• By: Chloë Hayes

CLAC spreads opportunity for young apprentices with CASP

ABOVE: A newly minted apprentice with Colin deRaaf, CLAC Training Director for Ontario.

In just four months, the CLAC Apprenticeship Support Program (CASP) has met a significant milestone, distributing a staggering $1 million to Canadian construction companies to help get more apprentices recruited and hired throughout Canada.

CLAC is a national union representing over 60,000 workers in almost every sector of the economy. Based on values of respect, dignity, and fairness, CLAC has strived for necessary developments in the world of trade work to build better workplaces, communities, and lives.

In Fall 2022, CLAC launched CASP, which is designed to distribute financial incentives to small and medium-sized Canadian construction and manufacturing businesses to hire new first-year apprentices, especially those from underrepresented groups. The program initially offers $5,000 to companies to hire new first-year apprentices, with an extra $5,000 if the apprentice is part of an underrepresented group.

In addition to financial incentives, CASP offers support in recruiting, hiring, onboarding, and retaining apprentices to participating companies. Additionally, CASP provides a comprehensive leadership development program to participating employers at no charge. It covers leadership foundations, communication, mentoring and coaching techniques, and supporting diverse and inclusive workplaces.

CASP, which is funded by the Government of Canada’s Apprenticeship Service, has already registered more than 450 small- and medium-sized businesses since its debut. The $1 million milestone equates to the hiring of more than 135 apprentices in the Red Seal trades in total, including 67 that self-identify as belonging to an underrepresented group, such as women, Indigenous people, persons with disabilities, newcomers to Canada, and LGBTQ+ individuals.

“By registering for our program, small and medium-sized Canadian businesses with fewer than 500 employees are helping to alleviate the labour shortage and bring us steps closer to bridging the gap between available work for apprentices and registered apprentices in the system,” says Colin deRaaf, CLAC Training Director for Ontario. “The fact that we have reached this mark so quickly is a testament to the hard work of our team and to the immense need for skilled labour across the country.”

For more information about the program or how to apply, review eligibility requirements, or register a company, visit www.apprenticesupport.ca, or contact Colin on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/colin-deraaf/