Harper announces Apprentice loan program

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Prime Minister Stephen Harper makes an announcement at the British Columbia Institute of Technology Annacis Campus regarding the Canada Apprentice Loan Program. (PMO Photo by Jason Ransom)

Prime Minister Stephen Harper makes an announcement at the British Columbia Institute of Technology Annacis Campus regarding the Canada Apprentice Loan Program. (PMO Photo by Jason Ransom)
Prime Minister Stephen Harper makes an announcement at the British Columbia Institute of Technology Annacis Campus regarding the Canada Apprentice Loan Program. (PMO Photo by Jason Ransom)
Delta: Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced that the Canada Apprentice Loan initiative is now open for business and accepting applications. The initiative will help those already apprenticing to complete their training and encourage more Canadians to pursue a career in the skilled trades, allowing participants to take advantage of the many job opportunities across Canada. The Prime Minister was accompanied by Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development and Minister for Multiculturalism, Kerry-Lynne Findlay, Minister of National Revenue, James Moore, Minister of Industry, Alice Wong, Minister of State for Seniors, Dan Albas, Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board, Nina Grewal, Member of Parliament for Fleetwood–Port Kells, John Weston, Member of Parliament for West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country, and Senator Yonah Martin.
Harper said, “Apprenticeships play an important role in Canada’s post-secondary education system and are a key provider of the vital skills and knowledge necessary to power and grow the Canadian economy. The Canada Apprentice Loan initiative will allow young people from across the country to access jobs in the skilled trades that are in-demand in different sectors and regions – from shipbuilding in the East, to mining in the North, to oil and gas projects in the West.”
The Canada Apprentice Loan, which was introduced in Economic Action Plan 2014, will provide apprentices in Red Seal trades across Canada with access to interest-free loans. These loans will help apprentices address the costs they encounter during technical training, including educational fees, tools and equipment, living expenses and forgone wages. It will be managed by the Canada Student Loans Program, within Employment and Social Development Canada.
Apprentices registered in a Red Seal trade apprenticeship will be able to apply for loans of up to $4,000 per period of technical training. The loans are interest-free until after loan recipients complete or leave their apprenticeship training program, up to a maximum of six years.
Those interested in applying for the Canada Apprentice Loan can do so through the Canada Apprentice Loan Online Service which is available through Canada.ca/apprentice.
The Canada Apprentice Loan is one of many initiatives that the Government has undertaken to encourage apprenticeships and career training. Other significant efforts include apprenticeship grants, Employment Insurance benefits for apprentices taking technical training, tax credits and deductions for employers and apprentices.
It is estimated that at least 26,000 apprentices a year will benefit from over $100 million in Canada Apprentice Loans.
According to Statistics Canada, almost 360,000 people are enrolled every year in over 400 apprenticeship and skilled trades programs; however, only half of apprentices are completing their programs. There are approximately 2.9 million skilled trade workers in Canada which represent 17 per cent of the workforce.
“I’m pleased to announce that the Canada Apprentice Loan initiative is now open for business and accepting applications. We encourage Canadians to use these loans, learn a trade, gain hands-on experience, and take advantage of the largest and longest federal infrastructure investment in our nation’s history,” Harper said.