If your organization is thinking about hiring an apprentice or intern, an apprenticeship grant might provide the incentive you need to make the leap. You’ll add extra capacity to your organization at less cost and get ambition, excitement, and new ideas in return. And if all works as it should, you’ll get a long-time, loyal employee in the end.
So read on to see what kind of funding is available to you, whether you’re a potential intern or apprentice or a potential host employer.
Apprenticeship Incentives Available Across Canada
Just about every single funding program available is a grant program, so it’s free money. Who doesn’t want free money?
Give a new apprentice a leg up and be rewarded for your efforts. Or, enroll in an approved apprenticeship program and open up all sorts of new opportunities!
New Federal Apprenticeship Incentives for 2021
Federal Apprenticeship Grants
Apprenticeship is an important component of Canada’s economy, and as such, the federal government offers a few funding programs to help Canadian apprentices in their journey.
All 3 programs have the same qualification criteria (except of course you’ll have to be a woman apprentice for that one grant), application process, and required supporting documents.
An eligible apprentice is a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or protected person who is a certified journeyperson and has completed their apprenticeship training program. You can also apply for this program if you are still in school taking adult learning classes, professional development courses, or vocational training in Quebec.
The application process is rather simple too, so it’s definitely worth going through the process and gathering your supporting documents to get your funds, though they are taxable.
To apply to any of the programs, just complete the online application (completion grant or incentive grants) and submit it with your supporting documents either by mail or in person at an Apprenticeship Grant Processing Centre or your local Service Canada Centre.
The supporting documents you’ll need to send in include a copy of your Certificate of Apprenticeship issued by the Government of Ontario, Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities and a copy of your Certificate of Qualification issued by the Government of Ontario, Ontario College of Trades.
Know that you’ll also need to include some personal information in your application, such as your Social Insurance Number, Apprentice ID number, and banking information.
If you’re a permanent resident, you’ll need a regular SIN, a copy of your status document (IMM 5444) issued by IRCC or Record of Landing, your Confirmation of Permanent Resident, and/or your Permanent Resident visa. Protected people will need a copy of your Status document issued by IRCC that hasn’t expired, your Notice of Decision issued by the IRB, or your Verification of Status document issued by IRCC.
If you’ve got everything you need, the government will give you $2,000 (payable only once) under the Apprenticeship Completion Grant for an eligible trade, $3,000 under the Apprenticeship Incentive Grant for Women (payable twice), and $1,000 per each year of your 2-year program.
Just make sure you’re training in an eligible trade for the incentive grant and the incentive grant for women (namely one where women are underrepresented), and that you apply for your grant within 12 months of having completed the required year or your training program as a whole.
Though this funding program is closed for now, you can still apply and be among the first to know when funding does open because they do hope to open again in spring 2020.
Any organization in the natural resources sector can apply for this one provided you’re offering a 6-12 month green job. You could get up to $15,000 or up to 50% of the intern’s salary when you apply. You could even get up to $20,000 if you either hire an Indigenous youth or hire a youth in Northern, rural, and/or remote communities.
As stated already, any Canadian organization can qualify for this program as long as you also have an established payroll system and an intern supervision and mentoring process in place.
The last hurdle is to ensure your intended intern meets the following criteria:
- 1Is between 15-30 (inclusive) at the start of the internship
- 2Is a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or refugee
- 3Is legally allowed to work
- 4Is not receiving employment insurance during their internship
- 5Is not be a previous participant of a federal youth employment program
- 6Is a new employee
The second of 3 funding programs to help you hire interns across the country, this one offers to give you $15,000, or up to 70% of the intern’s salary when you hire an intern to fulfill a 6-12 month position in clean technology.
Clean technology can include a variety of technologies as long as the goal is a cleaner environment. Examples could include tech that supports sustainable development, green industrial or agricultural processes, alternative energy and efficiencies, recycling, and more.
Any type of organization qualifies for this one as with the others, but the available position must be in a STEM field. All other organization eligibility requirements also apply here.
Intern eligibility criteria is the same as for the other Career Launcher funding programs, and you can also apply in the same manner by registering as an employer and creating an online account on the Career Launcher website.
This program is also closed for now, but you are allowed to submit an application now. That way, you’ll know when the program opens again before anyone else, and you’ll be done!
For more information though, you can email the program.
Here’s the last of the 3 intern funding programs by Career Launcher. Apply right away as with the other 2 programs and know before anyone else when funding opens up!
All the same eligibility criteria for organizations and interns apply for this one too, with the exception that the intern you hire must be a post-secondary graduate (not a requirement for residents of the Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut applying for internships in those territories), be employed below their level of education, or be working part-time.
