Financing the Future: More funding for skilled trades education in Alberta

Edmonton, Alberta — On Thursday, the province of Alberta announced it will be increasing skilled trades funding, enabling more youth to pursue and learn about careers in the trades and showcase their talents on a national stage.

Over the next four years, Skills Canada Alberta funding will be increased to $8 million. The increased investment, to $2 million from $1.5 million annually will help expand exposure to trades and technology at junior high and high schools and enable more high school and post-secondary students to compete at regional, provincial and national skilled trades competitions with Skills Canada Alberta.

Adriana LaGrange, Alberta’s minister of education, and Demetrios Nicolaides, minister of advanced education, celebrated after a welding lesson from local grade 12 student Sigrun Chipman and following the announcement of new funding to support Skills Canada Alberta and skilled trades education.

“Skills Canada Alberta gives students the opportunity to learn practical skills, explore their interests and learn from industry professionals,” said LaGrange. “Participation in the competitions provides valuable hands-on experience in a specific trade or profession and opens their minds to so many career opportunities. This helps prepare future generations for the workforce and gives them the job-ready skills to ensure employability after high school and success in our economy.”

“Alberta’s high number of talented apprentices is a result of the strong links between industry, government and education stakeholders,” said Ray Massey, president of Skills Canada Alberta. “We greatly appreciate this government’s support of Skills Canada Alberta as we work to promote respected careers in the trades and technologies and ensure apprentices have the skills they need to succeed. Their success is good for Alberta.”

In addition to increased funding for Skills Canada Alberta, the province announced significant funding for apprenticeship learning programs. It will be tripling the amount of scholarship funding through a new $1.5-million High School Apprenticeship Scholarship, which consolidates previous programs and will help more high school students access the education and training needed to get jobs in the trades. It will also provide $10 million over the next four years to Women Building Futures to help create more opportunities for women to explore the skilled trades and get the training they need to launch careers in a variety of occupations.

Alberta will also bring increased funding to CAREERS: The Next Generation, to more than $6 million a year by 2022-23, helping to provide 6,000 students with paid internships and skilled trades and technologies learning opportunities in junior high and high schools. Finally, the province provided Skills Canada Alberta with $200,00 to support its recent participation in the 2019 WorldSkills international competition, which was held in Kazan, Russia, in August and saw four young Albertans compete among 1,300 apprentices from more than 70 countries globally.

To learn more about Skills Canada Alberta, click here.

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