A new $1.5 million program to support unemployed apprentices during the economic downturn was announced Thursday by the provincial government.
The program will provide awards of $1,000 each to 1,500 eligible apprentices to help reduce some of the financial barriers to completing their journeyman certification.
“Supporting apprentices at every step of their technical training is critical for their success and for our economy recovery. This new Apprentice Training Award is part of our government’s commitment to ensure Albertans are future ready, so they can move from a good education to good jobs in a changing economy,” said Marlin Schmidt, the provincial Minister for Advanced Education.
All eligible apprentices will be identified by the government and contacted directly with the support being made available in 2017.
The aim of the program is to help ensure apprentices are financially able to progress towards their journeyperson certification and can continue to find meaningful employment following the completion of their education.
“I was affected by the economic downturn and lost my job. This award will mean a lot to apprentices in Alberta who are just like me. This award will help me be in a stronger position financially, to obtain my journeyman ticket and find better employment in the future,” said Alvin Garfin, a NAIT apprenticeship student.
The help is only available to apprentices who are currently NOT working in their trade who have completed the first period of their technical training and be registered for technical training through a post-secondary institution or other training partner.
“Skilled trades play a critical role in Alberta. This assistance will help to ensure our province has the highly educated and skilled workforce available and ready when the economy recovers,” said Dr. Glenn Feltham, the President and CEO of NAIT.
The province said the Apprentice Training Award is one of several initiatives under its Future Ready vision, which aims to help prepare Albertans for success by taking a coordinated and integrated approach to education and training.