Creating apprenticeship opportunities for Albertans

Alberta’s government is investing $3.2 million to train more Albertans for good-paying jobs in the construction industry. The 33-month pilot project is a partnership with the Alberta Construction Association, End Poverty Edmonton and the Edmonton Mennonite Centre for Newcomers.

The initiative will provide hands-on training to prepare Albertans for jobs in the trades. Apprentices will have the opportunity to train under several Alberta Construction Association member companies, developing comprehensive, job-ready skills and experience.

Funding will support wage top-ups, preparatory training and personal protective equipment/tool costs for apprentices.

“Alberta’s construction sector is integral to the growth and economic prosperity of our province. As outlined in the Alberta 2030: Building Skills for Jobs strategy, we are focused on building a highly skilled and competitive workforce that will be ready to meet increased industry demands while helping young Albertans access the training they need to find good-paying jobs.”

Demetrios Nicolaides, Minister of Advanced Education

“Our members have identified a need for skilled labourers to meet ever-increasing industry demands. We are proud to partner with the Government of Alberta on this initiative which responds to this need and also helps young Albertans gain the hands-on experience and skills they need to find employment in the construction industry.”

Ken Gibson, executive director, Alberta Construction Association

“Construction firms are facing a severe shortage of skilled labourers in Alberta. As the province rebuilds post-pandemic, the shortage of qualified tradespeople is becoming dire. We are very grateful to the Government of Alberta for their support for both the construction industry and the development of the skilled trades, and we are happy to do our part to help train more apprentices.”

Patrick Schmidtz, president and general manager, Jardeg Construction

“Demands on the construction industry are growing year by year. We simply cannot continue to meet these demands without a significant increase in the number of skilled labourers in Alberta – which is why we are very happy to partner with the Government of Alberta and the ACA, and to help prepare new apprentices for work in the industry.”

Phil Roy, director, Christensen & McLean Roofing

“New Canadians face many barriers to successful employment. Simply gaining enough experience to be competitive in the labour market can be difficult, which is why the Trade Pathways program is important. Not only will Trade Pathways provide newcomers with hands-on training and experience that will give them a competitive edge, it’s continued success will come from ongoing collaboration between the Alberta Construction Association, local employers and community organizations that support newcomers’ successful integration into Alberta’s labour market. EMCN looks forward to a fruitful partnership that leads to sustainable opportunities for newcomers and others in Alberta’s construction industry.”

Laurie Hauer, director of programs and services, Edmonton Mennonite Centre for Newcomers

“The true innovation of a program like this is the partnerships between the Alberta Construction Association and community organizations that provide supports to those facing barriers to employment. To make the vital connection between labour and industry in Alberta, it is crucial to unlock the skills, barriers and needs of Indigenous people, newcomers, women, youth and those living in poverty, as well as to address the needs of employers and the trades. We at End Poverty Edmonton believe that the Trade Pathways program has both necessary elements and the intention to ensure that those facing the greatest barriers are provided a meaningful opportunity to develop a career in Alberta’s construction industry.”

Brookes Hanewich, director of inclusive economy, End Poverty Edmonton