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Budget provides for apprentices

OTTAWA, Ont. -- The recently released federal budget includes benefits for apprentices and apprentice mechanics.


OTTAWA, Ont. — The recently released federal budget includes benefits for apprentices and apprentice mechanics.

Canada has for some time been staring at a significant shortage of people with trade skills. Employment Insurance (E.I.) will now support individuals while they are learning these trades by providing income support to apprentices during classroom training periods.

E.I. program has been modified so that apprentices in approved training programs are subject to only a single two-week waiting period rather than one each time they leave the workplace for classroom training.

As well, apprentice mechanics typically experience a high cost for tools, which can sometimes cause a barrier preventing more people from taking up the trade. The budget proposes to provide tax assistance to help apprentice vehicle mechanics cope with tool costs.

Beginning in 2002, students will be able to claim the cost of buying new tools on their income tax. The costs incurred in a year must exceed the greater of either $1,000 or five per cent of their apprenticeship income.

The deduction will be available to employee apprentices who are registered in a provincial or territorial program leading to certification as a vehicle mechanic for tool costs certified by the employer as having been incurred as a condition of the apprenticeship. The estimated cost of this measure is $10 million a year.


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