Ontario Construction News staff writer
CLAC has launched a new national program that will provide Canadian employers up to $10,000 to hire a new first-year apprentice.
This program will be funded with $15 million from the government of Canada’s Apprenticeship Service.
“Canada is facing a severe shortage of skilled trades workers,” said Colin deRaaf, CLAC Training Ontario director. “Through this program, CLAC, with the support of the government, is seeking to increase the number of individuals entering and completing the apprenticeship pathway to become journeypersons and gain rewarding careers in the skilled trades.”
The new CLAC Apprenticeship Support Program (CASP) will provide financial incentives to employers to hire first-year apprentices in 39 eligible construction and manufacturing Red Seal trades. Employers do not have to be unionized with CLAC to access this program.
Employers can receive $5,000 for hiring a new first-year apprentice and an additional $5,000 if the individual self-identifies as being a member of one of the following underrepresented groups: women, Indigenous people, newcomers to Canada, persons with disabilities, visible minorities, or LGBTQ2+ individuals.
Each employer can access funding for two apprentices per fiscal year, for a total of four apprentices over the life of the program, which runs until March 2024.
Funding is specifically targeted to small and medium-sized employers with fewer than 500 employees. The employer must sign a CASP agreement prior to registering the apprentice to access the funding.
In addition to the new employer incentives, CLAC provides apprenticeship supports to individual CLAC members entering or progressing through an apprenticeship. These services include assistance navigating the apprenticeship pathway, tuition reimbursements, training, scholarships, awards, and employment services.
“CLAC’s aim is to promote the skilled trades as providing rewarding, well-paying careers,” says deRaaf. “According to the latest data, Canada needed over 375,000 apprenticeship registrations between 2021 and 2025 to sustain our skilled trades workforce. CLAC is continually improving our apprenticeship recruitment and support services to encourage individuals to start, progress, and complete an apprenticeship.”