Alberta’s government is inviting post-secondary institutions and industry groups to collaborate and submit proposals for new certificate and diploma programs that provide a majority of education through paid on-the-job mentorship. Approved program proposals will qualify for grant funding to support program design and implementation.

“I would like to invite employers and post-secondary institutions to work with us in developing new apprenticeships responsive to the current needs of Alberta’s economy. This new approach will allow students to develop the job-ready skills they need to be successful. An employer will provide mentorship support for their new hire while a partnering post-secondary institution will provide the necessary foundational learning. This will require us all to think differently about apprenticeships, and Alberta’s government is committed to providing the resources necessary to develop these new programs so students can learn and work right here at home.”

Demetrios Nicolaides, Minister of Advanced Education

“Together, post-secondary institutions and industry partners will play an important role in promoting and adopting this innovative education model for students to develop the job skills needed to pursue fulfilling careers and support Alberta’s economy. We are excited to apply the work-integrated learning approach of apprenticeship-style education to new sectors and professions.”

Laura Jo Gunter, president & CEO, NAIT

“Expanding the apprenticeship model to include a partnership between institutions and industry gives students an opportunity to gain essential experience, while incentivizing employers through access to emerging talent.”

Jamie Fraleigh, director of public relations and advocacy, Alberta Students’ Executive Council

Expanding apprenticeship-style programs provides more opportunities for students to learn hands-on from experts in their field and apply their learning in real-world settings. By aligning new programs and work placements with Alberta’s priority sectors, we are supporting our recovery, stimulating job creation and providing employers opportunities to grow and develop their talent.

Expanding the apprenticeship model of learning to a wider range of occupations is a flagship initiative under the Alberta 2030: Building Skills for Jobs strategy and responds to the recommendations of the Skills for Jobs Task Force.

The Alberta 2030: Building Skills for Jobs strategy is a transformational vision and direction for Alberta’s higher education system, which will develop a highly skilled and competitive workforce, strengthen innovation and commercialization of research, and forge stronger relationships between employers and post-secondary institutions.

Quick facts

  • Alberta’s government is encouraging post-secondary institutions and industry to work together to identify opportunities for new apprenticeship-style programs that respond to labour market needs, help students apply their education to real workplace settings and contribute to Alberta’s economic recovery.
    • Post-secondary institutions and industry groups have been asked to establish partnerships and submit new program proposals by Oct. 31.
    • Students will have access to these new programs by the end of 2022.
  • This initiative responds to the recommendations of the Skills for Jobs Task Force and goals of the Alberta 2030: Building Skills for Jobs strategy by:
    • Expanding apprenticeship-style education to a wide range of occupations.
    • Raising awareness that apprenticeship learning provides high-quality education and valuable workplace experiences.
    • Building stronger employer, industry and post-secondary partnerships.
  • Appointed in September 2019, the Skills for Jobs Task Force provided its final report to government in fall 2020, and focused on four key objectives:
    • Evaluate the current skills and apprenticeship system and best practices – in Canada and the world.
    • Propose changes to strengthen the system.
    • Examine ways to expand apprenticeship education to other careers beyond traditional trades professions.
    • Improve the understanding that apprenticeship-based education holds as much value, merit and worth as other post-secondary education, and trade careers are as valuable as other professions.