Prime Minister Harper announces a new grant that will help skilled trade workers

Canadians looking to upgrade their skills and job prospects by seeking a career in the skilled trades will receive additional financial incentive to do so, thanks to a new Apprenticeship Completion Grant Program contained in the Harper Government’s Economic Action Plan.

“When Canadians complete apprenticeships and learn skilled trades they instantly improve their job prospects and earning potential,” said Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who met with several apprentices during a visit to Edmonton. “Encouraging more Canadians to take up the skilled trades will both help Canada weather the global recession today and leave us better positioned to address the labour shortages that are expected in our future.”

The Apprenticeship Completion Grant (ACG) will offer $2,000 to eligible apprentices who successfully complete their apprenticeship training and certification in a designated Red Seal trade. The Grant will also boost worker mobility, as the Red Seal workers’ credentials are recognized in most provinces and territories of Canada.

This new Grant complements the existing Apprenticeship Incentive Grant through which registered apprentices are eligible for a $1,000 grant when they complete their first or second year/level of apprenticeship training in a designated Red Seal trade, to a maximum of $2,000. By combining the two grants, apprentices can be eligible for up to $4,000 upon certification in a designated Red Seal trade.

An estimated 20,000 completing apprentices could benefit from the Apprenticeship Completion Grant right away. Apprentices can begin applying for the Apprenticeship Completion Grant in July but their eligibility will be retroactive to January 1, 2009.

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