OTTAWA — The Canadian Apprenticeship Forum (CAF) recently held its national conference online bringing together over 500 delegates from across Canada to learn, share and collaborate on promising practices and innovative solutions in apprenticeship training.
The program featured expert panels, breakout sessions delivered by apprenticeship and skilled trades community partners from across the country, networking activities and an interactive virtual exhibit hall.
At the event, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion Carla Qualtrough announced a new CAF project funded through the Government of Canada’s Union Training and Innovation Program (UTIP).
The International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE), Improving Pass Rates and Learning Outcomes for IUOE Apprentices, will pilot use of an online tool with 2,000 apprentices in the heavy equipment operator and mobile crane operator trades, indicates a release.
The pilot project will help address barriers apprentices face around passing the final multiple-choice examination by providing access to an online tool, states the release, adding best practices for accommodating apprentices with disabilities will inform development of the resource and aims to improve exam pass rates.
CAF will share lessons learned and areas for improvement based on the results of the pilot and hopes to encourage other unions and employers to adopt the tool and exam preparation approach.
The federal government, as part of the UTIP, also announced an investment of $63.5 million, over five years, for 68 projects to help develop a skilled trades workforce and prepare them to fill available jobs as the economy restarts.
“As we continue to fight this virus, our support for workers remains strong,” said Qualtrough in a statement. “Skilled tradespeople across the country have been critical to essential sectors during this pandemic, and they will continue to be so as Canada moves toward economic recovery. That is why the Government of Canada continues to invest in skilled trades and support organizations, such as the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum, to help Canadians, including those from key groups facing barriers, get the training they need to launch exciting and well-paying careers in the trades.”