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Human Resources, Labour and Employment
April 1, 2011

New Wage Subsidy Program to Benefit Aspiring Apprentices

Building a qualified and skilled workforce to address the future demands of the province’s labour market was the focus of an announcement made today at College of the North Atlantic’s Prince Philip Drive Campus during the Skills Canada - Annual Skilled Career Day.

The Honourable Darin King, Minister of Human Resources, Labour and Employment, made the $2.6 million announcement to implement the Apprenticeship Wage Subsidy Program, which is funded in part under the Labour Market Development Agreement and the Labour Market Agreement. The program is a joint initiative of the Department of Human Resources, Labour and Employment and the Department of Education.

“The Apprenticeship Wage Subsidy Program will provide apprentices with the opportunity to gain work experience to successfully progress through their training to become journeyperson certified,” said Minister King. “Our government recognizes the increased demand for skilled tradespeople that is developing throughout our province. As the provincial economy grows and labour market demands increase, we will depend heavily on the individuals who are progressing through the apprenticeship program to ensure our province’s success.”

Under the program, the financial incentive to employers will help offset salary costs of hiring apprentices. A contribution rate for wage subsidies will be applied to participating apprentices based on their years of experience, as follows: 90 per cent for first year apprentices; 80 per cent for the second year; and 60 per cent for the third and fourth-year apprentices.

“This program will help address the difficulties apprentices have had in gaining employment experience, especially those in their first and second year blocks of training,” said the Honourable Joan Burke, Minister of Education. “It also builds on the achievements of the Skills Task Force, and the momentum evident at our very successful recent stakeholder forum. We have heard the voices of business and industry. We have heard the voices of apprentices. Now, through the Apprentice Wage Subsidy Program, we are supporting and encouraging increased employer involvement in the apprenticeship program, particularly among those who have not traditionally participated, such as small and medium-sized businesses.”

Priority groups eligible for the funding will include first and second year apprentices, particularly under-represented groups such as women, Aboriginals, persons with disabilities, and youth.

“Through this new program, the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador, as a whole, will benefit from having a larger pool of skilled and certified workers to address growing labour demands,” said Minister King. “In light of impending major construction projects on the horizon, our government feels this investment is timely and will be extremely effective in supporting apprentices and their potential employers throughout the province.”

To find out more about this and other labour market initiatives of the Provincial Government, visit www.lmiworks.nl.ca or call the Labour Market and Career Information Hotline at 1-800-563-6600.

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Media contact:

Bradley Power
Director of Communications
Department of Human Resources, Labour and Employment
709-729-0753, 699-5707
Heather May
Director of Communications
Department of Education
709-729-0048, 697-5061

2011 04 01             11:20 a.m.

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