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Registered apprenticeship training programs, 2012

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Released: 2014-06-11

Apprenticeship training programs across Canada received 104,280 new registrations and reinstatements in 2012, up 6.8% from 2011. This marked the highest number of new registrations and reinstatements (individuals who were reinstated in 2012 after a year or more of absence) since the beginning of the economic downturn in 2008.

Total registrations in apprenticeship training programs across Canada increased 4.3% from 2011 to 444,672 in 2012.

New registrations in Red Seal trades were up 6.8%, but the number remained below 2008 levels. New registrations in non-Red Seal trades were up 11.5% from 2011. (For more information on the Red Seal Program, see the note to readers.)

In 2012, 56,913 certificates were awarded to both apprentices and trade qualifiers/challengers, up 2.7% from 2011.

Of the total certificates awarded, 41,481 were granted to apprentices who completed their training, up 0.8% from 2011. This annual growth was much lower than the increases registered over the previous two years.

In 2012, certificates awarded to trade qualifiers/challengers increased for the first time since 2008, up 8.2% from the previous year to 15,429.

Less than half (19,701) of the apprentice certificates awarded were Red Seal certificates. For the first time since 2008, the number of apprentice certificates with Red Seal endorsements (-2.6%) declined while the number of certificates for trade qualifiers/challengers with Red Seal endorsement (+5.2%) increased.

Among the top 10 Red Seal trades, the construction electrician trade recorded the largest number of new registrations, up 10.9% from 2011 to 9,714 in 2012, and surpassed the carpenter trade, which was down 13.2% to 7,881. The number of new registrations in the construction electrician trade has increased every year since the end of the economic downturn. The steamfitter/pipefitter trade (+45.7%) posted the largest annual increase in new registrations in 2012, followed by the welder trade (+41.7%), where the number of new registrations exceed those recorded in 2008.

The proportion of females registered in trades has been constantly increasing over the years. In 2012, females accounted for 14.2% of all registrations. The highest number of new registrations for females was in the user support technicians major trade group (4,095), where for the first time, new registrations exceeded those in the hairstylists and estheticians group.

  Note to readers

A Certificate of Qualification in a trade can be obtained by registered apprentices who have completed their training and successfully passed their examination. A Certificate of Qualification can also be obtained by individuals known as "trade qualifiers"/"challengers." These individuals have extensive experience and knowledge in a trade but have not completed a formal apprenticeship training program. However, they can write ("challenge") the examination and, if successful, receive their Certificate of Qualification.

Certificates granted each year are either awarded in Interprovincial Standard Red Seal endorsed trades or in non-Red Seal endorsed trades. The Red Seal endorsed trades were established to provide mobility for anyone who has obtained the Red Seal endorsement on their certificate, allowing them to work in any province or territory that recognizes the Red Seal endorsement, without that individual having to re-write their examination.

Contact information

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