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Minister Kenney commends Olds College for helping young Canadians obtain skills employers need

OLDS, AB, March 21, 2014 /CNW/ - Today, the Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development, commended Olds College for preparing young Canadians to succeed in today's economy.

During his speech at Olds College's annual gala, Minister Kenney made particular reference to the impressive array of programs, each one with a proven record of ensuring Canadian youth get the skills employers are looking for in today's economy. Olds College is leading the way in training Canadian youth for jobs that are in demand in various sectors of the economy.

The Government of Canada is encouraging more Canadians to enter the skilled trades and employers to be more involved and invest in training. Through support for training programs, along with grants and tax credits, the Government of Canada encourages apprenticeships and careers in the skilled trades. Minister Kenney highlighted the need to encourage more young Canadians to consider a future in the skilled trades.

Through Economic Action Plan 2014, the Government is proposing the Canada Apprentice Loan to provide apprentices in Red Seal trades with access to interest-free loans of up to $4,000. This initiative will help more apprentices to complete their training.

The Government is also helping youth make better choices and get the skills and training that employers are looking for by enhancing learning and labour market information so they can make more informed education and career choices.

Quick Facts

  • One quarter of all English-speaking agricultural diploma recipients in Canada are Olds College graduates. The college's programs continue to evolve to meet the changing needs of industry and entrepreneurs.
  • Ninety-six percent of Olds College graduates get jobs in their chosen fields within six months of graduating.
  • A recent economic impact study found that Olds graduates in the regional workforce generated $99.7 million in added income through their higher earnings and the increased productivity of their employers.
  • Countries with more young people graduating from vocationally focused programs reduce the risk of unemployment, according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development's Education at a Glance 2013 report.


"Our government's top priorities are creating jobs, economic growth and long-term prosperity. Olds College is doing a tremendous job preparing Canadian youth for in-demand jobs in today's economy. Olds College is a model for educators everywhere in ensuring that education and training lead to jobs for graduates."
- The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development

Associated Links

Economic Action Plan 2014



Support for Youth and Apprentices

Support for apprentices

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. As a result of these grants, apprentices could be eligible to receive up to $4,000, which can be used to pay for tuition, tools or other expenses.

The Government of Canada also offers 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.

Through Economic Action Plan 2013, the Government of Canada introduced measures to support apprentices and the skilled trades. This included encouraging the use of apprentices in federal construction and maintenance contracts and infrastructure projects, working with the provinces and territories to harmonize apprenticeship training and certification, and examining the use of practical tests as an assessment in certain skilled trades.

Economic Action Plan 2014 also proposes the Canada Apprentice Loan to provide apprentices registered in their first Red Seal trade with access to interest-free loans of up to $4,000 per period of technical training. This initiative will help more apprentices to complete their training and encourage more Canadians to consider a career in the skilled trades. The Government also plans to introduce the new Flexibility and Innovation in Apprenticeship Technical Training pilot project that will explore ways to allow apprentices to continue working while fulfilling the technical training requirements of their programs.

Tax credits and exemptions

Eligible students and apprentices may also benefit from a number of tax credits:

  • Tuition tax credit: eligible fees paid to an educational institution may be eligible for the tuition tax credit. This includes licensing examination fees for skilled trades, such as examination fees paid to an educational institution, professional association, provincial ministry or other similar institution to take an occupational, trade or professional examination that is required to obtain a professional status or to be licensed or certified as a tradesperson.
  • Education and textbook tax credits: a student may be entitled to claim non-tuition related costs of post-secondary education such as textbooks.
  • Employed tradespersons tax credit: eligible apprentices may be able to deduct the cost of eligible tools purchased to earn employment income as a tradesperson.
  • Tax exemption for all post-secondary scholarships and bursaries.

The Government of Canada also offers a tax credit to employers to encourage them to hire apprentices, including the Apprenticeship Job Creation Tax Credit (AJCTC). The AJCTC is a non-refundable tax credit equal to 10 percent of the eligible salaries and wages payable to eligible apprentices.

Youth Employment Strategy

The Youth Employment Strategy (YES) is the Government of Canada's commitment to help youth make a successful transition to the workplace. With annual funding of approximately $300 million, YES helps youth obtain career information, develop employment skills, find jobs and stay employed. YES includes the Skills Link and Career Focus programs and the Canada Summer Jobs initiative, which creates thousands of job opportunities for students every summer. Since 2006, the Youth Employment Strategy has helped more than 555,000 young people develop skills, to the benefit of the Canadian economy.

Initiative to provide youth with internships in high-demand fields

Through Economic Action Plan 2014, the Government of Canada is introducing an initiative to provide internships in high-demand fields to better align youth programming with the evolving realities of the job market and provide young Canadians with real-life work experience in high-demand fields such as science, technology, engineering, mathematics and the skilled trades.

The Government will strengthen youth programming by dedicating $40 million toward supporting up to 3,000 full-time internships for post-secondary graduates in high-demand fields for 2014-2015 and 2015-2016.

Of this amount, up to $30 million would be provided to the National Research Council's Industrial Research Assistance Program to support youth internships in small and medium-sized enterprises undertaking technical research and development projects. The remaining $10 million will be delivered by Employment and Social Development Canada under the Career Focus component of the Youth Employment Strategy.

Enhanced labour market information

Economic Action Plan 2014 announced the creation a modernized and easy-to-use consolidated National Job Bank, providing job seekers and employers with timely access to job postings and consolidated labour market information.

This initiative complements recent and ongoing investments to provide better and timely labour market information. This information will help to inform young people about fields of study that are relevant to existing and forecasted demand for labour in particular occupations to help students make better choices about their education. Is it also are part of an ongoing strategy to leverage technology to better connect unemployed Canadians with available jobs.

SOURCE Employment and Social Development Canada

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