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Registered apprenticeship training programs, 2013

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Released: 2015-10-26

The provinces and territories reported 469,680 registrations in apprenticeship programs in Canada in 2013. Of these, more than three-quarters were apprentices continuing their programs from the previous year (already registered), about one-fifth were new registrations in 2013, and the remainder were people reinstated in a specific trade over that year.

The majority of registrations (77.3%) were in apprenticeship programs where the associated trade had a Red Seal designation at the Canada level. Already registered apprentices in trades with the Red Seal designation accounted for 6 in 10 registrations. About 15% were new registrations in Red Seal designated trades, and 1.5% were reinstatements (apprentices who had left an apprenticeship program in a previous year and had returned to the same program during the current reporting period).

By comparison, 22.7% of all registrations were in trades without Red Seal designation. Of these, 17.2% were apprentices who were already registered in the apprenticeship program the previous year, while 5.4% were new registrations in 2013.

Men accounted for more than 85% of registrations, while just over 14% were female. In some trades, males made up almost all registrations in the group. For example, in the refrigeration and air conditioning trade, 99.1% of all training participants were males. In turn, females accounted for 89.4% of registered apprentices in the hairstylists and estheticians trade group.

In 2013, four trade groups (electricians, carpenters, plumbers, pipefitters and steamfitters, and automotive service technicians) were the most common choices for male registered apprentices. Together, these four trade groups accounted for just over half of all male apprentices.

In 2013, 7 in 10 (70.9%) female registered apprentices were in four of the major trade groups: hairstylists and estheticians, user support technicians, food service, and early childhood educators and assistants. The first two groups accounted for almost half of the female registrations (47.4%).

Just over 65,000 certificates were awarded to apprentices and trade qualifiers in 2013. More than 7 in 10 of these certificates were issued to apprentices. This compares with 27.8% issued to trade qualifiers.

Almost 23,000 of the certificates issued in 2013 had the Red Seal endorsement.

The 10 Red Seal trades with the highest number of registrations accounted for half of all registrations in 2013. Among these Top 10 Red Seal trades, construction electricians and carpenters accounted for more than 20% of overall registrations.

  Note to readers

Data context

The provinces and territories, which provide the data for this release, make operational and administrative changes related to the training and certification of the trades within their jurisdictions. Changes have occurred in every province and territory since 1991 that affect historical comparisons. For the 2013 reporting period in particular, these changes affected all data collected by the survey, including the number of registrations, participation in Red Seal and non-Red Seal apprenticeship programs and certificates awarded. Interpretation of the data should be made within the context of these administrative and operational changes. For further information on federal, provincial and territorial changes, see the Registered Apprenticeship Information System Guide.

Designated trades

Each of the 13 provinces and territories determines which trades are apprenticeable and/or certifiable within their jurisdiction. These are referred to as designated trades. The jurisdictions also determine which of the designated trades require the successful passing of a skills assessment examination in order to work unsupervised in the trade. There is considerable variation between the jurisdictions as to which trades are apprenticeable and/or certifiable. This release includes only those trades that are designated in at least one province or territory.

Registered apprentices are persons who are in a supervised work training program in an apprenticeable trade within their provincial or territorial jurisdiction. The apprentice must be registered with the appropriate governing body (usually a Ministry of Education or Labour, or a trade specific industry governing body) in order to complete the training.

Trade qualifiers or trade challengers are persons who have worked in a specific trade for a number of years, without necessarily having ever been an apprentice, and have chosen to write the required skills assessment examination in their trade.


"Total registrations" in apprenticeship programs is the count of any registrations that occurred during the reporting period (from January 1, 2013 to December 31, 2013) within the 13 jurisdictions.

Total registrations: already registered, new registrations and reinstatements.

Already registered: the number of registrations carried forward from the previous year.

New registrations: new entrants to any apprenticeship program within the 12-month reporting period.

Reinstatements: registrations by people who had left an apprenticeship program in a specific trade in a previous year and had returned to the same apprenticeship program during the reporting period.

Red Seal and non-Red Seal Programs

The Red Seal Program sets common standards to assess the skills of tradespersons across Canada in specific trades, referred to as the "Red Seal" trades. Tradespersons who meet the Red Seal standards, through examination, receive a Red Seal endorsement on their provincial/territorial trade certificates.

Non-Red Seal trades do not have interprovincial standards. Many non-Red Seal trades do not have an examination requirement in order to work in the trade.


In some jurisdictions, certificates are issued to registered apprentices who have completed their hours of supervised on-the-job training. In all jurisdictions, they are issued to apprentices and trade qualifiers who have passed a skills assessment examination in their trade.

Contact information

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; or Media Relations (613-951-4636;

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