LATEST NEWS Skills Training
November 15, 2012
Canadian Apprenticeship Forum lives on
After an overwhelming response from stakeholders, the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum (CAF) has announced it will continue operations beyond March 31, 2013, when its funding through the federal Sector Council Program ends.
“The number one thing that we were told by the vast majority of our stakeholders was that it’s needed more than ever,” said CAF executive director Sarah Watts-Rynard.
“You can really see that because the shortages are coming, there’s a good understanding that we need to still be telling people about great careers in the trades.”
Following news that the Sector Council Program was expiring, CAF asked the apprenticeship community for feedback.
CAF was told that it is needed to share the business case for apprenticeship with non-participating employers.
“We do have 81 per cent of skilled trades employers or employers who are working in the skilled trades that aren’t right now training apprentices. We do need to continue to tell them that there is a great business case,” said Watts-Rynard.
The third message from the stakeholder community was that CAF is still needed to encourage and facilitate stakeholder dialogue.
“There are some really fantastic initiatives and different programs, services and supports that are available and when you’re working with blinders for your own environment you don’t necessarily have a chance to see them,” she explained.
“Cutting into the silos and sharing what’s going on in other places is a way to make improvements without having to think up new ideas and start from scratch.”
CAF, established in 2000, is an inclusive national body that brings together all players in apprenticeship training. It promotes apprenticeship as an effective model for training and education across Canada.
CAF announced its Apprenticeship Champion campaign at its June national conference in Regina, calling for champions to support its mandate. At the time, CAF said if it did not receive sponsorship it would have to shut down. So far, 73 members have joined the campaign, which has four levels of sponsorship.
Those members get access to higher levels of service, free access to research reports, involvement on standing committees, voting for board representation and a monthly newsletter.
While members will receive value added services, Watts-Rynard said it’s important to have some work freely available too as a way to engage youth, parents, educators and employers.
Watts-Rynard hopes to have 500 CAF members by this time next year.
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