The Government of Alberta has announced an additional $12.4 million in funding to support 2,000 new apprenticeship seats in the province. NAIT is set to receive $4.9 million to accommodate increasing demands for apprenticeships.
“The demand continues to grow for highly skilled tradespeople,” said Minister of Advanced Education, Rajan Sawhney in a press conference on September 25. “Alberta’s government wants to ensure we can support this momentum.”
With this funding, NAIT can add 579 more apprenticeship seats, which means students can expect shorter apprenticeship waitlists and more opportunities after graduation.
“Today’s announcement will help empower students to develop the job-ready skills they need to be successful, and […] industry can have the confidence that they will have access to the skilled workers they need to continue growing their businesses.”
The funds will be added to the original $42 million included in the province’s Budget 2030 initiative, which included an increase of $15 million over three years to meet growing demand.
Looking beyond Alberta for Alberta
Budget 2030 outlines the Alberta government’s plans to strengthen relationships between industries and post-secondary institutions. The initiative identifies areas of opportunity, communication strategies and outreach outside the province. In a phone call with Minister Sawhney, she cited discipline-specific labour shortages as the reason for international outreach.
“There’s people migrating to Alberta in record numbers right now from elsewhere in Canada or internationally,” said the Minister. “People need those credentials recognized in an expedient fashion so they can get that job and get to work in the area that they’re trained.”
Improved credential recognition for newcomers came into effect in the 2019 Fair Registration Practices Act. The policy requires regulatory bodies to come up with an interim decision to recognize credentials within a maximum of six months, but Sawhney added that most come to a final decision within the six month period.
For students looking to pursue apprenticeships in growing industries, NAIT’s most in-demand trades include boilermakers, carpenters, electricians, heavy equipment technicians and roofers.