How Should the Federal Government Invest in Pre-Apprenticeship?

AIA Canada was hand-picked to participate in consultation sessions regarding the federal government’s proposal in Budget 2018 to introduce a new pre-apprenticeship program with a focus on encouraging underrepresented groups to explore careers in the skilled trades.

The consultation sessions kicked off on March 2, 2018. In attendance were provincial and territorial government representatives and stakeholders representing various industries and skilled trade organizations.

There was a general consensus that the investment by the federal government of $46 million over five years and $10 million each year after was insufficient to generate much impact. Many felt the funding would be most effective if it was used to expand on already successful pre-apprenticeship programs operating across Canada.

Some interesting points made during the consultation session included the following:

  • The focus should be on fixing the issues that are faced by individuals in the apprenticeship system, not on trying to bring more people into the system.

  • A failure of some pre—apprenticeship programs is that they are not linked to a pathway to employment.

  • Pre-apprenticeship programs should be required to disclose their placement rates / who hires their graduates.

  • Labour market information is often missing from consideration in the creation of programs.

  • Communications around the skilled trades should focus on a “career in the skilled trades” not a “job in the skilled trades”.

The government is interested in getting more stakeholders engaged in the consultation process. If this is something that interests you, please contact Erin Chreptyk at

If you are interested in sharing your perspective on how the federal government should invest in pre-apprenticeship, please contact Erin Chreptyk at to discuss how you can have your voice heard.