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Federal government offers $21M for construction apprentice training in BC

First-year apprentices looking to break into the construction sector are getting a leg up.

The BC Construction Association has received 21 million dollars from Ottawa from the country’s Apprenticeship Service.

This means an employer with fewer than 500 employees can receive financial incentives up to $5000 for hiring new workers or registering existing ones as first-year apprentices in 39 Red Seal Trades.

BCCA President, Chris Atchison spoke with Vista Radio who said employers in the north can benefit from this.

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“We are going to be using the association network that exists in the north region including our great relationship with the Northern Regional Construction Association and to make sure employers based in that region have information and access to this program.”

In addition, another 5-grand will be awarded if the worker self-reports as a woman, new Canadian, LGBTQ+, Indigenous, or a person with a disability or visible minority.

Employers can receive payments for up to two first-year apprenticeship positions per year during the two years of the drive, for a maximum of $40,000 per employer

Atchison added while a construction boom is occurring in many cities across the province including Prince George, investing in the future is key due to a skilled labour shortage.

“So, we need to continually invest in our sector and make sure that people are investing in those people coming into the sector so that we can continue to have and play a role in a robust economy.”

Employers can spend the financial incentives on things like hiring bonuses, gear and work apparel, childcare costs, offsetting business taxes, offsetting costs of mandatory sick leave, training and mentoring, raises for field or office staff, safety equipment, or new technology.

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