The goal of T4T is to prepare youth for future employment or to get them ready to enter a training program (post-secondary, apprenticeship etc.). The typical Train for Trades experience is 44 weeks, established, as discussed in Duration, to give youth enough hours to qualify for Employment Insurance (EI) and funding for school.

An awesome program. I’d describe it as giving you a second chance in making your life better. I had zero to none experience when I started, and before my time was up I had all the experience I would need to start off here and make it easier for me to really start college. They pretty much save you in the long run if you listen them, do as they want you to do to succeed. It’s a great life turner. It’s a life-changing opportunity.” — Samantha, age 22, past participant Train for Trades and Carpentry student at Carpenters Millwrights College

In Newfoundland, some students are able to access funding for post-secondary school through EI or through the provincial Department of Advanced Education & Skills (AES). 

AES offers Skills Development Training funds to individuals who qualify for EI.This funding can cover some or all of the costs associated with school for a period of up to three years including:

  • Tuition
  • Books
  • Mandatory Fees
  • Living Expenses
  • Dependent Care Expenses
  • Disability Needs
  • Transportation
  • Accommodation

Dylan, a Tier 3 participant, is on the waiting list for a heavy equipment operator course. He estimates that the funding he will receive because of his participation in T4T will save him $16,000 in course fees.

AES also offers wage subsidies to employers who hire skilled trades workers or apprentices. Additionally, AES can provide individuals receiving social assistance with income while they are registered in school.

A variety of federal income assistance programs are available for individuals interested in returning to school. Additionally, Service Canada offers Apprenticeship Grants during and upon completion of an apprenticeship to qualified individuals. It is important to ensure that Employment Skills Development Canada staff (or their designate) give you permission to attend school while on EI or your eligibility may be cancelled.

We are in the business of having our employees stolen. In fact, one of our young people recently took two weeks to tell us about an employment opportunity he had in the private sector, because he was so loyal and didn’t want to disappoint us. But once he finally broke the news and told us we were ecstatic for him. Why would we ever hold a young person back from the kind of opportunity that this is all designed around?” —Sheldon Pollett, Executive Director, Choices for Youth

Homeless Hub Thoughts:

The funding opportunities available in Newfoundland/Labrador are not necessarily the same in all other provinces/territories. There are limited resources available to support individuals to attend post-secondary school. What is available depends on the province/territory’s legislation and funding supports, the current economic climate, an individual’s status (i.e. special programs exist for women, people with disabilities, Aboriginal Peoples) and other factors.

Programs should not be designed with an expectation that all individuals will be able to attend post-secondary training, unless the funding options are continually and thoroughly investigated and regularly updated.

However, this is not to say that post-secondary education should not be a goal of such a program. Agencies may wish to pursue corporate sponsorship or other funding sources to be able to offer scholarships to individuals who wish to attend. Combined with EI (assuming the individual receives permission to attend school) and scholarships, there may be sufficient funding to support someone’s tuition and other costs.