Under the new Special Days Act, Apprenticeship Day will be recognized annually on the fourth Monday of September.

“Tradespeople are the backbone of Alberta’s economy. It is essential we encourage young people to enter the trades and promote the tremendous value of apprenticeship education. Trades school costs less, takes less time and you make virtually the same as a university graduate. Our government remains committed to expanding apprenticeship education and promoting its parity of esteem with traditional education.”

Demetrios Nicolaides, Minister of Advanced Education

“The declaration of Apprenticeship Day by Alberta's government is one more way we are recognizing the importance of trades education and career-based learning. I'm pleased to see more and more students pursuing apprenticeship and look forward to the findings of our Career Education Task Force to better understand how we can encourage youth to register in these programs.”

Adriana LaGrange, Minister of Education

“We are pleased with the announcement of Apprenticeship Day, an annual celebration in recognition of the important contributions apprentices make to our communities, our economy and our province. From SAIT’s pre-apprenticeship training through the immersive high-calibre trades education in more than 30 different trades, SAIT is proud to continue to offer a world-class education to build a strong and skilled workforce able to drive Alberta’s growing economy.” 

David Ross, president and CEO, SAIT

“We are pleased to offer opportunities for students to explore various career pathways and possibilities so that every student is successful. Apprenticeship track programs allow students to earn high school credits while also working towards a registered apprenticeship with the support of in-school certificated journeypersons. These learning opportunities provide students on-the-job experience to help set them up for success in their post-secondary education and their future careers.”

Laura Hack, chair, Calgary Board of Education

“We’re proud to play a role in supporting construction apprenticeship education in Alberta. We know first-hand how rewarding a career in Alberta’s construction industry can be and have witnessed the life-changing opportunity these career paths bring. We applaud the Government of Alberta in paying special tribute to apprenticeship education today and for highlighting the contributions apprentices bring to our economy.”

Carol Moen, president and CEO, Women Building Futures

Apprenticeship Day is the latest announcement demonstrating the government’s commitment to increasing awareness of apprenticeship education and its benefits to the economy.

The Alberta 2030: Building Skills for Jobs strategy established a clear path forward for apprenticeship education programs and skilled trades in Alberta. Since then, the government has taken the following steps to support apprenticeship training:

  • Budget 2022 invested $30 million over three years to enhance apprenticeship programs and opportunities.

    • About $15 million will help students acquire skills for the emerging technology sectors and other in-demand occupations.

  • In June 2022, the Skills Trades and Apprenticeship Education Act was proclaimed and the Alberta Board of Skilled Trades was created.

  • In July 2022, government announced $3.2 million in funding to train more Albertans for good-paying jobs in the construction industry.

    • This pilot project is a partnership with the Alberta Construction Association, End Poverty Edmonton and the Edmonton Mennonite Centre for Newcomers.

  • In September 2022, Alberta’s government announced $15 million over the next three years to expand apprenticeship education.

    • $1.37 million will be used to create 300 new apprenticeship seats at NAIT, SAIT and Portage College.

    • The remaining funds will be allocated in consultation with post-secondary institutions and industry partners.

  • In July 2022, Alberta’s government announced the creation of a Career Education Task Force to review career education programming and provide strategic advice and recommendations that will help strengthen student learning pathways.

    • The task force will focus primarily on career education for grades 7-12 and how to effectively prepare students for seamless entry into post-secondary studies or employment. The task force includes leaders from industry, labour, the education system, post-secondary institutions and government departments.

Quick facts

  • Alberta has 12 per cent of Canada’s labour force and 14 per cent of the country’s apprentices

  • In 2021:

    • About 11,000 new apprentices registered in programs (an increase from 7,800 in 2020).

    • Apprentices were being trained at about 10,400 employer sites around Alberta.

    • Advanced Education staff connected more than 10,000 employers to promote apprenticeship programs.

  • Alberta’s Registered Apprenticeship Program (RAP) allows Alberta high school students to register as apprentices and begin learning on the job.

    • As of Dec. 31, 2021, about 840 high school students were registered in the RAP and employed at about 400 employer sites.

    • Between 2010 and 2020, 72 per cent of RAP apprentices continued their apprenticeship program after high school.