services Program and CBTU’s In The Trades will provide important support for our unionized contractors to start even more apprentices at a time when the industry is facing labour availability challenges. Our training centre stands ready to equip new apprentices with the skill sets they need to start a lifelong career in the construction industry.”

– LiUNA Local 527 Business Manager, Luigi Carrozzi

Quick facts

  • According to the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum, in order to meet the demand for skilled journeypersons in Red Seal trades, an average of approximately 75,000 new apprentices will need to be hired per year over the next five years. The top trades most at risk of not meeting the demand include welder, industrial mechanic (millwright), bricklayer, boilermaker, cook and hairstylist.
  • According to BuildForce Canada, the construction industry needs to recruit 309,000 new workers over the next decade (2021 to 2030), driven predominantly by the expected retirement of 259,100 workers (22% of the current labour force).
  • There are more than 195,000 SMEs in Canada who work in the eligible Red Seal trades. The Apprenticeship Service will help them hire more first-year apprentices, which will help fulfill Canada’s labour market needs.
  • Measures in Budget 2022 to support skilled trades workers include:
    • $84.2 million over four years to double the funding for the Union Training and Innovation Program to help apprentices from under‑represented groups begin—and succeed in—careers in the skilled trades through mentorship, career services and job matching.
    • A new Labour Mobility Tax Deduction, which would provide tax recognition on up to $4,000 per year in eligible travel and temporary relocation expenses to eligible tradespersons and apprentices. This measure would apply to the 2022 and subsequent taxation years.
    • $2.5 million in 2022–23 for Employment and Social Development Canada to launch a new union-led advisory table that brings together unions and trade associations. The table will advise the Government on how to help workers navigate the changing labour market, with a particular focus on skilled mid-career workers in at-risk sectors and jobs
  • To highlight the value of skilled trades workers and the wide range of supports available to build a successful and fulfilling career in the trades, the Government launched an advertising campaign earlier this year to promote the skilled trades as first choice careers for young people. The campaign website ( provides Canadians with information about what the skilled trades are, how to become a tradesperson, and what financial supports are available to them while in training.

Associated links


For media enquiries, please contact:

Tara Beauport
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough

Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada



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