Over 700 BC employers and 1,300 first-year apprentices benefited from the program
In a significant move to bolster the construction workforce in British Columbia, the British Columbia Construction Association (BCCA) declared today that it has allocated $10 million in financial incentives to small and medium-sized construction employers. This is part of the Apprenticeship Services project, and an additional $4 million is yet to be granted.
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Launched in September 2022, the initiative, backed by the federal government’s Canadian Apprenticeship Strategy’s Apprenticeship Service, has become the largest construction trade apprenticeship campaign ever initiated in BC. Since its inception, 1,329 apprentices have been hired and registered, benefiting over 700 qualifying employers.
Employers participating in the BCCA Apprenticeship Services project receive a $5,000 incentive for every first-year apprentice they enroll across 39 construction Red Seal trades. A supplementary $5,000 is granted if apprentices identify as belonging to an underrepresented group, a move, according to BCCA, to rectify the historical imbalance in trades representation.
Employers can register up to two apprentices before March 31, 2024, and take advantage of a maximum of $20,000 in incentives. Significantly, 51 percent of the apprentices affiliated with the project belong to underrepresented groups.
Canadian Minister of Employment, Workforce Development, and Official Languages, Randy Boissonnault, remarked, “The Government of Canada recognizes the paramount need for skilled trades workers from diverse backgrounds. This support aims at empowering more Canadians to embrace trades careers, ensuring businesses have a competent workforce and fostering an inclusive economy.”
Echoing the sentiment, Chris Atchison, BCCA President, stated, “The Apprenticeship Services project stands out as a triumphant workforce development scheme by the BCCA. As the industry grapples with a dire need for adept workers, our focus lies in outreach, supporting employers, and galvanizing individuals to consider lucrative construction careers.”
Nearly $6 million of the allocated funding catered to employers enlisting first-year carpenters, construction electricians, and plumbers.