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Economic Action Plan 2014 proposes to create the Canada Apprentice Loan

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


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August 1, 2014

The Government of Canada is introducing the new Canada Apprentice Loan, beginning in January 2015. An expansion of the Canada Student Loans Program, 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, and no payments will be required until an apprentice completes or terminates their apprenticeship training program. Final implementation details are being developed. 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. Additional information on the initiative, including details regarding the application process, will be made available late this fall.

Backgrounder:

>> Apprentices in skilled trades do most (80 to 85 per cent) of their learning during on-the-job paid employment. They are also required to participate in technical training for short periods of time ranging from six to eight weeks each year. Apprentices can face significant costs to complete these periods of technical training required by their program, including educational fees, tools and equipment, living expenses and forgone wages. These costs can be particularly acute for apprentices who intend to complete their training after a number of years on the job, while supporting their families.

>> The Interprovincial Standards Red Seal Program was established to provide greater mobility for skilled workers across Canada. The Red Seal program allows qualified tradespeople to practice their trade anywhere in Canada where the trade is designated without having to write further examinations. To date, 55 trades are included in the Red Seal program, accounting for almost 90 per cent of all apprentices and more than 80 per cent of the total trades workforce in Canada.