Education & Training
Canada Apprentice Loan aims to help apprentices complete their training
By Alyssa Dalton
Jan. 13, 2015 – The government has launched an initiative that provides apprentices registered in a Red Seal trade program with access to loans of up to $4,000 per period of technical training. Through the Canada Apprentice Loan program, the loan remains interest-free until after the recipient completes or leaves their apprenticeship training program, for up to a maximum of six years.
It is estimated that at least 26,000 apprentices a year will apply for over $100 million in Canada Apprentice Loans.
During a roundtable at Saskatchewan Polytechnic, agriculture minister Gerry Ritz stressed the importance and value of the skilled trades for the Canadian economy and said that apprenticeship training is essential to keep Canada’s economy strong.
“Jobs in the skilled trades are in-demand in different sectors and regions across the country. We are taking action to address these skills shortages by providing even more support for apprentices,” added Jason Kenney, minister of employment and social development. “This includes the introduction of the Canada Apprentice Loan, which will help more apprentices complete their training and encourage more Canadians to pursue a career in the skilled trades.”
To date, the government has issued over 500,000 apprenticeship grants to Canadians worth nearly $700 million to help them get the skills and training they need to get well-paying jobs.
According to the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum (CAF-FCA), the loan program also helps correct the misperception of apprenticeship as a second-tier option, sending a message to young people and their parents that apprenticeship is a valued post-secondary pathway leading to a rewarding career in high-demand professions.
“[The program] sends an implicit message that, like college and university students, we want to see you succeed. Your certification is an important achievement — the foundation for career that we value in Canada,” said Sarah Watts-Rynard, CAF-FCA executive director.