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Union Training and Innovation Program

Find out more about the Union training and innovation program (UTIP).

The Union Training and Innovation Program (UTIP) is established to help the government of Canada in the support of union-based apprenticeship training, innovation and improved partnership.

As such, the investment must be in equipment and/or materials that meet industry standards or investments in new technology.

Union Training and Innovation Program Streams

There are two streams involved in the program, namely:

  • Stream 1 – Investment in Training Equipment: this supports the shared purchase of equipment and materials for training workers in the Red Seal trades. Also, the project must be union-led.
  • Stream 2 – Innovation in Apprenticeship: this supports an innovative line of action to look into challenges that limit apprenticeship outcomes. As a result, anion involvement is required in the project.

Objectives of Union Training and Innovation Program

Technically, the objective of the UTIP is to improve the quality of training in the skilled trades which permits a more skilled, certified and productive workforce. The Program also aims to develop the involvement of important groups in the skilled trades to have a more inclusive workforce.

Furthermore, the union will fund projects that show gaps or needs for trades training equipment and/or materials to meet industry standards or investments in new technology for Red Seal apprentices and/or non-registered apprentices.

Red Seal Trades

A Red Seal endorsement on a journeyperson’s Certificate of Qualification shows that the person has achieved a nationally recognized level of competency in the trade.

Also, it indicates that the journeyperson is licensed to practise his/her trade in any province or territory of Canada. Moreover, there are 56 recognized Red Seal Trades.

Examples of Equipment and/or materials that Meet up the Union’s Standards

The following are examples of equipment and/or materials you can buy:

  • Simulators like tower cranes and backhoe
  • Advanced trade-based technology
  • Geothermal training systems
  • Milling or beveling guns
  • Electric hoists
  • Sheet metal is used in training activities like welding.

Eligibility for Union Training and Innovation Program

To qualify for the program, you must be a:

  • Union (including local union organization) representing workers in the Red Seal Trade
  • Organization managing training trust funds (an example is a joint training trust fund established by a union or by a union and an employer association).
  • The project must focus on Red Seal Trades, with the activities that support the purchase of current equipment and/or training materials
  • Immediately the equipment and/or materials are ready for the training, you must prove that not less than 24 months are committed to the collection of data and reporting of activities.

Additional information:

  • Quebec organizations are not eligible for the application of funding. There is an existing agreement between the government of Canada and that of Quebec to carry out a program that considers the uniqueness of Quebec’s apprenticeship system.
  • An indigenous organization includes band councils, tribal councils, a self-governing organization, an educational organization (an organization that is in the teaching business), a municipal government as well as a provincial and territorial government, including agencies and Crown Corporations.
  • If your organization is not a union representing workers in Red Seal trades, you must involve at least one and it must be a lead or a partner in the project. Without it, your project will not be qualified.

Eligible expenses

The projects for this training must be in support of training in trades. This will enable the training to better support a skilled, inclusive, certified and dynamic trades workforce to be able to achieve the objectives which include:

  • Intensify investment in current training equipment and materials for higher quality training, which results in a more skilled and dynamic trades workforce.
  • Expand the participation and effectiveness of important groups in trades training and careers. This includes women, indigenes, new members, people with disabilities and visible minorities or racialized persons.
  • Improve broad-based partnerships between organizations. Precisely, these organizations could be with employers, non-profit organizations, educational institutions, and other training providers.

How to Apply for funding for the Innovation in Apprenticeship Stream

Applicants should not start their proposed projects until:

  • They receive approval for their project from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC)
  • An agreement has been signed between the organization and a representative of ESDC

Equally important to note is that:

  • Not all applications submitted under this process will be approved.
  • Funding is limited. It is subject to budget considerations of ESDC and allocation of funds by Parliament.
  • Decisions are final and there is no appeal process.