This program will also give you up to $15,000 for the intern's salary and training. You can use up to $4,000 for training, and for-profits can use the remainder to cover up to 75% of the intern’s salary, 50% for nonprofits.
Apply by registering as an employer and creating an online account on the Career Launcher website just as you would for the other 2 programs. And if you’re only after more information, you can email the program.
Offer a current STEM or business student an opportunity to gain valuable work experience in biotechnology, and you’ll be rewarded with all the excitement, creativity, new ideas, and new knowledge that comes with those still in school.
Besides, you’ll also be rewarded with funding of up to 70%, or $7,000 of the intern’s salary. Alternatively, you could get up to 50%, or $5,000, of a co-op student’s salary or 70%, or $7,000, of the salary for a first-year or underrepresented student.
For-profits and nonprofits both qualify for this program, as long as you’re Canadian, operate and are hiring in the bio-economy sector, offer a full-time job, and add the student to your payroll.
Even the student’s eligibility criteria are easy to meet. As long as they’re a full- or part-time student, a Canadian citizen or equivalent, are able to legally work in Canada, and studying in a STEM, business, or related program, they qualify.
Just make sure you apply soon because they’re taking applications now for programs starting before March 2021.
To apply, complete an Employer Application Form—with a company and position description—and a Participant Information form, including a resume. Then you’ll need to fill out a Co-op Agreement Form and submit all these documents along with a formal learning plan to Jennifer Ash.
Be aware that organizations will also have to send in an application for direct deposit banking and proof of post-secondary enrollment/transcript when you submit all the other documents.
If you’d like your questions answered before you start the application process, Contact Benita via email or at 1-866-243-2472, ext. 234, Colleen via email or at ext. 221, or Hannah via email or at ext. 215.
This program is nearly identical to its sister program above, except that it gives you funds to hire a STEM graduate to work in fields related to the green economy rather than a student.
It, too, is taking applications for internships beginning before March 2021, so apply now to get your $15,000 to help pay your intern’s salary. You are, however, expected to contribute at least 50% of your intern’s costs, and while you can receive other sources of funding, it can’t come from any other federally funded program such as Mitacs.
All organizations of all types can qualify for this program as long as the term of the internship is between 6 and 12 months and you establish and maintain a process for supervising and mentoring an intern.
In this case, your intern must be under 30, have graduated in the last 3 years, be a Canadian citizen or equivalent, and be legally entitled to work in Canada.
If it sounds like you and your intern fit all these criteria, you can apply in exactly the same way as the above program and including the exact same supporting documents with the exception of the intern’s transcripts. Include a copy of their degree, diploma, or certificate in its place.
For this program too, you can contact Benita via email or at 1-866-243-2472, ext. 234, Colleen via email or at ext. 221, or Hannah via email or at ext. 215 with questions.
Build your company’s capacity at the same time as you give a young Canadian valuable work experience and a passion for improving our environment.
If your organization operates in the natural resources or environmental sector and you have a green STEM job available for a youth, apply for this grant program quickly. They’re accepting applications immediately for projects with start dates of April 1, 2020, or after, and they’re already sending out acceptance emails.
This 2-stream program could be mutually beneficial and could have lasting benefits for you, your intern, and the environment. Both programs have the same eligibility requirements in that your organization can be any size or type as long as you’re Canadian, have a new, open, full-time, permanent position in STEM for someone 30 or younger, and operate in one of the specified fields.
For the first stream, the Science Horizons Internship, those fields include science, technology, engineering, or math. Your open position should be in green manufacturing, carbon and climate change mitigation, energy efficiency and green building, resource conservation, environmental protection, or something similar approved by the program.
The accepted fields for the second program, Youth Employment in Natural Resources, include energy, clean energy, minerals/metals, and earth sciences.
Intern eligibility requirements are the same for both programs as well. Beyond being 30 or under when they begin the internship, they’ll also have to be Canadian, un- or underemployed, not been part of a federal youth employment program before, and start working within 30 days of being approved by the program.
Now that the rules are out of the way, you could get up to $15,000 to help with salary and wages for both programs. You could even get up to $20,000 for placements located in a Northern, remote, or rural area under the Natural Resources stream.
To apply, simply take the online eligibility quiz (Natural Resources and Science Horizon) and complete the online application. Once you’re approved, you’ll find and choose a candidate and get them to apply to the program. The program will send you both contracts to sign, and once you send them back, the position will be active.
Know that you’ll have to complete reports and webinars and send pay stubs throughout the 8- to 12-month internship. This internship is intended to lead to permanent employment, so be prepared for that before you participate in the program.
If you’d like even more information, send them an email or give them a call at 1-800-890-1924.
