Helping young Canadians make their mark in skilled trades and technology fields

Halifax, Nova Scotia -The skilled trades are a promising and rewarding career path for young Canadians. The Government of Canada is encouraging more young Canadians to pursue the skilled trades in order to grow our economy and strengthen the middle class. This is part of our plan to build a skilled and agile workforce and to address the skilled labour shortage in Canada.

Andy Fillmore, Member of Parliament for Halifax, on behalf of the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, addressed the 25th Skills Canada National Competition in Halifax, and highlighted the Government of Canada’s $40 million investment in Skills Canada.

Funded in part by the Youth Employment Strategy, the Skills Canada National Competition provides 550 young skilled trade or technology students the chance to be tested while competing with their peers in competitions in more than 40 trade and technology Skill Areas.

The Government of Canada is encouraging more Canadians to pursue careers in the skilled trades through measures like the Apprenticeship Grants, including the new Apprenticeship Incentive Grant for Women, and the Canada Apprentice Loan, as well as other financial supports and tax credits. The Government is also working to increase awareness and uptake in science, technology, engineering and math professions, skilled trades and technologies, and reaching over 300,000 youth annually across the country.

“Every year, the Skills Canada National Competition brings together some of the best and brightest this country has to offer. There are rewarding careers to be had all over Canada in the skilled trades, and our government is working hard to make sure that young people in Canada have the opportunity to build those skills, fill those jobs and contribute to Canada's economy."
– The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour

A skilled workforce is the backbone of our economy in Halifax and across Canada. Since we formed government, Canadians have created 1,000,000 jobs, and the unemployment rate is at a 40-year low. We need to support a skilled and competitive workforce to keep that momentum going. Our investment in Skills Canada will go a long way to keep our economy and our workforce strong.”
– Andy Fillmore, MP for Halifax

“Skills Canada and the Government of Canada have worked in partnership to inspire young Canadians to pursue Skilled Trades and Apprenticeship based careers and we are thrilled to be able to continue this important work.”
– Shaun Thorson, Chief Executive Officer, Skills Canada

Quick facts
The Skills Canada National Competition promotes the value of careers in the skilled trades and technology areas by bringing together young people from across Canada to test their skills, compete with their peers, and get hands-on experience.

This $40 million investment in Skills Canada was committed in Budget 2019, and will be provided over four years, starting in 2020-21, with $10 million per year ongoing.

New apprenticeship initiatives that build on existing federal supports for the skilled trades include the Skilled Trades Awareness and Readiness Program, which provides $10 million annually to assist young Canadians and other groups that face barriers to entering the skilled trades.

Budget 2019 proposes to invest $49.5 million in addition to the $330 million the Government invests yearly to support the ongoing modernization of the Youth Employment Strategy. This builds on investments in Budgets 2016, 2017 and 2018 in the Strategy to help youth gain the skills and experience they need to find and maintain good employment.

The current modernization of the Strategy is informed by the recommendations of the Expert Panel on Youth Employment and extensive engagement with youth, service delivery organizations and other stakeholders.