July 6, 2007

More Apprentices to Work for Government, MUN

To help apprentices acquire the work experience required to complete their programs, the Provincial Government has allocated more than $2.3 million over the past two years, specifically targeted at hiring apprentices. With this additional funding in place, the Department of Education, the Department of Transportation and Works, Memorial University (MUN) and others will have created opportunities for 60 individual apprentices since 2006, with 33 of these provided with apprentice experience over a two-year period.

"Through the Skills Task Force consultations, we heard that some apprentices are experiencing difficulty gaining the work hours required to move to more advanced levels of their training. Government clearly had a role to play here," said the Honourable Joan Burke, Minister of Education. "With this funding, we are able to ensure these apprentices can access the work they need, move on with their education, and join the provincial workforce."

Budget 2007 allocated $300,000 which will allow apprentices to be hired by health boards, school boards, and Newfoundland Labrador Housing. In addition, MUN is being provided $200,000, allowing them to hire an additional seven individuals through this initiative in 2007.

The Department of Education has also assisted Memorial University with an application to the Human Rights Commission seeking an exemption so that priority can be given to recruiting female apprentices. The minister pointed out that many companies are looking for bright young women to become their employees, but these same women need additional supports in a field traditionally dominated by men.

"Any individual with skills and training can have a successful career in the skilled trades field. And we need journerypersons to ensure the development of small, medium and large scale development projects throughout Newfoundland and Labrador. We cannot hope to build our economy without the educated workforce to support it. This is why we are providing almost $10 million this year to improve the apprenticeship system � because we look to apprentices and journerypersons to help build our province�s future," said Minister Burke.


Media contact:
Nora Daly
Communications Consultant
Department of Education
709-729-1906, 728-2819

2007 07 06                                                     9:30 a.m.


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