United Brotherhood of Carpenters receives $37 million to hire first- year apprentices

Jason Rowe

According to the United Brotherhood of Carpenter’s UBC) Canadian District Vice-President Jason Rowe: “…as the demand for skilled trade workers outpace the need in our country, it’s critical that we do everything we can to recruit and retain the next generation. The UBC is working hard to eliminate barriers and provide an equitable, diverse, and inclusive workplace for all Canadians. This program supports small businesses by equipping them with the necessary tools and resources to help apprentices succeed.”

Apprenticeships offer a great way to get the hands-on work experience needed to pursue a career in the skilled trades, and small business plays a fundamental role in Canada’s apprenticeship systems.

Many SMEs do not have the resources to offer apprenticeship training opportunities. In an effort to change this situation, Rowe and the UBC Canadian District have launched a two-year, $37-million program funded by the government of Canada’s Apprenticeship Service to provide support to SMEs in Canadian construction and manufacturing “Red Seal” trades to help them to hire new, first-year apprentices needing a leg-up to begin lucrative careers in the well-respected skilled trades.

This funding enables SMEs to hire up to two new first-year apprentices per year. Under the program, SMEs can receive up to $5,000 for every new first year apprentice they hire and an additional $5,000 if that apprentice identifies as a person from an equity deserving group such as women, Indigenous people, newcomers, persons with disabilities, including LGBTQ2 and Black communities.

In addition to financial supports, the program provides assistance to help employers navigate the apprenticeship system, onboard new apprentices and set up the appropriate workplace training via a digital toolkit that can be found on their website at ubc-asp.ca.


The Canadian District Apprenticeship Service program is proud to partner with the Ending Violence Association of BC (EVA BC) to offer Be More Than a Bystander training to SMEs that sign up for the program. The Ending Violence Association of BC (EVA BC) is a provincial association based in Vancouver, Canada. They train and support close to 300 anti-violence programs and cross-sector initiatives across the province.

Funding for the new program was provided by the Federal government and announced by Carla Qualtrough, the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion at the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum’s 2022 National Apprenticeship Conference in May 2022.

According to Qualtrough: “About 700,000 skilled trades workers are expected to retire in Canada by 2028. That’s 700,000 good jobs waiting for Canadians. We need Canadians to be able to seize these opportunities, and to have the tools, training, and resources they need to thrive. Apprenticeships are one of the best ways to do that.”