NAIT receives provincial funding to fast-track newcomers into meaningful trades careers

Published on October 04, 2022

NAIT is receiving $1.5 million in provincial funding over the next three years to develop a pre-apprenticeship program supporting newcomers who are looking to enter the skilled trades in Alberta and beyond. 

The Accelerated Trade Entry program will provide support to newcomers to Canada and under-represented Albertans interested in apprenticeship training while simultaneously reducing the cultural, financial and language barriers these individuals face.  

The program will roll out over three years, with each year building on the previous. 

  • Year 1 (2022-2023) will focus on assessing learners’ skills and suggesting meaningful learning pathways to target knowledge gaps. NAIT will also work with translators and subject matter experts to translate the Alberta Trade Entrance Exam into nine languages – Arabic, French, Hindi, Mandarin, Portuguese, Punjabi, Spanish and Tagalog. This will be available to learners in the Fall of 2023. 
  • Year 2 (2023-2024) will focus on supporting learners as they navigate Alberta’s Apprenticeship and Industry Training entrance requirements.  This includes developing courses for Alberta Trade Entrance Exam preparation and English language training specific to trades professions.
  • Year 3 (2024-2025) will include additional trade-specific upskilling courses such as trades safety, technical drawing, small tools, and trades math, helping learners build a strong pre-trades foundation as they begin specializing in their chosen career paths.  

Program development is a collaborative effort between NAIT’s Continuing Education and the School of Skilled Trades. The polytechnic will also work with industry to help inform curriculum development, and with newcomer centres to help connect learners to the Accelerated Trade Entry program.  

The investment is part of the Alberta at Work initiative, a collection of strategic investments to help Albertans develop new skills and grow their careers. The Government of Alberta also recently announced that NAIT is receiving $9 million to expand five high-demand programs, $760,000 to expand apprenticeship seats and $650,000 to develop three micro-credential programs aimed at helping Albertan reskill and upskill. 


“We have heard clearly from our industry partners about their ongoing challenges to find talent to support the skilled trades in Alberta. This NAIT-led pre-apprenticeship initiative backed by the generous funding from the Government of Alberta will help meet that need by removing the barriers faced by new Canadians through a model that fast tracks newcomers into meaningful careers in the skilled trades” - Laura Jo Gunter, NAIT President & CEO 

“The assessment-first approach of NAIT’s Accelerated Trade Entry program provides an opportunity for learners to have their existing skills certified so they can either accelerate the earning of their credentials or skip the training altogether, as they already have the required skills, and enter the workforce faster. We’re excited to begin development of this program.” - Brock Olive, executive director of Continuing Education and Product Development at NAIT

About NAIT

The Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) is a leading Canadian polytechnic, delivering education in science, technology and the environment; business; health and skilled trades. With more than 38,000 credit and non-credit students and a 98 per cent employer satisfaction rate, NAIT grads help fuel the economic engine of the province. NAIT also contributes to Alberta's prosperity by helping businesses and communities become more competitive through industry-driven applied research and corporate training. Recognized as one of Alberta's top employers, NAIT provides outstanding returns on investment for its graduates, industry partners, the provincial government and the people of Alberta.

Media inquiries

Nicole Graham
NAIT Media Relations
C 780.916.8307 E

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