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Just under half (47%) of the working people in Canada are women, and yet only 13% of engineers are women. Females make up just 1.2% of people working in the HVAC industry, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Our culture has somehow discouraged women from entering the HVAC business, which contributes to our skilled trades shortage.

In its last budget, the Canadian Government announced an incentive grantto support women training for Red Seal trades. The Apprenticeship Incentive Grant for Women (AIG-W) is a taxable cash grant of $3,000 per year/level (or equivalent) up to a maximum amount of $6,000 per person. The intention is to help increase the numbers of females in these trades, in which they are clearly underrepresented.

Requirements include:

• Being registered with your provincial/territorial apprenticeship authority as an apprentice in a designated Red Seal trade (having low female representation)

• Having progressed in your training in designated Red Seal trades on or after April 1, 2018; and

• Providing proof that you have successfully completed either the first and/or second year/level (or equivalent) of apprenticeship.

If you progressed in 2018, the deadline is June 30, 2019.

If you progressed on or after January 1, 2019, the deadline is twelve months following your date of progression.

You can apply for the AIG-W here.