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Registered apprenticeship training programs, 2014

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Released: 2016-09-08

In 2014, apprenticeship programs in Canada had more than 451,100 registrations, 349,700 of which were for programs already started in previous years. New registrations accounted for 93,500, while reinstatements totalled 8,000.

Reinstatements are apprentices who had left an apprenticeship program in an earlier year and returned to the same program during the reference period.

More than three-quarters of all registrations are for Red Seal-designated trades

More than three-quarters (77.2%) of all registrations in Canada in 2014 were in apprenticeship programs for which the associated trade has a Red Seal designation at the national level. Of these, 59.4% were apprentices already registered in a trade with the Red Seal designation, 16.2% were new registrations and 1.6% were reinstatements.

The 10 Red Seal trades with the highest number of registrations accounted for just over half (50.9%) of all registrations in 2014. Among the Red Seal trades, construction electricians, carpenters and automotive service technicians accounted for more than one-quarter (27.6%) of total registrations.

Males represent the majority of registrations in apprenticeship programs

In 2014, males (86.3%) represented a higher proportion of those registered in an apprenticeship program than did females (13.7%).

Males represented more than 90% of registrations in 18 of the 25 major trade groups. Females represented the majority of registrations in 4 major trade groups: early childhood educators and assistants (93.0%), hairstylists and estheticians (88.6%), community and social service workers (78.7%), and user support technicians (50.7%). The major trade group of user support technicians includes information technology support associates and information technology hardware technicians.

The major trade groups of electricians, carpenters, plumbers, pipefitters and steamfitters, and automotive service technicians accounted for just over half (50.6%) of all male registrations.

More than two-thirds of certificates are issued to apprentices

In 2014, 59,400 certificates were awarded: 68.7% to apprentices and 31.3% to trade qualifiers. Less than half (43.5%) of the certificates granted in 2014 had the Red Seal endorsement.

  Note to readers


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 and 2014 reporting periods in particular, these changes substantially 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 among 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) 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, 2014, to December 31, 2014) 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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