Report from Parliament Hill
Bob Nault, MP, Kenora Riding
Hitting the books on helping students
As summer winds down and September approaches, our thoughts move towards the ‘back-to-school’ season. Whether a student decides to go to university or enter the trades, gaining work experience and skills are critical for finding the jobs they want. Getting the proper training and education can be both time-consuming and expensive, but there are a number of federal initiatives and programs available to assist along the way.
Apprenticeships provide invaluable insight and experience into a number of work fields and sectors. Recognizing the important role the skilled trades play, we are investing $20 million starting in 2018-19, to support an Apprenticeship Incentive Grant for Women. This is a five-year pilot project where women in male-dominated Red Seal trades could receive a new grant of $3,000 for each of their first two years of training. This grant, in combination with the existing Apprenticeship Completion Grant of $2,000 adds up to $8,000 in support for training.
To help cover the costs of education, the Canada Student Grants, which never have to be paid back, have been increased by 50%, putting approximately $4,000 back in the pockets of students. It is expected that up to 46,000 students across the country will benefit from this program. In addition, the threshold for the Repayment Assistance Plan has also increased, which means that students don’t need to start repaying their loan until they find a job and are making at least $25,000 per year. This is all great news for our students and families living in the North.
Young adults are not the only ones looking to further their education and training. There is a new program called SkillsBoost, which is designed to help adult learners by providing the support they need through a $1,600 per year Canada Student Grant. There have also been changes to Employment Insurance which makes going back to school easier for adults who have been out of school for 10 years or longer.
Once training and education ends, it is important to find a job in your chosen field. To help get students into the workforce, up to 60,000 new student work placements will be created over the next five years, including more co-op placements for students in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and business programs.
We know that the nature of the work force is ever-changing, especially as technology continues to advance. In order to be best prepared for these changes, Northerners can take advantage of available programs and grants to help them further their education and training. An investment in education is an investment in your future.
Education works, so I encourage you to take advantage of these new programs for you and your children!