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$30M to be spent on trades, technology programming in Alberta over next 3 years

Welding, welder, skilled trades, student

More than $30 million will be spent over the next three years supporting apprenticeship and learning opportunities in skilled trades.

Minister of Skilled Trades and Professions Kaycee Madu announced the funding Friday at Edmonton's Harry Ainlay High School.

He said Alberta expects to see a high number of skilled trade workers retire in the next few years, and the province needs young people to "step forward and make the most of those opportunities."

Budget 2023 is allocating $23.5 million to Careers: The Next Generation, an apprenticeship agency, and $6.9 million to Skills Canada Alberta, which offers trades and technology programming for young people and leads the Skills Canada National Competition.

Stefan Rutkowski, director of operations for Careers, said more than 34,000 young people have been placed in internships by the agency since it started in 1997, and more than 80 per cent of those have stayed in their trade.

Last year, he said, was a record with almost 2,500 youths across the province being placed in a paid-internship.

"We're on track this year to increase this number even further, and this is exciting for Alberta youth for sure," Rutkowski added.

Ray Massey, board president of Skills Canada Alberta, said skills competitions help participants make connections and build their abilities outside of a traditional apprenticeship.

"It sets our youth up to experience success, to earn friends," Massey said. "The self-esteem and self-worth that is built in participating in [skills competitions] is second-to-none."

The Alberta government said Budget 2023 is also providing $10.7 million over three years to Women Building Futures. Top Stories

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