Graduated Apprenticeship Grant for Employers (GAGE) Funding Ontario
Hiring and training apprentices is a great way to build your team of qualified tradespeople. In Ontario, employers have numerous supports to help recruit and train apprentices. These incentives should be used whenever possible to offset labour costs and grow your team of high-quality employees.
One of the best incentives for employers is the Graduated Apprenticeship Grant for Employers (GAGE). GAGE funding is an entitlement program (similar to tax credits in nature) that provides employers with up to $16,700 – $19,200 throughout the apprenticeship training process. Funding is provided to employers incrementally following the completion of training levels and the final disbursement is provided when a Certificate of Apprenticeship is awarded to the tradesperson.
In November 2017, the Graduated Apprenticeship Grant for Employers replaced a previously well-known apprenticeship funding program, the Apprenticeship Training Tax Credit (ATTC). This change was made to help more employers access funding for apprenticeships and trigger funding disbursements more frequently.
What is the Graduated Apprenticeship Grant for Employers?
The Graduated Apprenticeship Grant for Employers (GAGE) is an employer-focused government funding program that offsets a portion of costs related to the hiring and training of an apprentice. Ontario skilled trades employers are automatically enrolled into the program when they register their new apprentice with the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development (MAESD).
GAGE funding provides up to $16,700 – $19,200 in funding, depending on the apprentice trained and level of training completed.
Employers are entitled to receive funding during their apprentice’s progression through formal classroom-based instruction. Based on the Ontario College of Trades’ approved curriculum, training programs are divided into four levels with a final examination to award a certificate of apprenticeship:
Employing an apprentice in an under-represented group (including women, Indigenous peoples, people with disabilities, newcomers and visible minorities, and Francophones) is eligible for an additional $500 in funding for each level of training completed. Employers should consider using this program advantage to diversify their workforce.
Who is Eligible for the Graduated Apprenticeship Grant for Employers?
To access the Graduated Apprenticeship Grant for Employers, companies must be a member of an eligible trade and ensure that they are capable of providing training to the apprentice. Eligible trades include (but are not limited to):
- Precision Metal Fabricator;
- Hydraulic/Pneumatic Mechanic;
- Hazardous Materials Worker;
- Mould or Die Finisher;
- Auto Body and Collision Damage Repairer;
- Brick and Stone Mason;
- Automotive Painter;
- Construction Millwright;
- Roofer; and
How Can Employers Access GAGE Funding?
The first step in accessing funding through the Graduated Apprenticeship Grant for Employers is to identify an apprentice that is at least 16 years of age and meets the minimum education requirements of the trade. Not sure how to connect with young apprentices? This slide deck evaluates the top job boards and recruitment resources for Ontario employers to use.
Once an apprentice has been selected, employers must register them by contacting a local Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development apprenticeship office and signing a Registered Training Agreement (RTA). This process formalizes the apprenticeship and automatically entitles the employer to receive GAGE grants. Employers receive grants as the apprentice completes each level of training. This is provided as a cheque sent through the mail.
Hi. We are an American company who is in the process of hiring an apprentice to work with our red seal industrial millwright in Ontario. We would like to know if we are eligible for any grants to continue the training of this apprentice
Hello Bill, government funding programs are not likely to offset the costs of American companies hiring/training Canadian apprentices. This blog focuses on tax credits, which require recipients to pay Ontario business taxes. Grants often require Canadian incorporation and corresponding registration/business numbers as part of the application process. The only way to receive Canadian government funding for your this type of activity is to formalize a Canadian subsidiary that is a permanent Canadian entity.
Hi WE are a company located in Alberta, Canada. Is this grant just for Ontario apprentices?
Unfortunately, this program is exclusive to Ontario-based employers. Alberta employers are ineligible from this specific funding program. More information on Canada-wide apprenticeship funding programs can be found here: https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/services/apprentices/grants.html
As an employee who works for a large for profit organization hoping to get training in Project Management in the area of commercial real estate, would this grant apply?
Hi Tami, the GAGE program is not a good fit for specific training programs outside of registered trades. I’d consider discussing the Canada-Ontario Job Grant (COJG) for specific skills training programs.
Are employers automatically paid as the apprentice reaches each level. Or is there an application for the funding
Hi Gerald, employers are automatically paid as an apprentice completes each level of funding. There is no application process to control the disbursement of funding; as long as you’re reporting the progress of your apprentice, funding will follow each phase completed.
Hi Jeff, do you know if the GAGE system is up an running and payments are being issued to sponsors. To date there has been no update on the Employment Ontario site since April 2018 regarding the status of the system to track and monitor apprenticeships as well as payments once apprenticeships have been registered after Nov 14 2017. Very little communication from the Ministry on this new program.
Hi Robert, thanks for your question. We have also heard that this program is not providing funding at this time, but is likely pending internal review to determine if it will continue and how much funding it has to distribute. We’ll post an update when we know more and can definitively say what the future of the program holds, until then, you should explore federal apprenticeship incentives.
has there been any progress on this program or was this a victim of the Ford government cuts?
Thank you for reaching out with this question. As it turns out the GAGE program is no longer active and apprenticeship funding is being reviewed by the Province of Ontario. New programs may be released later in 2019. The cycle on hiring and apprenticeship programs can be brief with one program quickly coming out to replace another. We advise checking in with the Mentor Works team when you are looking to bring on new staff and we can help you navigate the landscape that’s applicable to you at that time. When the time is right you can connect with us through this website link.
I am looking to hire an apprentice to work with me at my electrical business. Would this grant be applicable to the electrical trade?
Hi Martin – There might be funding available through tax credits and/or government grants. We’d just need to know a bit more about your business and the position in order to point you in the right direction. For funding questions, our Contact Us page is a great way to ask questions, however, in this case, I’ll have a colleague reach out to you directly to make sure we look at opportunities quickly for you.