Federal Apprenticeship Loans
Whether you’ve been unable to access any of the available grants for apprentices or still have more costs to cover to achieve your goals, consider this loan program from the federal government.
If you qualify, you could up to $4,000/period for up to 5 years to complete your apprenticeship training. Your loan will even stay interest free for up to 6 years as long as you confirm you’re registered as an apprentice in a Red Seal Trade, and you won’t have to start making payments for the time it’s in interest-free status.
And the chances are good you qualify provided you’re a Canadian (citizen, permanent resident, or refugee) registered in an approved Red Seal Trade training program, are enrolled in a block release technical training program or similar with an approved technical training provider, and can pass a credit check.
However, there are a few restrictions on that. If you’re a high school student, you’re in Quebec, you’re getting funding from Canada Student Loans for the same program, or you’ve already gotten your 5 years of funding and finished your 6 years of interest-free status, you just won’t qualify.
If you think you qualify, applying is easy. Just register for a Canada Apprentice Loan online service account, and then you can apply online. Make sure you include your banking information, so you get your money as fast as possible!
You can apply anytime from 3 months before your program begins to the last day of your training, so try this one out. If you’ve got questions, give them a call at 1-855-844-5670.
Federal Apprenticeship Tax Credits
Any business in Canada that hires a registered apprentice can claim this tax credit when they file their business taxes.
You can hire and claim as many apprentices as you like, but they must be in the first 2 years of their contract and they must be working in one of the Red Seal Trades.
If you’ve hired some apprentices that fit this description though, you’ll qualify to claim 10% of the wages/salaries of your apprentices to a maximum of $2,000/apprentice.
Unfortunately, if more than 1 employer hires the same apprentice in the same tax year, the government will still only pay out the maximum $2,000/apprentice, so ensure you’re aware of any other employers the apprentice has or has had that year.
On a more positive note, you can carry this tax credit back 3 years and forward 20 years, so even if you don’t get to claim the credit this year because your apprentice(s) has another employer, you have plenty of time to do so.
Ontario Apprenticeship Incentives
And, of course, there are additional incentive programs for those in Ontario. Funding at multiple levels means you can stack funding programs to make achieving your goals, whether it’s becoming certified or hiring an apprentice so they can become certified, just a little more attainable.
Ontario Apprenticeship Grants
Take special note Ontario SMEs: if you’re developing or implementing next generation network technologies in your products or services and have in-house research and development capacity within Ontario, this grant will be of interest to you.
Hire an Ontario undergraduate, master’s, or PhD student (or any one of these who’ve graduated in the last 3 years) as an intern on your project and you could get $10,000 in funding to help with the cost of both the intern and your project.
But know that to qualify, you’ll have to provide a matching $10,000, $5,000 of which must be in cash. At least $15,000 must be used for the intern’s compensation, but any remaining amount can be put toward your project. And make sure the intern you hire is able to work in Ontario and will have employee status at your company throughout the entirety of the project.
You can apply for this program any time you like, and all you have to do is complete the appropriate Eligibility Questionnaire: first-year undergrads, recent undergrads, current master’s, recent master’s grads, or current PhDs. This program even allows you to have a partner on the project, but make sure they too meet the same qualifications you have to.
If the program decides you, your partner (if there is one), and the apprentice qualify, you’ll be sent a link to the online application system. From there, just fill out the application form and send it in with your company profile, CRA business number, incorporation date, number of employees, the intern’s academic supervisor’s CV or NSERC Form 100/103CV, and the intern’s CV and official transcript.
Should you have questions you need answered before you complete the application process or before you begin, start by checking out their FAQs. If you still need more information, you contact Natalia Lobo by phone at 416-861-1092, ext 1061 or email.
Here’s an interesting bonus for those who’ve hired an apprentice in Ontario, regardless of whether you’ve participated in any other apprentice hiring funding program.
This one from the Ontario provincial government will give you an easy $1,000 for every apprentice in an eligible trade you’ve hired and trained to the completion of their contract.
If you’d like to get your hands on this grant, just know that the remaining qualifications are that you’re either a corporation or unincorporated business and have filed either corporate or personal income tax in Ontario. That’s it!
The apprentice you hired and trained must have finished all the necessary classroom and on-the-job training and gotten their final certification for you to receive the funding.
You don’t even have to do anything to get these funds. The government will send you an application. Then just fill out the form and send it back within 180 days. What could be easier?
If “FedNor” didn’t give it away right away, this 2-part funding program is only for those organizations located in Northern Ontario and whose projects result in either improving the economic development of Northern Ontario communities and businesses under the NODP or the economic strength of Northern Ontario's official language minority communities under the EDI.
