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Government of Canada funds project with Ironworkers Local 736 to help apprentices in Southern Ontario

Press Release

From: Employment and Social Development Canada

December 14, 2018               Ancaster, Ontario               Employment and Social Development Canada

Changes to the country’s economy, including recent economic growth and demographic pressures, such as an aging workforce as well as innovation in technology have increased the demand for skilled tradespeople. The Government recognizes the importance of ensuring that Canadians, including those from key groups who face barriers to succeed in the trades, get the opportunity to explore and prepare for the skilled trades.

Today, the Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister of Seniors, on behalf of the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, announced funding of over $285,000 to Ironworkers Local 736 for its Welder Training and Testing Capacity Increase project.

This investment, which is funded through the Union Training and Innovation Program, will help Local 736 to purchase equipment, including a mobile welding training trailer, several welding machines, and a floor press, to train apprentices from key groups who face barriers, such as women, Indigenous people and newcomers. By giving apprentices access to the same equipment required by contractors in the industry, Local 736 will create a pool of qualified tradespeople from a number of Ontario locations including Niagara Falls, St. Catharines, Welland, Hamilton, Kitchener, Waterloo, Goderich and Ingersoll.

To further help underrepresented groups in the trades, Budget 2018 announced three new initiatives:

  • $46 million over 5 years, starting in 2018–19, with $10 million per year ongoing, for a new Pre-Apprenticeship Program;
  • approximately $20 million over 5 years, starting in 2018–19, to support an Apprenticeship Incentive Grant for Women, a pilot project where women would receive a new taxable grant of $3,000 per year/level in eligible Red Seal trades for the first two years of training, up to a maximum amount of $6,000 per person, in trades where women are under-represented. This, in combination with the existing Apprenticeship Completion Grant valued at $2,000, could result in a combined grant support of up to  $8,000 over the course of their training; and
  • $10 million over 3 years, starting in 2018–19, for the new Women in Construction Fund which will support projects building on existing models that have proven to be effective in attracting women to the trades, such as mentoring, coaching and tailored supports.

As Canada’s economy continues to grow and create good, well-paying jobs, the Government will ensure that all Canadians share in and benefit from this success.


“Our country’s future success depends on building an economy that is as inclusive as it is innovative. Our government is proud of this project that will help apprentices in Ontario, and especially those who face additional barriers to participate and succeed in the skilled trades, start exciting and well-paying careers in the trades.”

– The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour

“The project will contribute to a skilled, work-ready pool of future tradespeople who will be better equipped for in-demand jobs in Hamilton, and across Canada. By creating a skilled, diverse and inclusive workforce, our Government is strengthening the middle class and creating a more prosperous country.”

– The Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister of Seniors

“Ironworkers provide the highest quality training to develop the right skills required on job sites. By purchasing new, up-to-date equipment with support from the UTIP program, Ironworkers Local 736 are helping our apprentices through their technical training, leading to a pool of certified journeypersons ready to participate in the job market in the Hamilton area and beyond. ”

– Steven E. Pratt, President, Ironworkers Local 736

Quick facts

  • Approximately one in five employed Canadians are represented in the skilled trades profession. At the end of 2017, there were 309,441 registered apprentices across Canada (2017 Registered Apprenticeship Information System).
  • Women account for 9% of apprentices in Red Seal trades, and only 5% when “traditional” trades (hairstylist, cook and baker) are removed (2017 Registered Apprenticeship Information System).
  • The Union Training and Innovation Program provides $25 million annually to support union-based apprenticeship training, innovation and enhanced partnerships in the Red Seal trades.
  • Budget 2018 announced three initiatives to support Canadians facing barriers in the trades: the Apprenticeship Incentive Grant for Women, a pre-apprenticeship program and the Women in Construction Fund.

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For media enquiries, please contact:

Véronique Simard
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Patty Hajdu, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour
[email protected]

Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
[email protected]


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