March 15, 2021 :
In order to help maintain a robust workforce and better position our country for a strong economic recovery, the Government of Canada is investing in the skilled trades to ensure that Canadians have the training they need to access good, well-paying jobs. The government is making targeted investments, so that key groups facing barriers—like women, newcomers, Indigenous people, persons with disabilities, and Black and racialized Canadians—can better find work in the skilled trades through projects led by unions and their partner organizations.
Today, Member of Parliament for Parkdale-High Park, and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice, Arif Virani, on behalf of the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough, announced over $1.6 million in funding to The Redwood for a project under the Union Training and Innovation Program (UTIP) that will help local apprentices in Toronto succeed in the skilled trades. This funding is part of the Government of Canada’s $62 million investment over five years to help develop a highly qualified skilled trades workforce, and prepare Canadians to fill available jobs as our economy restarts.
The UTIP supports union-based apprenticeship training and works to reduce barriers to participation and success in Red Seal trades. The first stream, Investments in Training Equipment, helps unions across Canada improve the quality of training through investments in equipment and materials. The second stream, Innovation in Apprenticeship, supports innovation and strengthens partnerships to address challenges that are limiting apprenticeship outcomes in Canada.
Funded under the Innovation in Apprenticeship stream of the UTIP, the project will support survivors of domestic and gender-based violence by providing flexible, well-paid employment in the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) trade through partnerships with Red Seal trade leaders. Participants will be provided with supports, such as employment and motivation counselling and childcare during training, designed to meet violence survivors’ needs and ensure they are able to pursue and complete their training. The goal of this project is to address the systemic barriers that women encounter in the skilled trades and help survivors achieve financial independence.
In the 2020 Speech from the Throne, the Government of Canada committed to making historic investments in training and to creating more than 1 million jobs to get Canadians back to work, restoring employment to pre‑pandemic levels. Providing immediate and comprehensive training through initiatives like the UTIP will help achieve these goals.