The intern criteria for both programs are the same:
You can be a for-profit or nonprofit organization to be eligible for the NODP but must be a nonprofit to qualify for the EDI.
The funding the NODP offers is different for nonprofits and for-profits though. For-profits can expect to receive up to 50%, or $31,500, for each intern to cover salary, benefits, travel, training, and more. Nonprofits could get up to 90%, or $31,500, for each intern to cover the same, and while the length of the internship is generally no more than 12 months, that could extend to 24 months for small and/or First Nations communities.
And finally, the supporting documents you’ll need to submit with your application for each is the same as well:
Once you’ve completed and gathered together that enormous list of documents though, you’re ready to apply. All you have to do is download the application form, fill it out, and send it in with your supporting documents to your nearest FedNor office. Before you apply however, get in touch with a FedNor officer first. You can also ask any questions you may have then.
Unfortunately, you aren’t quite finished yet. Having your application accepted is only the first step in a 2-phase project. If your application is accepted, you’ll also need to meet these criteria:
At the end of all that work though, you’ll get free money to help you pay for your new intern, so push on through!
You could get up to $3,000 per work placement if your for-profit operates in the Machine, Tool, Die & Mould sector of the automotive manufacturing industry and you hire a post-secondary co-op student or a recent graduate of an Ontario Mechanical Technician (Tool & Die, CNC Machining, Precision Metalworking) or similar program.
You will have to pay your new hire at least $14/hour though, and the placement has to last between 10 and 16 weeks. Beyond that though, and the criteria already stated, the only remaining eligibility requirement is that your company must conduct at least 50% of its business in the automotive sector.
Applying is easy too. If you’re an employer, just fill out the online application form or get in touch with Jamie at email@example.com or 1-888-599-3111 ext.114. If you’re a student, you can apply online to be put on the waitlist for this super popular program.
For more information about the program or if you have questions along the way, you can email the program or give them a call at 519-653-7265.
This program may not offer a large amount of money, but it will help out.
Some folks are lucky enough to qualify for and receive employment insurance while they go to school, but most are not. For those unlucky souls, this grant will give you $1,500 while you’re in school.
You don’t have to do anything to qualify or apply for this one because they’ll automatically send you an application once you’ve completed one level of classroom training. Then you’ll have 180 days from the last day of class to send it in and get your allotment.
And when you register as an apprentice, you’ll also find as part of the package the province will send you a Loans for Tools loan agreement. This will help you get started buying the tools you need for your chosen trade. Here’s what you could get:
If you find you have questions about these two Ontario bonus programs for apprentices, give them a call at 1-800-387-5656 or send them a message online.
Ontario Apprenticeship Tax Credits
While this tax credit may be limited in audience, it may be of benefit to you if you hired an apprentice before November 15, 2017.
If you’re an SME that hired an apprentice from a qualifying trade between March 26, 2009, and November 15, 2017, you can retroactively claim this tax credit when you file your taxes.
You will get different amounts, however, depending on when you hired your apprentice. Those that hired one between April 24, 2015 and before November 15, 2017, can claim a credit that’s either 25% (30% for small businesses) of the costs associated with the apprentice or $5,000, whichever is less.
And if you hired an apprentice between March 26, 2009, and April 24, 2015, you can claim a tax credit of either 35% (45% for small businesses) of the apprentice’s related costs or $10,000, whichever is less.
To be eligible for the credit, you and the apprentice will have had to participated in a training program registered under the Ontario College of Trades and Apprenticeship Act, 2009 or an earlier one.
Members of partnerships can also claim this credit, but only your share. In addition, general partners of a limited partnership can claim it, but not limited partners.
To take advantage of this tax credit, corporations can claim in on Schedule 552 in their corporate tax return, and unincorporated businesses can claim it on form ON479, Ontario Credits, in their personal tax return.
Unsure of whether you qualify as an SME under this program? For the purposes of this one, an SME is defined as a corporation, partnership, or individual with one or more unincorporated businesses whose total payroll in the previous year was $400,000 or less.
Learn more about this program with their general guidelines.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line here is loud and clear. It’s financially feasible to become an apprentice, and it’s both rewarding and financially smart to hire an apprentice.
Trades are important, even integral, to our economy, and when you train to become one, you can make money at the same time. And working within a trade is satisfying, fulfilling, and a smart decision long term. Taking advantage of these funding programs will even take the sting out of starting out. Look closer at entering the trades. You’ll be glad you did, especially when you get your money from some of these programs.
Maurice (Moe) Muise learned the ins-and-outs of government while an employee of the Government of Canada in Ottawa for 10 years. His current focus is helping small businesses in Ontario to identify and maximize government grants to grow their business.
Click here to learn more about Moe’s background and how he can help your business.