Alberta’s economy has momentum, and more skilled labourers are needed to support the province’s workforce, especially in the construction industry. To meet growing demand for highly skilled tradespeople across sectors, and in response to feedback from post-secondaries and industry, Alberta’s government is increasing capacity for skilled trades training.

This funding is in addition to the $15 million over three years announced earlier this year, which added more than 1,000 additional apprenticeship spaces, bringing the total funding for apprenticeship training in 2023-24 to $54.4 million.

By expanding apprenticeship opportunities, Alberta’s government is empowering students to pursue rewarding careers while sustaining the growth and momentum of Alberta’s skilled trades labour market.

“With today being Apprenticeship Day, we are celebrating those tradespeople who have and continue to build this great province. Every Albertan knows at least one tradesperson – and their career started with an apprenticeship. With labour forecasts projecting continued growth well into the future, Alberta’s government remains committed to ensuring that there is space for everyone who chooses to pursue a rewarding career in the trades.”

Rajan Sawhney, Minister of Advanced Education

“Apprenticeship programs are an essential part of Alberta’s education system. Increasing opportunities for young people to enter the trades not only sets them up for success but also supports Alberta’s diverse industries and economy with a highly skilled workforce. Our government remains committed to expanding apprenticeship education and promoting its parity of esteem with other post-secondary education.”

Demetrios Nicolaides, Minister of Education

Whether in Alberta, across the country or on the international stage, Alberta’s post-secondaries have a reputation of delivering world-class skills training. The additional seats come at an important time. Apprenticeship and skilled trades are tightly linked to Alberta’s economy. As the economy strengthens, the demand for labour increases. 

“As the leading provider of apprenticeship education in Alberta, this investment demonstrates this government’s commitment to ensuring the province has the skilled talent needed to drive Alberta’s economic growth. As we celebrate Apprenticeship Day and acknowledge the value of skilled trades education as a pathway to a meaningful career, today’s funding ensures the availability of seats in high-demand apprenticeship programs across critical sectors such as construction, manufacturing and transportation.”

Laura Jo Gunter, president and CEO, NAIT

While Alberta accounts for 12 per cent of Canada’s labour force, the province has approximately 14 per cent of the country’s apprentices. Through the 47 apprenticeship education programs across the province, there are 53,922 registered apprentices in Alberta, an increase of 19 per cent from the end of 2022.

“This is very welcome news. With the economy growing so quickly, employers across many industries are in need of skilled labour. Whether just starting out, or nearly finished, apprentices are offered a great career opportunity.”

Terry Milot, chairman, Alberta Trade Contractors Council

Quick facts

  • Apprenticeship Day, created in 2022 and celebrated on the fourth Monday of September, celebrates apprentices and recognizes the contributions the skilled trades have made in shaping the province.
  • Alberta has 47 apprenticeship education programs, each of which lasts one to four years.