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Canada Apprentice Loan program open for business

Access to over $100 million in interest-free loans each year for Red Seal trade apprentices.


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January 9, 2015

Prime Minister Stephen Harper meets British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) students while touring the institute's Annacis Campus.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper meets British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) students while touring the institute's Annacis Campus.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced yesterday at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) in Vancouver, that the Canada Apprentice Loan initiative is now accepting applications.

An expansion of the Canada Student Loans Program, within Employment and Social Development Canada, the program offers apprentices registered in Red Seal trades the opportunity to apply for up to $4,000 per period of block-release technical training. Canada Apprentice Loans will be interest free up to a maximum of six years, and no payments will be required until an apprentice completes or terminates their apprenticeship training program.

The loan is available in all provinces and territories except Quebec, where an alternate support is available. The Canada Apprentice Loan online service account is a secure portal that allows qualified apprentices to apply for a Canada Apprentice Loan, check the status of their loan, and more.

Polytechnics Canada, of which BCIT is a founding member, issued a press release (shown in part here) following the announcement:

As the lead proponent for this new initiative, Polytechnics Canada knows that this new funding will help alleviate the financial burden faced by apprentices when they have to return to the classroom while maintaining all their monthly payments and financial obligations.

“We heartily endorse the objective of the Canada Apprentice Loan to help more trades trainees complete their apprenticeship and become certified journey persons. The new Loan shows that the Government of Canada places equal value on vocational education and training, alongside Canadian university and college education,” said Nobina Robinson, CEO of Polytechnics Canada.

The 11 member colleges and institutes of Polytechnics Canada are: British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT), Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT), SAIT Polytechnic, Saskatchewan Polytechnic, Red River College, Conestoga Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning, Sheridan Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning, Humber College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning, George Brown College, Seneca College, and Algonquin College of Applied Arts and Technology. In 2014 member institutions provided the technical training for over 40,000 apprentices in over 200 programs.

At least 26 000 apprentices per year are expected to apply for over $100 million in loans. The estimated net cost of these loans to the Government would be $25.2 million over two years and $15.2 million per year ongoing.

Click here for background on this story and to see reader comments on the original announcement in 2014.


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