Eligible projects

For your project to be eligible for funding, it must meet the following requirements:

  • Target training for Red Seal trades
  • Be no longer than 60 months
  • Request no more than $10,000,000 per project
  • Have a cash contribution equal to or more than 10% of your total project costs from a source other than the organization giving the funding. Also, in-kind contributions are acceptable if you can prove that you are in a remote location; lack infrastructure; and have limited partnership opportunities
    Involve a broad-based partnership
  • Use an innovative approach and/or best practices.
Ontario Apprenticeship Program

How ESDC assesses your application

The following are the criteria for assessing your project:

Project objectives

Your application must:

  • Define ways your project will look into challenges that restrict apprenticeship results using innovative approaches and/or best practices
  • Define ways your project will include a broad-based partnership

Project activities, timelines and feasibility

Your application must:

  • Provide a clear and related sketch of your project activities and which must support the project objectives
  • Point toward timelines and milestones that are specific, detailed and realistic

Project results and effects

Importantly, your application must define the outputs, outcomes and indicators of your project.

Project budget

To be precise, your application must give a clear description of the way you plan to use the funds. Moreover, your project costs must be reasonable, detailed, and support the project activities.

Steps to apply for funding

  • Create an online GCOS account to apply online. Here, you will need to create a Grants and Contributions Online Services (GCOS) account. You must create your GCOS account as soon as possible. Again, it may take a minimum of 2 weeks to authenticate and finalize your account though.
  • Get your supporting documents and information. In this case, supporting documents include letters from partner or partners and completed budget detail template. Also, if your project gets selected, you will be required to submit a letter confirming the cash, or in-kind contribution from a source other than ESDC.
  • Apply, submit and track the status of your online application using GCOS. You can apply by mail or email ([email protected]).

How to Apply for Funding under the Union Training and Innovation Program

Eligible projects

Your project must meet all of the following requirements:

  • Target training for apprentices and/or non-registered apprentices in Red Seal trades
  • Be no longer than 36 months
    Request no more than $10,000,000 per project
  • Have contributions from sources other than Employment and Social Development Canada. here, cash must be equal to or more than 50% of your total project costs. Also, 30% cash contribution is acceptable if you can prove that you face any of these challenges: remote location, lack of infrastructure and limited partnership opportunities
  • Have a quote for the purchase of training equipment or materials for apprentices and/or non-registered apprentices in Red Seal trades

How does ESDC assess your application

Generally, there will be a review of your application in three steps:

  • Screening for eligibility against the mandatory eligibility requirements (in questions 3 to 9, 55 and 67 in the Applicant Guide)
  • Assessing how your project meets the program objectives (in questions 55 to 58, and 69 to 71 in the Applicant Guide and the Budget Detail template)
  • Considering priorities to select the projects (in question 55-56 in the Applicant Guide)

You must note that:

You can only be considered if you submit a complete application. As such, you must get all the documents you need before you apply. Therefore, if your application is incomplete, you will receive an email notification.

Also, you will have 5 business days to submit the missing information. Finally, at the elapse of five days, your application will meet rejection.

Project objectives

Same as Stream 2 above.

Steps to apply for funding

  • First, gather your supporting documents and information. Also, the supporting documents include a completed application form; a completed budget detail template (PDF Format) and a quote for the purchase of training equipment and/or material
  • Decide how to apply: this could be online or by mail.

PDF form help

The application form uses PDF form technology. You must have a PDF reader installed to use the form correctly.

There are several readers available on the Internet for free that support the form. They include Adobe Acrobat DC Reader and Foxit Reader.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if my project costs less than the amount provided?

Basically, if the costs of your project are less than the amount you received, it is important that you contact your project officer and discuss repayment options.

What are the eligible expenses?

Technically, the Union will only consider expenses of various types that are directly related to your project. Some of them include:

  • Wages of the workers
  • Cost of the projects, in form of rent, utilities, professional fees, furniture and office supplies, and tools and equipment
  • Capital assets
  • Cost of participating, such as travel and disability-related supports