Why Red Seal Trades Might Work for You
You may have heard the advice, “learn a trade – it’s an important skill to have.” That’s good advice: there will always be a need for carpenters, electricians, plumbers, mechanics, and welders. But what exactly is a Red Seal trade? What financial assistance is there for a person interested in becoming a tradesperson? How do you find out which trade is right for you? Read on to find out.
In short, a Red Seal trade is one where you may work as a tradesperson in any province without having to take extra qualifications. The training and certifications of Red Seal trades are not individualized to each province; rather, they are standardized on a national level. Although each province is responsible for educating and training apprentices, or those who are at an entry level in their industry of choice, the Red Seal Program promotes the coordination of standards across the country. But in order to qualify as a journeyperson with a Red Seal, apprentices need a mix of classroom instruction and on-the-job training. Although they earn money while training on the job, acquiring necessary tools and classroom instruction is expensive.
The government recognizes the necessity to fund tradespeople. There is a provision called the Apprenticeship Incentive Grant, which is a $1000-$2000 per year taxable cash grant for apprentices once they have successfully completed their first or second year or level of their program in one of the Red Seal trades. Another is the Apprenticeship Completion Grant, which is available to an apprentice who completes their training and acquires their journeyperson certification in a Red Seal trade. But tools are expensive, too. The government provides the Tradesperson’s Tools Deduction of up to $500 yearly to assist in the purchase of new tools necessary for the trade in question. That leaves one final question: which trade to choose?
In Ontario, there are forty seven trades of the Program’s available 55 that you may choose from. These range from Automotive Service Technician to Baker to Hairstylist to Welder. The official website, www.red-seal.ca, contains a detailed job description of each. For instance, its page on carpentry tells us that “Carpenters construct, renovate and repair residential, institutional, commercial, and industrial … structures made of wood, steel, concrete and other materials.” We read about the risks involved, knowledge that a carpenter ought to have, and other skills that are useful. It tells us the career path a carpenter may be interested in taking. Further down the page, there is a chart that tells us that there is a provincial certification in all thirteen provinces and territories. Beyond that is additional information with links to relevant documents. You can also find this information on any of the other Red Seal trade pages. Read them over and decide which one may fit you best. Do you have an affinity for working in the kitchen? Bakers and Chefs can become Red Seal certified. Like tinkering with engines and other machines? A wide variety of trades will let you do just that: Automotive Service Technicians and Heavy Duty Equipment Technicians are among those who may acquire their Red Seal.
The opportunities are numerous, and you can work anywhere in the country. Why not look into qualifying for a Red Seal trade?