The Ontario Government has introduced a new incentive regime for employers of apprentices in Ontario – the Graduated Apprenticeship Grant for Employers (GAGE).

The new program replaces the Apprenticeship Training Tax Credit (ATTC), with the objective of improving completion rates and increasing apprenticeship opportunities for under-represented groups such as women, indigenous peoples, francophones, people with disabilities, newcomers and visible minorities.

Ontario’s Apprenticeship completion rate has not increased signifi cantly in spite of the fi nancial incentives that are currently available to employers. The GAGE will aim to address this issue by providing incentives to eligible employers throughout the apprenticeship journey, with increasing payments as apprentices move through to completion. This will encourage employers to train apprentices from registration through to completion.

Through GAGE, employers could receive up to a maximum of $19,200 in grant funding over the lifecycle of an apprenticeship. This amount assumes that an apprentice has fully completed the three to four levels of his/her in-class training in a specifi ed trade, has been issued a Certifi cate of Apprenticeship or a Certifi cate of Qualifi cation, and is from one of the eligible under-represented groups.

In addition, the government is developing a bonus for in-demand trades to support training apprentices now in an effort to meet projected labour market needs in the future. Details about this bonus will be released early next year.

The table in Figure One depicts the proposed GAGE design with respect to the funding disbursements for employers as apprentices complete their in-school training levels and approach the completion of their training.

The GAGE is available to all of the 125 ATTC-eligible trades, plus five additional service sector trades. Employers who register apprentices after November 14, 2017 will automatically be enrolled in the GAGE program, and the province will begin dispersing funds in 2018. For apprentices registered on or prior to November 14, the ATTC will continue to be available to employers for up to 36 months.

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