Apprenticeship programs get boost from government

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VICTORIA, B.C. — The Government of Canada has announced two new projects that will promote apprenticeship as an effective training model and will contribute to the development of a highly skilled, educated, and mobile Canadian labour force.

The Voluntary Apprenticeship Program for Professional Drivers in Ontario was launched last summer after two and a half years of lobbying by various industry proponents.

Speaking at the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum’s (CAF) 2008 Apprenticeship Conference, the Honourable Monte Solberg, Minister of Human Resources and Social Development, announced a total of $1.37 million in funding to the CAF.

“Apprenticeships are crucial to building a highly skilled and mobile work force,” said Minister Solberg. “Apprenticeships lead to the kind of successful and rewarding careers that Canadians deserve and expect in today’s demanding labour market. We are delivering on our commitment to help individuals build a better and stronger future for themselves and for Canada.”

The Government of Canada will provide the CAF with $1,117,367 in funding through its Sector Council Program. This will help increase engagement and awareness of apprenticeship training and programs among employers, as well as provide them with the information and tools they need to attract and retain apprentices.

An additional $262,607 will be provided to the CAF to examine the main barriers to accessing and completing apprenticeship in Canada, and what is being done nationwide to address them. This project will help the apprenticeship community identify best practices, share their successes, and strengthen partnerships between sectors and regions, officials said in a release.

“Building a business case for apprenticeship training is what the CAF is all about,” said Dan Mott, CAF Chair. “Apprenticeship training provides a return on investment, increased productivity in the work place, lower recruitment costs and improved retention, and it makes good business sense. Today’s announced funding will go a long way in helping the Canadian apprenticeship community.”

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