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April 26, 2022              Ottawa, Ontario              Employment and Social Development Canada

Now more than ever, skilled tradespeople are in high demand to fill well-paying jobs and build rewarding careers. The most recent projections estimate that about 700,000 skilled trades workers are expected to retire between 2019 and 2028, creating an ever-growing need to recruit and train thousands more. That is why the Government of Canada is making targeted investments to create good jobs, grow our economy, and build a Canada where nobody gets left behind.

Today, Irek Kusmierczyk, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, announced over $7 million in funding for 29 projects under Stream 1 of the Union Training and Innovation Program. The announcement was made on behalf of the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough. These projects will help unions across Canada improve the quality of training through investments in equipment and materials leading to a more skilled, inclusive, certified and productive trades workforce.

Mr. Kusmierczyk made the announcement as part of his address at the Canada’s Building Trades Unions Annual Conference in Ottawa. The event attracted a wide audience, including provincial leaders, industry leaders from the construction and energy sectors, and business managers.

In his address, Mr. Kusmierczyk spoke about the Government of Canada’s support for the skilled trades, including: new measures and funding under Budget 2022; support for students; the transition to a low-carbon economy; modernization of the Employment Insurance program; and how the Government will invest in the next generation of the workforce.

Budget 2022 invests to help apprentices from under-represented groups—including women, newcomers, persons with disabilities, Indigenous people, and racialized Canadians—begin and succeed in careers in the skilled trades through mentorship, career services and job matching. It also proposes to launch a new union-led advisory table that brings together unions and trade associations to advise the Government on priority investments 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 and diverse populations. The campaign website (Canada.ca/skilled-trades) 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. 

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