GATINEAU, QUE. — The federal government has announced it is allocating $40 million over three years to the Union Training and Innovation Program (UTIP) and has launched two calls for proposals.
Eligible organizations are encouraged to apply for funding through two streams — investments in training equipment and innovation in apprenticeship.
A July 3 release stated that eligible projects are intended to help unions across Canada improve the quality of training through investments in equipment and materials and support innovation and broad-based partnerships to address challenges faced by apprentices.
The program is also intended to help reduce barriers to participation and success in the trades among underrepresented groups such as women, newcomers, persons with disabilities and visible minorities including Black Canadians.
In order to support institutions as they continue to look at alternative delivery methods for future training, the government is encouraging projects that allow apprentices and organizations to continue their training online, the release explained.
The call for proposals will remain open for eight weeks, with a closing date of Aug. 28.
The government provides $25 million annually through UTIP to support union-based apprenticeship training, innovation and broad-based partnerships in the Red Seal trades.
In 2017-2018, over 3,000 people participated in UTIP stream one projects, of whom 15 per cent were Indigenous peoples, exceeding the current average of Indigenous apprentices in Red Seal trades, which was at six per cent in 2015, and nine per cent were women, exceeding the current average of women apprentices in non-traditional Red Seal trades, which was at five per cent in 2017.
“Given the CBTU’s demonstrated and proven track record of training apprentices, women, Indigenous people, new Canadians and other historically underrepresented people across Canada, the CBTU knows that the continuation of the UTIP grants in assisting in workforce development across Canada will continue training the next generation of Canada’s skilled trade workforce,” commented Sean Strickland, executive director for Canada’s Building Trades Unions, in the release.