Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

May 22, 2009 09:30 ET

Government of Canada Encourages Young Canadians to Explore Trade and Technology Careers

CHARLOTTETOWN, PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND--(Marketwire - May 22, 2009) - Encouraging young Canadians to explore trade and technology careers is an important part of the Government of Canada's strategy to create the best educated, most skilled and most flexible workforce in the world.

The Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and Member of Parliament for Egmont, delivered this message today on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, at a breakfast during the 15th Annual Canadian Skills Competition in Charlottetown.

"In today's environment, it is more important than ever that all Canadians have the skills they need to participate and succeed in the job market," said Minister Shea. "Our government is proud to work with our provincial, community and industry partners to support the Canadian Skills Competition, which not only showcases the talented young competitors, but can inspire other young Canadians to explore skilled trades and technical careers."

The Government of Canada is a strong supporter of Skills/Competences Canada, the organization that hosts the annual competition and promotes careers in skilled trades and technology to Canadian youth year-round.

"Skills Canada PEI is very grateful for all the support it has received from industry and the federal and provincial governments, as it makes events like the Skills Canada national competition possible," said Mr. Collin Affleck, President of Skills Canada PEI. "Programs such as the Apprenticeship Completion Grant and others announced as part of the Economic Action Plan are essential if we want to avoid a serious shortage of skilled workers in the next five to ten years. Skills Canada PEI has been a long-time partner of Service Canada as they share a similar mission-to get young Canadians working in the skilled trades."

In January, the Government introduced Canada's Economic Action Plan, which is investing an unprecedented $8.3 billion into the Canada Skills and Transition Strategy.

An important part of this strategy, particularly for the young competitors, is the new Apprenticeship Completion Grant, a $2,000 cash grant available to registered apprentices who complete their training and become certified journeypersons in a designated Red Seal trade. When combined with the existing Apprenticeship Incentive Grant, apprentices who complete their apprenticeship program and become certified in a designated Red Seal trade could be eligible for a total $4,000.

Other youth-specific Economic Action Plan initiatives include increased funding for the Canada Summer Jobs program, a grant to the YMCA and YWCA to create a new youth internship program and the temporary expansion of the Canada Graduate Scholarships program.

The Plan also introduced the Strategic Training and Transition Fund to help workers in affected communities and sectors get the training they need to keep their jobs or transition to new ones. The Government of Canada will provide $500 million over two years to support provincial and territorial training initiatives.

"The Government of Prince Edward Island is proud to sponsor the Canadian Skills Competition," said the Honourable Allan Campbell, Minister of Innovation and Advanced Learning. "This exciting national event is a unique opportunity to present the talents and skills of young Canadians, while creating an awareness of the need to build a skilled workforce in Canada."

The Government is investing an additional $1 billion over two years under existing Labour Market Development Agreements to address the higher demand for skills training.

To learn more about Canada's Economic Action Plan, visit

This news release is available in alternative formats upon request.


Skills/Competences Canada was founded in 1989 as a national, not-for-profit organization that works with employers, educators, labour groups and governments to promote skilled trades and technology careers among Canadian youth. The organization's unique position among private and public sector partners enables it to work toward securing Canada's future skilled labour needs while helping young people discover rewarding careers.

The organization is hosting the 15th Canadian Skills Competition, from May 20 to 23, 2009, at the Tourism and Culinary Centre of Holland College and the Charlottetown Civic Centre in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. This national event brings together over 500 talented young Canadians who have successfully competed at the provincial and territorial level. Successful competitors will go on to represent Canada at the 2009 WorldSkills Competition in Calgary this September.

The Canadian Skills Competition receives substantial financial support through a national contribution agreement between the Government of Canada and Skills/Competences Canada worth $8.7 million over three years. Other agreements are in place in each province and territory, which contribute to the success of the event.

In addition, the Government of Canada has several initiatives that support training for youth and the skilled trades. The Government of Canada's Youth Employment Strategy aims to help young people, particularly those facing barriers to employment, get the information, skills and work experience they need to make a successful transition into the workplace. The Strategy includes three programs: Career Focus, Skills Link, and Summer Work Experience. More information is available on the following Web site:

The federal Youth Awareness program complements the Youth Employment Strategy and targets projects that respond to specific labour market requirements and adjustments over time. The program aims to promote youth as the workforce of the future among recipients, employers, communities and young Canadians.

Canada's Economic Action Plan introduced several youth-specific initiatives, including:

- an increase of $20 million over two years for Canada Summer Jobs;

- a $15-million grant to the YMCA and YWCA, which will be used to create approximately 800 to 1,000 youth internships with non-profit and community organizations;

- a $2,000 Apprenticeship Completion Grant that will be available to apprentices who successfully complete an apprenticeship program in a Red Seal trade. This represents an investment of $40 million per year; and

- an additional $87.5 million over three years to temporarily expand the Canada Graduate Scholarships program.

Apprentices can apply for the Apprenticeship Completion Grant in July 2009 through Service Canada, via, with eligibility made retroactive to January 1, 2009. More information on how to apply will be available over the coming months.

Contact Information

  • Office of Minister Finley
    Michelle Bakos
    Press Secretary
    Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
    Media Relations Office