The federal government is providing $2.5 million for the Tlicho Trades Apprenticeship Program, MP Michael McLeod announced on Thursday.
With the financial injection, the initiative will be able to support up to 30 apprentices for eligible red-seal trades over the course of three years.
“The project, which is funded under the new apprenticeship service, will bring together apprenticeship leaders, small and medium-sized enterprises, in the Tlicho region to promote skilled trades,” McLeod said while making the announcement at the Tlicho Government Office in Yellowknife.
McLeod said the project is aimed at underrepresented individuals, citing that only nine per cent of red-seal apprentices are women.
“And that’s not just women who are underrepresented in the trades,” he said. “It’s also persons with disabilities, immigrants and racialized Canadians.”
He added that Indigenous people are not underrepresented in skilled trades nationally but face barriers in recruitment and retention.
Tlicho Grand Chief Jackson Lafferty said there’s a need for many skilled trades in his region’s communities, especially in the more isolated ones.
“We encourage our people, our Tlicho citizens, to explore these opportunities for men, women and also the youth,” he said. “The apprenticeship program is part of a long-term strategy to build upon existing skills of Tlicho workers.”