Apprenticeships program FAQ

Funding

Am I required to use the funding to pay the apprentice’s salary? 

No. As a participating employer, you have complete flexibility to allocate the funding in whichever way best meets your business need to offset the costs of hiring the apprentice. This could include:

    • Salaries for the apprentice or mentoring journeyperson;
  • Training costs;
  • Tools, equipment and PPE;
  • Hiring bonuses; and
  • Other purposes that offset the costs of the position.

If you have further questions about permissible uses for this funding, please reach out to our helpful staff at trades@careerlauncher.ca for assistance.

Can I hire an apprentice who is NOT a member of an eligible equity-deserving group?

Yes. For apprentices who do not voluntarily self-identify as a member of an eligible equity-deserving group, participating employers are entitled to a financial incentive of $5,000 per apprentice. 

Are further definitions available for each equity-deserving group? 

Yes. The following data definitions are provided by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) for use in the context of this program.

  1. Women 
    1. Women are participants who self-identify their gender as woman. Gender refers to an individual’s personal and social identity as a man, woman or non-binary person (a person who is not exclusively a man or a woman).
  2. Indigenous people 
    1. Indigenous individuals are participants who self-identify as having Indigenous identity. This includes those who identify as First Nations (North American Indian), Métis and/or Inuk (Inuit), and/or those who report being Registered or Treaty Indians (that is, registered under the Indian Act of Canada), and/or those who have membership in a First Nation or Indian band.
  3. Newcomers 
    1. Newcomers are participants who self-identify as having arrived in Canada within the last ten years and are legally entitled to work in Canada, including permanent residents, Canadian citizens, persons granted refugee status in Canada, and temporary residents holding a valid work permit.
  4. Persons with disabilities
    1. Persons with disabilities are participants who self-identify as having have a disability in one of the following categories: Seeing, Hearing, Mobility, Flexibility, Dexterity, Pain-related, Learning, Developmental, Mental health-related, and Memory. The disability must result in a limitation in daily activities. The presence of a difficulty alone is not sufficient – individuals whose disability rarely presents them with some level of difficulty in their daily activities are excluded.
  5. Visible minorities
    1. Persons who self-identify as being a visible minority. The Employment Equity Act defines visible minorities as “persons, other than Aboriginal peoples, who are non-Caucasian in race or non-white in colour”.
  6. LGBTQ2S+ people
    1. Persons who self-identify as a member of the LGBTQ2S+ community. The acronym LGBTQ2S+ includes lesbian, gay, bisexual, or another minority sexual identity such as asexual or pansexual, as well as minority gender identity (trans and non-binary identities like genderqueer, gender fluid, pangender or agender).

Who determines whether an apprentice is a member of an equity-deserving group? 

It is voluntary for an apprentice to self-identify for their employer that they belong to an equity-deserving group. If the apprentice does not voluntarily disclose their equity-deserving group status, the employer may not assign equity-deserving group status on the apprentice’s behalf. 

What are the eligible equity-deserving groups under this program? 

Eligible equity-deserving groups for the purposes of this program are:

  • Women
  • Indigenous people
  • Newcomers to Canada (< 10 years)
  • Persons with disabilities
  • Visible minorities (i.e. racialized communities)
  • 2SLGBTQ+ people

What is the maximum funding amount I can receive through this program? 

An employer who signs a contribution agreement during the 2022-23 fiscal year would be entitled to four financial incentives in total; two in 2022-23 and two in 2023-24. The maximum amount per financial incentive is $10,000, for a grand total maximum of $40,000 per employer.  

This assumes the employer hires four new first-year apprentices, and each apprentice voluntarily self-identifies as belonging to an eligible equity-deserving group. 

Application Process

When and how do I register my apprentice(s) with my provincial or territorial apprenticeship authority?

The apprentice(s) must be registered with your provincial or territorial apprenticeship authority after you have signed a contribution agreement with Colleges and Institutes Canada to participate in the Career Launcher Apprenticeships Program. Apprenticeships registered before a contribution agreement is signed DO NOT qualify as eligible hires for the purposes of the financial incentive.

