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Apprentice Information

What is the Canada Apprentice Loan (CAL)?

CAL is loan funding offered by the Government ‘of Canada to apprentices registered in a Red Seal trade apprenticeship program who are enrolled in technical training.

CAL is meant to help apprentices pay for tuition, tools, equipment, living expenses, cover forgone wages or support their family.

How can CAL Help Me?

If you meet the eligibility requirements for CAL you may’ receive:

  • Up to $4,000 in loans per period of technical training;
  • Up to 5 funded periods of technical training;
  • Up to 6 years of interest-free status.

Am I eligible?

You are eligible for CAL if you:

  • Are a Canadian Citizen, Permanent Resident or Protected Person;
  • Are registered in a Red Seal trade apprentice program;
  • Are enrolled in block release technical training or the equivalent full time technical training (pre-apprenticeship, day release or part-time technical training are not eligible);
  • Pass a credit check (required if you are applying for the first time).

How do I apply?

Starting January 2, 2015 you can apply for a CAL, online or by paper, at www.canada.ca. The Canada Apprentice Loan Service Centre (CALSC) will assess your application and, if approved, Will administer your loan.

To apply online:
You must first ‘Register’ for a CALSC Online Services account, and then ‘Sign In’ to complete and submit your application. Applying online is quick and easy, and will speed up application processing time. You will also be able to check your application status online, update your account profile and receive important updates.

To apply using a paper application:
You can download an application from the website, complete it, and mail it td the CALSC. You must include copies of supporting documentation as detailed in the application.

What are the application deadlines?

  • The earliest that you can apply is 3 months before your technical training starts.
  • The latest that you can apply is the last day of your technical training.

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How does repayment work?

  • CAL is interest-free until you complete or terminate your apprenticeship program, up to a maximum of 6 years, as long as you provide confirmation that you are still a registered apprentice.
  • CAL enters repayment when you are no longer confirmed as a registered apprentice:
    • No payments are required for the first 6 months, but interest will accrue, which you can pay or add to your loan balance;
    • You can choose a variable interest rate of prime. plus 2.5% or a fixed interest rate of prime plus 5%;
    • CAL is typically repaid over 9.5 years, but you have the choice to pay it off sooner, or take up to 14.5 years;
    • If you face financial difficulty making payments, you may be able to take advantage of the Repayment Assistance Plan (RAP), or other repayment assistance measures.

How Apprenticeship works

How does a Plumbing Apprenticeship work and how do I get my interprovincial plumbing certification ?

This is how it works … A Plumbing  Apprenticeship is normally 4 years in duration. After a person is indentured to a company the apprenticeship commences and the apprentice works on-the-job for 1 year. At the end of the first year of on-the-job training/work experience, the apprentice is released from work to attend 180 hours of plumbing Level 1 technical training at a recognized college. Upon successful completion of Level 1 technical training the apprentice returns to work for another full year of on-the-job training/work experience. At the end of the second full year of on-the-job training/work experience, the apprentice is once again released from work to attend the second level (180 hours) of technical training. The third year of apprenticeship works in the same way as the previous level 1 and level 2.

Level 4 technical training is 240 hours in duration because the apprentice will prepare for and challenge the class “B” Gas fitter exam as well as the interprovincial plumbing exam.

Once the apprentice has accumulated the full 7,200  work-based hours and has successfully completed all  levels of in-school technical training, the apprentice will receive the Certificate of Apprenticeship from the Industry Training Authority and The Interprovincial Plumbing Certificate.

The apprentice then takes the Certificate of Apprenticeship to the B.C. Safety Authority (BCSA) office. The BCSA will photocopy the Certificate of Apprenticeship and place it on file. At this point the BCSA will issue the person a Class “B” Gas Fitting Certificate of Competency, or formerly known as a Class “B” Gas license.

How does a gas fitting apprenticeship work and how do I get my class “B” Gas license ?

This is how it works … A Gas Fitting Apprenticeship is normally 2 years in duration. After a person is indentured to a company the apprenticeship commences and the apprentice works on-the-job for 1 year. At the end of the first year of on-the-job training/work experience, the apprentice is released from work to attend 180 hours of Gas Fitting Level 1 technical training at a recognized college. Upon successful completion of Level 1 technical training the apprentice returns to work for another full year of on-the-job training/work experience. At the end of the second full year of on-the-job training/work experience, the apprentice is once again released from work to attend the second and final level (180 hours) of technical training (Gas Fitting Level 2). On the last day of class; the B.C. Safety Authority (BCSA) invigilator administers the exam to the apprentices and records the results. If the apprentice scores 70% or better on the Class “B” Gas Exam they become eligible for the Class “B” Certificate of Competency, issued by the B.C. Safety Authority.

Once the apprentice has accumulated the full 3,360 work-based hours and has successfully completed both levels of in-school technical training, the apprentice will receive the Certificate of Apprenticeship from the Industry Training Authority. The apprentice then takes the Certificate of Apprenticeship to the B.C. Safety Authority (BCSA) office. The BCSA will photocopy the Certificate of Apprenticeship and place it on file. At this point the BCSA will issue the person a Class “B” Gas Fitting Certificate of Competency, or formerly known as a Class “B” Gas license.

How does a Sprinkler Fitter Apprenticeship work and how do I get my Interprovincial Sprinkler Fitter certification ?

This is how it works … A Sprinkler Fitter Apprenticeship is normally 4 years in duration. After a person is indentured to a company the apprenticeship commences and the apprentice works on-the-job for 1 year. At the end of the first year of on-the-job training/work experience, the apprentice is released from work to attend 180 hours of Sprinkler Fitter Level 1 technical training at a recognized college. Upon successful completion of Level 1 technical training the apprentice returns to work for another full year of on-the-job training/work experience. At the end of the second full year of on-the-job training/work experience, the apprentice is once again released from work to attend the second level (180 hours) of technical training. The third and fourth year of apprenticeship works in the same way as the previous level 1 and level 2.

Once the apprentice has accumulated the full 7,200  work-based hours and has successfully completed all  levels of in-school technical training and passed the sprinkler fitter interprovincial exam , the apprentice will receive the Certificate of Apprenticeship from the Industry Training Authority and The Interprovincial Sprinkler Fitter Certificate of Qualification.

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