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Apprenticeship in Canada – Less than one-fifth complete their training within the designated time period

Less than one-fifth of people who embark upon an apprenticeship program in Canada complete their training within the designated time period. Less than one-fifth Apprentices in higher-paying apprenticeship positions are more likely to complete their program within a given period of time than those in lower-paying positions, according to a new study.

Skilled trades are an important driver of the Canadian economy and apprenticeship training is the key pathway to become a skilled tradesperson. However, with an aging workforce, there are growing concerns about the potential lack of skilled tradespersons in the coming years, since these workers are aging at a faster pace than the rest of the workforce.

Over the last two decades, the number of new registrations in apprenticeship programs have outpaced certificates granted, suggesting that many apprentices did not complete their program. This has sparked the need to study certification rates of apprentices to better understand the factors associated with successful program completion and certification in the trades. This knowledge is crucial for ensuring the renewal of the skilled labour force in Canada.

Furthermore, as apprenticeship is primarily work-based training, apprentices are particularly vulnerable to economic shocks. In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, many apprentices have been temporarily laid off due to the economic difficulties encountered by their employers and public health related shut downs. In addition, those who still have the opportunity to continue their training might have difficulty completing it because of reduced hours and/or the cancellation of the classroom portion of their training.

Chart – Proportion of apprentices who received a certificate, were continuing their program or discontinued their program, within the expected program duration and one and a half times and twice the program duration, 2008 to 2016

Source: The Daily — Study: Completing apprenticeship training in Canada

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