For instructions on registering an apprentice in each province or territory, consult your provincial or territorial apprenticeship authority:

If I am approved to participate in the program, when would I receive the funding?

If you are approved for participation in the program:

  1. You would be provided with a contribution agreement to sign. We would also request your business banking information.
  2. After your contribution agreement is signed, you would hire and register your new first-year apprentice(s) with your provincial or territorial apprenticeship authority.
  3. Once a registered training agreement is on file with the provincial or territorial authority, you would request your payment . You would need:
    • A copy of the registered training agreement approved by your provincial or territorial apprenticeship authority;
    • The name and contact information for the apprentice;
    • Whether or not the apprentice voluntarily self-identifies as a member of an eligible equity-deserving group; and
    • If so, which equity-deserving group(s) the apprentice belongs to.

What happens if I end up not hiring any new first-year apprentices?

Nothing. Your signed contribution agreement entitles you to a financial incentive if and when an eligible first-year apprentice is hired; there is no penalty for not hiring an apprentice during the term of the agreement. If you’re having difficulty finding a new apprentice, contact us at trades@careerlauncher.ca

If I am approved to participate in the program, how long will I have to hire a new first-year apprentice? 

Signed contribution agreements are valid until March 31, 2024, unless you choose to withdraw from the program before then. If Colleges and Institutes Canada needs to terminate the agreement, you will receive written notice at least two weeks in advance. 

I’m not sure whether I will hire a new first-year apprentice in the near future. Should I apply anyway? 

Yes! Employers will be approved for participation on a rolling basis until funds are exhausted. Securing your spot in the program does not require you to hire an apprentice; rather, it makes you eligible for a financial incentive if and when you do.  

Do I need to have a specific apprentice in mind before applying for funding?

No, it is not necessary to have a specific apprentice in mind before applying for funding. If your application is approved, you will sign a contribution agreement with Colleges and Institutes Canada confirming your participation in the program.  

After your contribution agreement is signed, you would hire and register your new first-year apprentice(s) with your provincial or territorial apprenticeship authority. Then, you would request a payment for each new first-year apprentice hired, up to a maximum of two per fiscal year (April 1 to March 31). 

What information is required to apply? 

To apply, you will need: Business/organization legal name, address, and CRA business number (BN#); Contact information (name, job title, email, phone) for the person submitting the application; and contact information, if different, for a person at the organization who is authorized to sign a legally binding agreement on behalf of the organization. 

You will also be asked to specify the size of your business: micro (1-4 employees), small (5-99 employees), or medium (100-499 employees); the eligible trade(s) in which you intend to hire new first-year apprentice(s); and the approximate number of apprentices you intend to hire through the program between the date your participation is confirmed and March 31, 2024. 

Is it true that all eligible employers will be approved for funding? 

Yes! Until program funds are exhausted, all eligible employers will be approved on a first-come first-served basis. 

What information is required to apply? 

To apply, you will need: Business/organization legal name, address, and CRA business number (BN#); Contact information (name, job title, email, phone) for the person submitting the application; and contact information, if different, for a person at the organization who is authorized to sign a legally binding agreement on behalf of the organization. 

You will also be asked to specify the size of your business: micro (1-4 employees), small (5-99 employees), or medium (100-499 employees); the eligible trade(s) in which you intend to hire new first-year apprentice(s); and the approximate number of apprentices you intend to hire through the program between the date your participation is confirmed and March 31, 2024. 

Is it true that all eligible employers will be approved for funding? 

Yes! Until program funds are exhausted, all eligible employers will be approved on a first-come first-served basis. 

Eligible Employers 

I am receiving funding from the Government of Canada’s Apprenticeship Service program though another delivery organization. Can I also apply to the Career Launcher Apprenticeships Program, if it is for a different apprentice who is not yet funded? 

No. Each employer is limited to signing a contribution agreement with only one delivery organization, for the purpose of receiving a financial incentive through the Government of Canada’s Apprenticeship Service program.

