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Archived - Federal and provincial governments help apprentices and create jobs in Atlantic Canada

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January 15, 2014 – Fredericton, New Brunswick – Employment and Social Development Canada

The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development, and the Council of Atlantic Premiers announced an initiative to harmonize apprenticeship systems across the Atlantic region.  

This project will help harmonize training, certification and standards, leading to increased availability of training, higher apprenticeship completion rates and increased labour mobility for apprentices across Atlantic Canada. In turn that means more jobs and opportunities for workers in the skilled trades and a step forward in addressing the skills shortage faced in certain regions and sectors in Canada.

Canada currently has 13 different apprenticeship systems across the country with different requirements for training, certification and standards. These inconsistences mean that apprentices who wish to move to another province to continue or complete their training are often unable to do so because the systems can be so different. At the same time, employers wishing to recruit new apprentices from out of province face similar challenges.

Quick facts

  • This project is receiving over $4.3 million from the Government of Canada and over $3.5 million from the governments of the Atlantic provinces.This project will focus on 10 trades including bricklayers, instrumentation and control technicians and construction electricians.
  • This project will complement work currently underway to harmonize training and certification requirements in targeted Red Seal trades across Canada.


"Having harmonized apprenticeship systems will help more Canadians gain the skills and experience they need to find available jobs. This project will create jobs and opportunities for workers across Atlantic Canada and help employers get the skilled workers they need. Today is an important step forward in removing the barriers to job creation caused by different apprenticeship systems across the country."

- The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development and Minister for Multiculturalism

"Harmonizing requirements for apprentices will create well-paying jobs by helping employers hire the skilled apprentices they need and by helping apprentices take advantage of job opportunities right here in New Brunswick and across Atlantic Canada."

-The Honourable Keith Ashfield, Member of Parliament for Fredericton

"It’s time to keep our most important resource, our people, working at home. Harmonizing apprenticeship projects across the Atlantic region will help build our communities and create job opportunities here at home. As we continue to work together to build a skilled workforce across our region, we want to ensure opportunities meet the needs of employers and apprentices."

-David Alward, Premier of New Brunswick

"Harmonization of Atlantic Canada’s apprenticeship programs will improve the opportunity for workers to access the training they need to advance their careers and will create a stronger labour market in Atlantic Canada. This level of collaboration is unique to Canada and complements work already being done through the Atlantic Workforce Partnership to support workers and businesses. This is part of our comprehensive approach to making sure we have the skilled work force needed to meet the demand for existing projects and to attract new employers to the region."

- Stephen McNeil, Premier of Nova Scotia, chair of the Council of Atlantic Premiers

"Atlantic Canada is leading the nation in ongoing efforts to harmonize apprenticeship programs. By supporting a regional approach to apprenticeship that fosters a highly-trained and mobile workforce, the Atlantic Apprenticeship Harmonization project will ensure Newfoundland and Labrador continues to meet the growing demand for skilled labour – a demand driven by major developments such as Muskrat Falls, continuing business growth and a strong economy."

-The Honourable Kathy Dunderdale, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador

"We are pleased to see the Federal Government partner with Canada's Atlantic Provinces and complement the work that is ongoing with our apprenticeship programs. We must work together to build a labour force that is ready for the jobs available today and those in the future."

-Robert Ghiz, Premier of Prince Edward Island

"Based on what we have heard from our stakeholders, the Canadian Council of Directors of Apprenticeship (CCDA) has made harmonization of apprenticeship training and certification requirements one if its strategic priorities. The work that will be done to harmonize apprenticeship programming in the Atlantic region is complementary to the Red Seal trades work that is underway at the national level through the CCDA harmonization initiative."

-Joe Rudderham, Canadian Council of Directors of Apprenticeship

Additional links


Alexandra Fortier
Office of the Minister

Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
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Tyler Campbell
Government of New Brunswick
Communications, Department of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour

Laurel Munroe
Office of the Premier of Nova Scotia
Cell: 902-222-0473

Tracey Boland
Press Secretary
Office of the Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador
709-729-4304, 697-3128 

Guy Gallant
Office of the Premier of Prince Edward Island


Background Support for Apprentices The Apprenticeship Incentive Grant and Apprenticeship Completion Grant are taxable cash grants that encourage Canadians to pursue and complete apprenticeship training in designated Red Seal trades. As a result of these grants, apprentices may be eligible to receive up to $4,000, which can be used to pay for tuition, tools or other expenses. The Government of Canada also offers a tax credit to employers to encourage them to hire apprentices and a tax deduction for apprentices and tradespeople to help cover the cost of new tools.

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