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Axis Electric builds their team through new Apprentice Services Program

Rupertsland Institute (RLI) is now offering the Apprenticeship Service Program which provides $10,000 financial incentives for eligible small and medium-sized enterprises to sponsor first-year apprentices in 32 Red Seal trades.

The federally funded initiative is aimed at increasing participation in the trades from diverse equity groups, including Métis, First Nations, Inuit and women. The program also makes it more affordable for companies to offer apprenticeship opportunities and support the growth of the next generation of tradespeople.

As part of the program, Axis Electric hired Mathew Quinney-Cardinal, a first-year apprentice electrician. Axis provides residential and commercial electrical services in the very busy market of northern Alberta.

“Between electricians retiring and growing demands, finding employees has been incredibly hard over the last few years,” said Ilia Basargin, owner/operator of Axis. “When I found out about the Apprentice Apprenticeship Service Program offered by Ruperstland, it was just a no-brainer. Not only do I get a great new team member like Mathew, but it also helps me offset some of the inherent costs of bringing on a new employee.”

The federal government currently estimates that 700,000 skilled trades workers are expected to retire in Canada by 2028 and is investing nearly $247 million to help create more than 25,000 apprentice positions in skilled trades across Canada through partnerships with organizations such as RLI.

“This is a great opportunity for not only individuals who want to start a career in the trades, but also for employers who are struggling to maintain the workforce they need,” said Thea Abdolhady, Industrial Relations Liaison for RLI. “Axis is an example of how matching the right business with an apprentice can benefit both, while also promoting diversity and inclusion in the trades.”

To be eligible for the program, first-year apprenticeship applicants must also meet the education and entrance requirements for the desired trade, be legally able to work in Canada, and be ready, willing, and able to enter into an apprenticeship agreement. There are over 30 eligible trades which can be found on the RLI website.

“Mathew is really eager to learn and is making progress every single day,” continued Basargi. “I’ve also seen it as an opportunity to give back to the industry by passing along my experience and knowledge to the next generation of electricians. I take a lot of pride in that!”

RLI also assists by providing additional support, such as help navigating the apprenticeship system, onboarding apprentices, and assistance in creating welcoming workplaces for apprentices in the construction and manufacturing industries in Alberta.

“I am grateful to Rupertsland for guiding me through the process and giving me a great start to my career in the trades,” said Quinney-Cardinal. “After discussing my career goals with Thea, it only took a week to get on with Axis. Ilia has been one of the most straightforward bosses I’ve had, and I appreciate how I can ask him any question.

“If you ever thought about getting into the trades, you should check out the program and see what they can do for you!”

RLI is targeting up to 150 first-year Red Seal apprentices per year and are actively taking applications from both first-year apprentices and small and medium-sized enterprises.

Learn more about eligibility and how to apply, click here.