SASKATOON, May 30, 2015 /CNW/ - The Honourable Pierre Poilievre, Minister of Employment and Social Development, recognized the accomplishments of young people in skilled trades at the closing ceremonies of the annual Skills Canada National Competition today. Minister Poilievre also announced a three-year investment to help Skills Canada increase awareness of and promote careers in the skilled trades and technologies among Canadian youth.
Hosted by Skills Canada, this annual event features over 500 of the nation's best young competitors in 40 different areas and promotes careers in skilled trades and technologies.
Minister Poilievre spoke about the many fulfilling and respected career opportunities that exist for young people in skilled trades. The Harper Government is encouraging Canadians to pursue a career in the skilled trades through measures like the new Canada Apprentice Loan, the Canada Apprenticeship Grant and the Canada Job Grant, as well as other grants and tax credits.
Today's announcement is one example of what the Harper Government is doing to help Canadians. To help hard-working families, the Government is also enhancing the Universal Child Care Benefit, introducing the Family Tax Cut and making improvements to the Child Care Expenses Deduction and the Children's Fitness Tax Credit.
- The Harper Government is providing more than $6 million in funding to Skills Canada over three years under the Career Focus program. The investment will help to increase awareness and promote careers in the skilled trades and technologies. Over the three years, approximately 4,400 participants will take part in regional and national competitions.
- Twenty-nine medalists have been named to Team Canada and will compete in the WorldSkills Competition in Sao Paulo, Brazil in August 2015.
- The Universal Child Care Benefit would provide up to $1,920 per year for children under the age of 6. Parents would receive a new benefit of up to $720 per year for each child aged 6 through 17.
"Congratulations to all of this year's participants and winners. We need more people to gain the skills that you have demonstrated to address Canada's skills gap. Our Government is proud to support the Skills Canada National Competition, which is an exceptional showcase for talented young competitors that inspires other young people to explore careers in the skilled trades and technology sectors."
– The Honourable Pierre Poilievre, Minister of Employment and Social Development
"Each year, the Skills Canada National Competition brings together more than 500 of the best and brightest trades and technology students who have won the right to represent their province or territory. In addition, this year, the nine Essential Skills were profiled through hands-on activities for all participants and visitors. We are very grateful to be able to offer an event of this magnitude, which can only be done with the assistance of many partners, including the ongoing support of Employment and Social Development Canada. We are particularly thrilled that Minister Poilievre was able to join us and personally show his support for Canada's youth."
– Shaun Thorson, Chief Executive Officer, Skills Canada
Through Economic Action Plan 2015, the Government continues to demonstrate its commitment to apprenticeships and the skilled trades through the measures outlined below.
- Federal support to provinces and territories to promote implementing recommendations from the Canadian Council of Directors of Apprenticeship to harmonize apprenticeship training and certification requirements in targeted Red Seal trades.
- Providing $1 million over five years, beginning in 2015–16, to promote the adoption of Blue Seal certification across Canada.
- Providing $184 million over four years, starting in 2016–17, to expand eligibility for Canada Student Grants to low- and middle-income students in short-duration programs. Short-duration programs provide practical skills and help students get jobs in the trades, such as welding, plumbing and cabinetmaking. Other short programs provide training and certification for students to qualify for jobs as firefighters, paramedics and police officers.
Since 2006, our Government has recognized the importance of apprentices to Canada's economy and has made significant investments to help them and the employers that hire them.
The Canada Apprentice Loan offers interest-free loans of up to $4,000 per period of technical training to apprentices in Red Seal trades. The loans are interest-free until recipients complete or leave their apprenticeship training program, up to a maximum of six years.
The Apprenticeship Incentive Grant and Apprenticeship Completion Grant are taxable cash grants that encourage Canadians to pursue and complete apprenticeship training in designated Red Seal trades. Apprentices could be eligible to receive up to $4,000, which can be used to pay for tuition, tools or other expenses.
Other measures for apprentices include:
- a tax credit to employers to encourage them to hire apprentices and a tax deduction for apprentices and tradesmen to help cover the cost of new tools;
- the Flexibility and Innovation in Apprenticeship Technical Training pilot project, an initiative of Economic Action Plan 2014, to help apprentices continue working and earning an income while fulfilling the technical training requirements of their study program; and
- the harmonization of training, certification and standards in the Atlantic provinces, leading to increased availability of training, higher apprenticeship completion rates and more labour mobility for apprentices across Atlantic Canada.
Canada Job Grant
Part of the Canada Job Fund, the Canada Job Grant is an innovative, employer-driven approach to help Canadians gain the skills and training they need to fill available jobs. It can provide up to $15,000 per person for training costs, such as tuition and training materials, which includes up to $10,000 in government contributions. Employers are required to contribute one-third of these training costs.
Helping families prosper
The Government of Canada has proposed new measures to make life more affordable for Canadian families.
The Family Tax Cut is a non-refundable credit of up to $2,000 for couples with children under the age of 18, and takes effect starting with the 2014 tax year.
The Children's Fitness Tax Credit may be claimed by families whose children participated in an eligible program of physical activity in 2014. Families may be able to claim up to $1,000 per child for the cost of the program. If the child is eligible for the disability tax credit and the program costs at least $100 in registration or membership fees, families can claim an additional $500.
The Universal Child Care Benefit would increase to $160 per month for children under the age of 6, and parents may receive a new benefit of $60 per month for each eligible child aged 6 through 17. The new benefit amounts would take effect on January 1, 2015, and would begin to be reflected in monthly payments to recipients in July 2015.
The limits used to calculate the Child Care Expenses Deduction would increase by $1,000 starting in the 2015 tax year: from $7,000 to $8,000 for children under the age of 7; from $4,000 to $5,000 for children aged 7 through 16; and from $10,000 to $11,000 for children who are eligible for the Disability Tax Credit.
Once fully implemented, the new family package would mean more money in the pockets of Canadian families.
SOURCE Employment and Social Development Canada