Improving Apprenticeship Completion Rates
/ Author: Kari-Anne March
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Improving Apprenticeship Completion Rates

With completion rates hovering around 50 percent, how is CLAC working to support new apprentices in completing their education and becoming successful journeypersons?

Apprenticeship training is the key pathway toward earning a rewarding career in the skilled trades. Yet only about 50 percent of apprentices who enter the apprenticeship system are completing their education.

Despite the significant need for skilled journeypersons, and the increase of new registered apprentices, the number of apprentices earning journeyperson status has been steadily declining over the past number of years.

CLAC is working to understand and break down barriers to completion by supporting our apprentices on their journey to becoming fully certified skilled trades professionals.

1. Finding and Maintaining Meaningful Employment

Apprenticeship is designed with 80 percent of training to be conducted on the job site. One of the most significant barriers to completion is finding and maintaining employment. Apprentices are particularly vulnerable to the boom-and-bust cycles of the construction industry, and periods of unemployment can leave apprentices forced to pursue new opportunities if they are not armed with the resources to stay employed.

Our Apprenticeship, Training, and Jobs Teams are dedicated to working together, alongside apprentices, to ensure that they have the support they need to keep working, even in times of economic downturn.

  • Our close relationship with industry keeps us connected with employment opportunities and our partnership with employers allows us to keep our apprentices working.
  • We offer resume building and job application support to ensure our apprentices are confident in their ability to find their next opportunity.
  • We provide robust training packages for our apprentices, ensuring that they are always trained and ready for the next job.

No matter the situation, our team works alongside apprentices to help them strategize their next move.

2. Apprenticeship Pathway Support

Navigating the apprenticeship system can be complicated. Challenges include choosing the right trade, obtaining sponsorship, moving apprenticeship across provinces, educational challenges, finding and applying for technical training, progression requirements, and more.

Too often, people who want to start an apprenticeship don’t know how. Too often, apprentices are frustrated to the point of giving up because they just aren’t sure where to go next.

CLAC has built a team of experts across the country who can help apprentices navigate complex pathways, unique to their own situation, so that they may see their apprenticeship through to completion. Learn more at

3. Financial Support

Just like most post-secondary students, financial challenges can be a significant barrier to completion. No matter the situation, it is a priority of our Apprenticeship Team to ensure that each apprentice understands and has access to all the funding resources available to them, including provincial and federal grants, student loans, employment insurance, scholarships, awards, and more.

CLAC also offers an apprenticeship reimbursement program to all member apprentices to help offset the cost of their education. Through this program, member apprentices are eligible for a reimbursement of up to $850 per school year toward the cost of their education. Learn more at

4. Resources & Training for Employers

Apprentices who belong to an underrepresented group in the trades are less likely to see their apprenticeship through to completion. One study conducted by Statistics Canada concluded that while 37 percent of men completed their apprenticeship, only 32 percent of women earned their certification. The reasons behind these trends are not always easily identified due to a culmination of factors; however, it is a priority of CLAC that employers and their supervisors are armed with the support, resources, and training to create positive and inclusive workplaces for all apprentices.

Current programming includes leadership training such as the Supervisor Micro-Certification Program (SMCP), Mental Health First Aid, and various diversity, equity, and inclusion offerings. Each of these courses are designed to promote strong leadership capacity for supervisors and forepersons, supporting mental health and minimizing workplace violence, creating a positive work experience for all apprentices.

CLAC is also providing an incentive of up to $10,000 to employers for hiring a new first-year apprentice. You can learn about this program at*


CLAC is committed to the development of our future workforce. We work with industry partners so that we can promote the skilled trades to Canadians, support positive apprenticeship completion rates, develop specialized training programs, provide financial incentives, and connect employers with skilled apprentices who are trained to their unique needs.

Learn how we can support your investment in the future workforce at or

*Funded by the Government of Canada's Apprenticeship Service.

Sources Statistics CanadaCanadian Apprenticeship Forum CAF-FCA
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