A student tries his hand at virtual welding as others watch his progress on a video monitor at a Red Deer College Career Expo. (Advocate file photo by Jeff Stokoe)

Unemployed trades apprentices can apply for $1,000 grant

Money could help students, including those at Red Deer College

Unemployed apprentices in Alberta are getting a boost from the provincial government to help them complete their technical training.

Joel Gingrich, dean of Trades and Technologies at Red Deer College (RDC), said Monday’s announcement of $1 million — an extension of a $1.5 million program the province commenced last year — will give apprentices some support so they can attend training while they are not working.

The Apprentice Training Award will provide a $1,000 grant for up to 1,000 unemployed apprentices attending their second, third or fourth period of technical training. There are eligibility requirements, such as being unemployed in the trade for at least 30 consecutive days immediately prior to the start of the technical training.

Eleven public colleges and technical institutes, including RDC, provide trades training in Alberta. RDC has 15 skilled trade apprenticeships, ranging from automotive service technician to welder.

Gingrich said an apprentice who is already in the system and committed to a particular trade can use current down time to upgrade their skills, something that will have a long-term benefit.

Generally, enrolment in apprenticeship programs follows the economy — as it slows down, schools tend to see fewer apprentices in training, and it picks up, they see apprentices coming back, he said.

Under the apprenticeship model, 20 per cent of the training happens with a training provider like RDC, and 80 per cent with the employer. So when apprentices aren’t working with an employer, or are working in tighter situations, it makes it tougher for them to take that break to go to school, Gingrich said.

Over the last couple of years, about 3,400 trades apprentices have attended RDC each year, Gingrich said. Historically welder, electrician and heavy equipment technician are among the most popular programs.

Looking ahead, the college is hoping to offer earth loop technician apprentice training in a few years. The emerging alternative energy technology involves geothermal systems.

RDC will be the only college at first to offer it. Provincial legislation surrounding pre-qualifications and training is expected to come into effect next year, Gingrich said.

Apprentices interested in the latest grant should log into their MyTradesecrets account to make sure their information is up to date, and there will be a notice on the homepage of the account.

barr@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

WATCH: Families make yo-yos and weaved yarn at Red Deer Museum and Art Gallery

It was all about making yo-yos and yarn bombing at Red Deer… Continue reading

Solve mysteries with Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson in Red Deer

At three sold-out one act Sherlock Holmes plays in Red Deer, theatre… Continue reading

Quebec man arrested in slaying of Alberta woman 16 years ago

AIRDRIE, Alta. — A Quebec man has been arrested in the slaying… Continue reading

Construction underway at Medicine River Wildlife Centre in Red Deer

The new building is twice the size of the old one

Fish for free

No license is required to ice fish on Family Day weekend

WATCH Replay Red Deer Feb. 18: Your weekly news highlights

Watch news from Red Deer and Central Alberta

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Trump gets angry about election meddling, but not at Russia

‘Weirdest thing’: Trump expresses anger, but not over Russian election-meddling

New doping charge could hurt Russia’s chance at reinstatement

Russia could lose its chance to be reinstated before the end of the Winter Olympics because of a doping charge against curling bronze medallist Alexander Krushelnitsky.

#Metoo movement causing confusion in many men, fear of missteps with women: experts

Being painted by the same sweeping brush as those alleged to have mistreated women has angered men

Virtue and Moir break their own world record

Virtue and Moir break short dance record to sit first in ice dance at Olympics

Calgary man dies in Mexico following sudden illness

Troy Black was with his wife, Lindsay, in Puerto Vallarta when he began vomiting blood on Thursday

Life or death main decision for school shooting suspect

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — The evidence against the Florida school shooting suspect… Continue reading

Man who stole millions from Seabird Island band sentenced to 4.5 years jail

Stephen MacKinnon sentenced in Chilliwack court for stealing $2.3 million over eight years

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month