Apprenticeship programs are one of the best ways for Canadians to gain the skills and training they need to succeed in their chosen career. Recognizing the need to improve apprenticeship training to ensure that skilled tradespeople needed for the economy of today and tomorrow are available, federal, provincial and territorial governments are working to improve employer engagement in apprenticeship and to harmonize Red Seal designated trades in most jurisdictions.

Employer engagement

Employers play a fundamental role in apprenticeship training as they provide apprentices with on-the-job training and experience. In July 2015, FLMM Ministers agreed to a collaborative approach to improve employer engagement in training to increase apprenticeship training completion rates. This collaborative approach will focus on:

  • improving the complementarity and coordination of programs;
  • leveraging resources and experiences across governments;
  • and sharing information and best practices.


The Goal:

The goal of Harmonization is to substantively align apprenticeship systems across Canada by making apprenticeship training requirements more consistent in Red Seal trades. This will assist apprentices to pursue their training seamlessly across Canada.

The Priorities:

  1. Use of Red Seal trade name
  2. Consistent total training hours (in-school and on-the-job)
  3. Same number of training levels
  4. Consistent sequencing of training content, including use of most recent occupational standard

The Benefits:

Harmonization will facilitate the mobility of apprentices across Canada, support an increase in completion rates, enable employers to access a larger pool of apprentices, and increase consistency across apprenticeship systems.

Due to collaborative work between the FLMM, the Canadian Council of Directors of Apprenticeship, and industry and training partners, significant progress has been made toward harmonization of apprenticeship training in Red Seal trades.

The FLMM’s objective is to harmonize, in most jurisdictions, a total of 30 Red Seal trades by 2020, starting with harmonization of training for ten Red Seal trades by September 2016 in an effort to harmonize training for two-third of apprentices in Red Seal trades by 2017.

For more information on FLMM’s commitment regarding apprenticeship, please consult the news release section. For more information about apprenticeship in Canada, including the harmonization initiative, please refer to the CCDA Red Seal Program website.

* The Government of Quebec is participating as an observer