My large company has separate operating divisions with fewer than 499 employees each. Can each division access the funding?

Yes. Each division may apply as a separate employer, provided that each division has a unique 9-digit Canada Revenue Agency business number (BN#) and fewer than 499 employees in that division. Please submit a separate application form for each division.

Why are large employers, i.e. those with 500 or more paid employees, excluded from this program? 

The Career Launcher Apprenticeships Program is funded by the Government of Canada’s Apprenticeship Service Program, which is restricted to small and medium-sized employers with 499 paid employees or less.

Why are large employers, i.e. those with 500 or more paid employees, excluded from this program? 

The Career Launcher Apprenticeships Program is funded by the Government of Canada’s Apprenticeship Service Program, which is restricted to small and medium-sized employers with 499 paid employees or less.

Eligible Trades 

In my region, the title of my trade is worded differently than the version on the above list of 39 eligible trades. Will this be a problem? 

Not at all. We recognize that trade titles may differ between provinces and territories. For a complete list of acceptable trade titles, please select an eligible trade on this list of designated trades and consult the “Other titles used in provinces/territories” section for that trade.

How were the 39 eligible trades for this program chosen? 

The Career Launcher Apprenticeships Program is funded by the Government of Canada’s Apprenticeship Service Program, which supports new first-year apprenticeships in 39 construction and manufacturing trades.

Eligible Apprentices

Does the apprentice need to work for my business for a certain length of time before I receive the financial incentive? 

No, you can request payment as soon as you have hired the apprentice and have a registered training agreement on hand from your provincial or territorial apprenticeship authority.  

Career Launcher Apprenticeships Program staff will review the registered training agreement, and if the apprenticeship is eligible under the program, payment will be disbursed right away. 

IMPORTANT: The apprenticeship must have been registered after you signed a contribution agreement confirming your participation in the Career Launcher Apprenticeships Program. Apprenticeships registered before a contribution agreement is signed DO NOT qualify as eligible hires for the purposes of the financial incentive. 

Does the apprentice need to be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident under this program? 

No. Please note, however, that the apprenticeship must be eligible to be registered with your provincial or territorial apprenticeship authority. Please consult your provincial or territorial apprenticeship authority for any apprentice eligibility criteria they may impose.

Is there a minimum age for apprentices under this program? 

No. Please note, however, that the apprenticeship must be eligible to be registered with your provincial or territorial apprenticeship authority. Please consult your provincial or territorial apprenticeship authority for any apprentice eligibility criteria they may impose. 

Who receives the financial incentive and additional supports if the union pays the apprentices’ salary?

If the employer is the union (paying the apprentice’s salary) and provided that the union meets all the requirements to qualify as a small and medium-sized employer under the Career Launcher Apprenticeships Program (i.e., must have 499 paid employees or less at the time that it receives the funding) then the union would receive the financial incentive. If the employer is paying the apprentice’s salary, regardless of whether the apprentice is registered by the union, then the employer would receive the financial incentive.

Can an eligible employer hire someone if they are registered with a union as an apprentice?

Yes! It is acceptable to hire someone if they were registered with a union as an apprentice.

Can an eligible employer hire an apprentice if they had already started an apprenticeship with a different employer?  

Yes! If the employee was not currently employed by another employer at the time that the eligible employer hires them, and they still qualify as a first-year apprentice (did not progress to the next level), it is acceptable to hire an apprentice that was previously apprenticing with another employer.

Can an eligible employer hire an apprentice if they were already an apprentice, but in a different trade? 

Yes! If the employee became a first-year apprentice after the contribution agreement was signed between the employer and Colleges and Institutes Canada, it is acceptable that the apprentice was previously an apprentice in a different trade.  

Can an eligible employer hire an apprentice if that person had worked for the employer before becoming an apprentice (e.g., they were a general labourer before they were hired as a first-year apprentice)?  

Yes! If the employee became a first-year apprentice after the contribution agreement was signed between the employer and Colleges and Institutes Canada, it is acceptable that the apprentice was already employed with the same employer.