Female welding student standing in the shop

Apprentice Hiring Project

Project overview

Funded by the Government of Canada’s Apprenticeship Service, the Apprentice Hiring Project is making funding available to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that hire new first-year apprentices. The fund is administrated by Okanagan College for employers in the Okanagan and Shuswap region.

OC will work with eligible employers, providing support to hire first-year apprentices in one or more of 39 construction and or manufacturing Red Seal trades. Employers may be funded for up to two apprentices per year.

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What support is available?

Under the project, eligible employers are eligible to receive $5,000 for each first-year apprentice they hire, for up to two apprentices per fiscal year (Apr 1 - Mar 31).

The incentive is increased to $10,000 when employers hire an apprentice who voluntarily chooses to identify as a person within one or more equity-deserving groups (women, persons with disabilities, Indigenous people, members of the LGBTQ2SI+ communities, newcomers and visible minorities).

Employers can use the incentive to pay for a wide range of needs, including upfront costs such as salaries and technical training, funding hiring bonuses, or purchasing tools, equipment, and PPE for new apprentices.

Why was the AHP established?

In today’s competitive market, Okanagan College recognized the need to provide financial incentives and support to SMEs in construction and manufacturing Red Seal trades across the Okanagan and Shuswap. The AHP was established to:

  • Support the hiring of new first-year apprentices in construction and manufacturing Red Seal trades, with a focus on apprentices from equity-deserving groups.
  • Enhance workforce diversity by providing a range of networking and training options to employers on topics such as workplace diversity, positive spaces and anti-bullying.
  • Provide guidance and information to employers on the provincial apprenticeship registration and tracking processes.

Eligibility

Eligibility for this funding requires employers to have 499 or fewer paid employees at the time that funding is received. Employers must be preparing to hire up to two new apprentices per year in one of the 39 eligible Red Seal construction and manufacturing trades.

*Note: Individuals are not eligible to receive funding, only qualified small and medium-sized enterprises. Individuals seeking an apprenticeship may wish to bring this opportunity to their potential employer’s attention.

Construction Trades

  • Boilermaker     
  • Sheet Metal Worker **  
  • Welder **    
  • Steamfitter/Pipefitter**            
  • Refrigeration and AC Mechanic** 
  • Construction Electrician**  
  • Plumber**   
  • Painter and Decorator    
  • Landscape Horticulturist  
  • Roofer    
  • Lather (Interior Systems Mechanic) 
  • Glazier  
  • Sprinkler Fitter  
  • Insulator (Heat and Frost) 
  • Gasfitter A 
  • Gasfitter B** 
  • HEO Dozer 
  • HEO Excavator 
  • HEO TLB 
  • Mobile Crane Operator 
  • Construction Craft Worker 
  • Drywall Finisher and Plasterer 
  • Concrete Finisher 
  • Tilesetter 
  • Floor Covering Installer 
  • Tower Crane Operator 
  • Powerline Technician 
  • Carpenter** 
  • Bricklayer 
  • Ironworker Generalist 
  • Ironworker Reinforcing 
  • Ironworker S/O 

**Indicates apprenticeship programs offered at Okanagan College 

Manufacturing Trades

  • Boilermaker 
  • Sheet Metal Worker ** 
  • Welder** 
  • Steamfitter/Pipefitter** 
  • Refrigeration and AC Mechanic** 
  • Cabinetmaker 
  • Instrumentation and Control Technician 
  • Machinist 
  • Toll and Die Maker 
  • Metal Fabricator (Fitter) 
  • Industrial Electrician 
  • Industrial Mechanic (Millwright) 

How to apply

The Apprentice Hiring Project is administrated by Okanagan College. Interested applicants are required to complete the following steps:

  1. Employer registration

IMPORTANT: This step must be completed PRIOR to registering your newly hired apprentice with the ITA. The program funding cannot be applied retroactively.

What’s next after applying?

  1. OC will email you to complete the Employer Sub-Agreement and any additional documentation.

Support to employers

Okanagan College will provide AHP employers with training in anti-bullying, workplace diversity and sensitivity as well as providing general support through the program.

Stay tuned for more information.

Frequently asked questions

Funded by the Government of Canada’s Apprenticeship Service, the Apprentice Hiring Project is making funding available to small and medium-sized enterprises that hire new first-year apprentices. The fund is administrated by Okanagan College for employers in the Okanagan and Shuswap region.

OC will work with eligible employers, providing support to hire first-year apprentices in one or more of 39 construction and or manufacturing Red Seal trades. Employers may be funded for up to two apprentices per year.

In today’s competitive market, Okanagan College recognized the need to provide financial incentives and support to SMEs in construction and manufacturing Red Seal trades in British Columbia’s Okanagan and Shuswap communities. The AHP was established to:

  • Support the hiring of new first-year apprentices in construction and manufacturing Red Seal trades, with a focus on apprentices from equity-deserving groups, including women, Indigenous peoples, newcomers, persons with disabilities, racialized communities including Black Canadians, and LGBTQ2+;
  • Enhance workforce diversity in construction and manufacturing Red Seal trades by providing a range of networking and training options to SMEs on topics such as workplace diversity, positive spaces and anti-bullying; and
  • Provide guidance and information to SMEs on the provincial apprenticeship registration and tracking processes.

Eligibility for this funding requires employers to have 499 or fewer paid employees at the time that funding is received. Additionally:

  • Employers must be preparing to hire a new apprentice in one of the 39 eligible Red Seal construction and manufacturing trades.
  • Employers are eligible to be funded for up to two apprentices per year.
  • Employers must apply to the fund without the help of a third-party facilitator.
  • Employers must sign a sub-agreement with Okanagan College BEFORE hiring the new apprentice(s).
  • Applications will be received until funding is used or by Mar 31, 2024.

Employers will receive:

  • A financial incentive in the amount of $5000 for a new first-year apprentice in one or more of the 39 construction and/or manufacturing Red Seal Trades. This incentive shall be paid only once per new first-year apprentice, and will be made after the Sub-Agreement is signed and the new first-year apprentice is hired.
  • An additional financial incentive in the amount of $5000 if the apprentice voluntarily attests to being from at least one of the following equity-deserving groups: women, Indigenous people, newcomers, persons with disabilities, visible minorities, and LGBTQ2+.

Employers can use the incentive to pay for a wide range of needs, including upfront costs such as salaries and technical training, funding hiring bonuses, or purchasing tools, equipment, and PPE for new apprentices.

No, only qualified small and medium-sized enterprises can apply for the funding. Individuals who are looking to obtain an apprenticeship may wish to bring this funding opportunity to their potential employer’s attention.

Applications and further information can be found here:

All payments will be made directly to the employer.

Applications will be assessed based on the eligibility criteria and will be processed in the order in which they are received.

Applications will be received until funding is used or by March 31, 2024.

Contact information

Jessica Pak, Apprentice Hiring Project Coordinator 
1-877-755-2266 ext. 4479 
ahp@okanagan.bc.ca